2 weekends ago I found myself curled up on the floor. Why? From sharp back pain. After a few hours of not getting better my husband carried me to the ER where I found out that I had a kidney stone AND gallstones. WTH??
Before this I was completely unfamiliar with what kidney stones were. Turns out the pain in my back was unrelated to my kidney stone (I still have no idea what took me down 2 weeks ago). After being prescribed some pain killers and sent on my merry way, I was told the stone should pass in a few days. I am definitely one of those people who hops on the internet to research everything! As soon as I got home “Google what are kidney stones? Google -Kidney stone formation, GOOGLE! – How to avoid kidney stones?” For hours, days even. I reached out to people who continually told me it was one of the worse pains a person could experience. With every passing story I curled up on the couch tighter and tighter in preparation for the pain to come.
By the 3rd day I thought maybe I had a small stone and it passed. My back pain had pretty much subsided and I felt back to normal. So I started to relax. Fast forward 7 -10 days later. I’m sitting in the Urologist office:
Dr.:I see it on your x-ray. You have a small stone. It looks like a calcium-oxalate stone.
Me: WHAT! It’s still there?!
Dr.: Yup, I see it in your right kidney…
All of my fear and anxiety about the pain came rushing back. All I could think was COME ON! YOU’VE GOT TO BE KIDDING ME! We spoke about my options and I decide to go with a procedure to break up the stone. I am a get-it-done-and-over-with type of person. I want this thing out of me. I’m sick of living on edge wondering what type of life changing excruciating level of pain I’m about to experience when this thing decides its ready to move. NO MAM! Set the procedure up! The doctor told me I shouldn’t worry, the stone probably wouldn’t pass before I have the procedure.
Okay, cool, I guess. But what if it does? How will I know? I keep hearing horror stories about pain. I keep hearing that you will be able to feel it move but I’ve never had one. I’ve never experienced this. What am I supposed to do? Sit around until I feel the pain of my life out of nowhere? I don’t like sitting on my hands and waiting around so I’ve been researching. Researching how to avoid these things in the future. Researching how to prevent the formation of the stone type I have. Researching what causes calcium-oxalate formations.
Before I left the doctors office, her nurse gave me a list of high oxalate foods to stay away from. Guess what, most oxalate rich foods are healthy. Spinach, celery, beets, green peppers, kale. Basically if its a green leafy vegetable stay away! ARE-U-KID-DING-ME??!!! I gave up red meat around 2 years ago and chicken about a year ago (I don’t like fish so that’s not a factor in my diet). I eat a lot of vegetables. Green leafy vegetables. Now your telling me I’m not supposed to eat them? I was mad!
The more research I do. The more articles I read I’m learning that yes, some of the vegetables I really like (like spinach) are super rich in oxalates and should be avoided if you’re prone to oxalate kidney stones. But other vegetables, grains, fruits, and legumes are okay in moderation. The fix isn’t 100% in the food. Part of it is the food but a major part of it is the hydration. I need to make sure I’m drinking more water than the average bear every, single, day. I have to make sure I’m flushing my system of not only of too much oxalate but of everything in general that it doesn’t need. Continuously drinking water is the only way to do that.
There are a lot more do’s and dont’s that I’ve learned. That will be another post for another day. I just wanted to share what’s been going on. I am open to any suggestions. If you’ve had them or know someone who has, please share below. I want all the help and advice I can get!
Just in case you were curious. Below is the list of things I’m supposed to stay away from.