Stent Experience

by Vivian

I had hyperparathyroidism (discovered) in 2013 - the very first indications of it were the passing of kidney stones.

At that time, I was passing an average a stone once a month and it always occurred roughly around the time of my period.

I had surgery in July 2013 to remove the tumorous parathyroid - and I have been returned to normal calcaemic states.

Unfortunately, I had 2 stones remaining after the surgery. I did pass one (a 2 mm stone) roughly 2 months after surgery. However, the other stone, which was 9 mm, remained and unmoved.

Fast forward to 2015... I was having stomach pains, so my gastroenterologist ordered a scan of my abdomen. The stone was seen on the scan, but now its 10 mm.

Fast forward to September 2016... I started having back pain, which I attributed to needing chiro adjustments. Two (2) weeks after the initial pains started I now have fever (like 102 degrees fever). I was able to lower it but it always came back. By the 2nd day of this I finally broke down and went to ER.

I found out that I have a bladder infection... and thanks to my big mouth mentioning the kidney stone, the ER doctor says "we're going to do a scan to see where that stone is sitting". Sure enough it was blocking the ureter, and not only blocking it but now it's 17mm! (1.7cm).

I ended up having to stay in the hospital, and my urologist (who treated me in 2013) placed a stent the next day.

If you're going to have a stent placed, find a way to prepare yourself mentally. It is not for the faint of heart. I have had no pain because of the stent. It is the irritating sensation to the bladder that creates the issue... The feeling of needing to pee all the time.

I feel like I have been a prisoner in my own home. Whenever I attempt to go anywhere I panic over the thought that there will not be a bathroom for me to run to just in case.

I did have lithotripsy one week after the stent was placed. It only broke down the stone to approximately half its size. (At the time of the procedure it was 20mm (2cm). The remaining stone in the renal pelvis is 10 mm now. I will be having the 2nd lithotripsy in 2 1/2 weeks.

Lithotripsy itself was a cake walk and I passed pieces of stone (painlessly) every
day for a week. The largest stone I passed was 2 mm. I did have mild cramping with that one, but it passed and relief came immediately. I believe its passing was made "easier" because of the stent.

What is getting me through: drinking lots of water; avoiding irritating substances... for me it was lemon water! That one shocked me. I have been able to drink coffee (I'm a 2 cup/dayer) and have not had any increased irritation or issues.

Reading other people's experiences - it is SO EASY to feel that you are the only person going through something. It is so rough until you find out you are not the only one and that you are actually just as "normal" as everyone else going through it. Reading here has been a big help.

I do a lot of (EFT) tapping - it keeps me calm and grounded and from losing my mind. I have cried several times because of the stent. Again, it is not painful - it is irritating.

I've had the stent in since September 17th, 2016 and today is October 5th, 2016. I've had more moments of "calm" than crazy as each day goes by. But the crazy feelings do still happen - just less often, and less extreme.

I remind myself that this is not going to last forever. My urologist just called me this morning to give me the next lithotripsy date (October 24th, 2016). I decided that I am going to make it until then. I promised myself that I will survive this. Mostly because he said the magic words "your stent will come out that day".

I allow myself to "just be". This one is hardest because I have things I want and need to get done. Increased activity creates more irritation for me, but I rest when I need it. I have only been to the gym once, and I did not enjoy it. I felt a lot of pressure. I was still passing stones at the time so that is probably why. I will attempt it again now that my bladder has been emptied of all the fragments from the first lithotripsy.

Stents are survivable (although in the earliest days I really just wanted to die). But my will to live is stronger than my fear of dying so I am going to stick this one out. Besides, I have a couple vacations coming up and I would hate to think I've wasted them because I'm dead.

Be nice to yourselves!

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