Who knew I could get kidney stones at my age?
Angela Chee: Sad, but true. I'm 21 weeks pregnant and my doctor says I have kidney stones. Yuck! Since I'm pregnant, there's nothing they can do -- and I can't even have X-rays to tell me if I really have them, how big they are, or if I passed them. Who knew I could get kidney stones at my age?
It all started one afternoon when I went to the bathroom and saw pink in the toilet. At first I didn't think anything of it, but when I saw it again after going to the bathroom an hour later, I got really scared. Oh no, the baby! I thought.
I went to my OB/GYN's office, where they did an ultrasound and determined the baby was fine. They did find blood in my urine, but no infection, so they told me I needed to see a urologist. I went to the urologist, who said it could be kidney stones, some sort of infection, or in the rare worst case, cancer. Great! But after an ultrasound of my kidney and bladder, they found no stones and no tumor. And since I wasn't having any pain, there was also no clear diagnosis.
Then, two weeks later ... the pain came. It made me collapse in the bathroom. The pain was so intense it made me sweat. At first I thought it was gas, but then, after throwing up, I thought it was food poisoning. Then I thought, What if my appendix burst? I called my doctor. She said it didn't sound like the baby, because the pain was coming from my left side (not my uterus), or appendicitis, since the appendix is on the right -- but I should go to the hospital if I felt it was necessary. Since it was midnight, I decided to take some Mylanta, tough it out, and try to sleep it off, but after eight hours of more pain with no relief, I went to the ER.
It was like labor ... the last stages where you're sweating, hunched over in intense pain, and no matter which way you move, it won't go away. They say it's the closest thing a man can experience to childbirth.
They put me on an IV with fluids. Another ultrasound showed swelling in my kidneys. The doctor said I had all the symptoms of kidney stones and sent me home with painkillers. Unfortunately, the doctor also said there's not much we can do except wait for it to pass.
Great. How can I stay in bed in pain when I have a 15-month-old to take care of? Home I went -- and luckily, the pain went away about four hours later. I didn't take any medication and still felt fine. So does that mean the worst is over ... maybe? I don't have any evidence of a stone passing, and with no X-rays, there's no guarantee I'm in the clear. So for now I'm just drinking lots and lots of water, and hoping I won't get any more labor pains until I'm actually in labor.
|Angela Chee is a television host, voice-over artist and creator of TheZenMom.com, a resource for other moms because motherhood isn't always so zen. She is a first-time mom.|