Monday, June 11, 2018

Everybody Must Get Stoned


I was fully planning on writing a new blog post this weekend, filled with actionable MS information, wisdom, humor, pathos, and astonishing literary flourishes. Instead, I was sidelined by the WORST pain I've ever experienced in my life.


Woke up Saturday morning feeling relatively okay, but after a few minutes was hit with a horrendous stabbing pain radiating from the right side of my lower back. The pain was so intense that it pretty much paralyzed all the parts of me that aren't already paralyzed. I was rendered dazed, confused, and writhing in bed, and it took me several minutes to work up the strength to call out for my wife. She did a quick consultation with Dr. Google and came up with a likely culprit: kidney stones.


I soon spoke with a family member who dealt with a kidney stone a few years ago, and she told me that there was really not much to be done other than to rest and wait for the stone to pass.


So, I did just that – rested all day Saturday and Saturday night, and though the pain did start to subside I still felt pretty miserable when I went to sleep late Saturday night.


Woke up Sunday and after a short while was once again hit with a monstrous jolt of pain emanating from the same area in my right lower back. As soon as I could muster the wherewithal, I called my neurologist, as I no longer have a primary care physician. This is because the doctor who had been my PCP for 17 years decided to become a VIP physician, requiring patients to pay $3000 a year just for the privilege of being able to get an appointment with him – please, don't get me started. Turns out the world is filled with vampires, some of them hiding in plain sight.


My neuro told me I should immediately go to the emergency room, which I did just as soon as Karen heroically managed to untangle me from the bedding, get me into some street clothes, and then into my wheelchair.


At the hospital, the ER team did standard blood tests and urinalysis, as well as a CT scan. The blood tests came back relatively normal, the urinalysis turned up traces of blood, and the CT scan showed inflammation in my right kidney, but no kidney stone. I was told that I very likely had recently passed a kidney stone without knowing it, and the stone may have done some damage its way out.


Not sure I entirely buy that explanation since I feel really sick, as if I have an infection. Nevertheless, a recently passed kidney stone is the party line, at least for now.


I did do an infusion of Rituxamab about six weeks ago, so I'm not sure that a standard blood test would actually show the typical signs of infection since my body has been wiped clean of B cells. The doctors in the ER didn't really seem to understand the potential significance of my having taken Rituxan, and appeared to be pretending to know what I was talking about when I told them I was on the drug. Just another example of our modern medical miracle machine showing that in large part it is made up of chicken wire and chewing gum.


I'll be seeing an urologist early this week to try to get the situation clarified and resolved.


Anyway, just wanted to let WK readers know that I'm still among the living, despite my not having put a new essay on the blog in over a month. I have some good ideas for new posts, and also a very long interview I conducted with a naturopathic doctor who works exclusively with MS patients that should prove to be enlightening once I get it transcribed. All of this is unfortunately on hold, however, until I start feeling a bit better. Hope you will bear with me…


Since I associate almost everything that happens in my life with one song or another, here's the song that's been playing on a loop in my head ever since my wife uttered the words "kidney stone"…




22 comments:

  1. Feel better! I hope helpful answers come soon.

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    1. My husband was diagnosed with MS almost a year ago. he have had several attacks since then. we have seen two neurologists. One saying that his brain MRI was terrible; the worst he has seen in over 20 years. The second doctor I went to said that my husband brain MRI isn't that bad. He sent him for a spinal MRI. News on the spinal was that he have barely any lesions there. he is severely frustrated. One, because he cannot get the answers he desire from either neurologist; and two, because he have trouble walking his right leg. during my research i found a patients preview on how Total Cure Herbal Foundation saved her from this similar condition,i order the natural products from https://totalcureherbalfou5.wixsite.com/herbal/contact OR email Totalcureherbalfoundation@gmail.com,my husband used the remedies for complete 15 weeks which reversed all the symptoms and give him a good health again,i cant thank God enough.
      cheers

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    2. Marc,
      I am so sorry. My husband had these a few years ago and they truly are paralytic. One study recently suggested that high doses of vitamin D can increase the risk factor for stones. In fact, my husband's urologist actually took him off it and told him not to go back on.

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  2. I def expected this to be a pro-marijuana post. Feel better soon Marc! Dying to read your percolating posts.

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  3. I was thinking along Tripping's thoughts too. Nonetheless, thank you for keeping this WK fan apprised of your status. Sorry to hear of your PCP trip to the dark side...

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  4. Yep, been there. I was told that the pain of passing a stone is a lot like the pain of childbirth. Except in childbirth, the thing being passed is going through a canal designed for that purpose, and, in the end, you get a baby. I felt like Charley Brown at halloween, "I got a rock."

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  5. Hi Marc

    I've had seven.

    The first one was in university and that caused me to lose a year of school.

    I woke up one morning in my early 20s and was in incredible pain. I started my usual morning routine, stood at the toilet to relieve myself and out came barbecue sauce. Six months of intermittent pain later it passed.


    'nnff said

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  6. Oh Marc, Oh Karen
    You are stalwarts. But I think I should praise you first for keeping on. I, on the other hand, have "given up" and am now living in aged care which is horrendously expensive and life-threatening in itself. I started to have seizures at home. Ros saved my life twice.

    What you say about physicians makes perfect sense to me. They are not on top of it, quite understandably, because there's so much to stay on top of and, to be mean, there is so much money to be made.

    At the same time your chewing gum and string comment rings true as well. Other than being completely taken with what Gavin says on his blog I do maintain the same element of cynicism that you do.

    Living in Australia, as I do, at least have less financial pain the you. I do not know how I would cope with the non-financial type of pain. You are amazing!

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  7. Been there. Horrible. Mine was actually caused by Copaxone. Never took the stuff again, counting death preferable.

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  8. Crapsticks. Not a real word, but it's the least offensive one I could come up with. I'll be thinking of you & sending all the "feel better" vibes I can your way!

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  9. Another experimenting a pro-weed post - now I feel really sorry for you and wish you well. But get to hear Dylan and Harrison again.

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  10. Sending good vibes for some relief for you ASAP. Can’t wait to read those percolating posts.

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  11. My husband was diagnosed with MS almost a year ago. he have had several attacks since then. we have seen two neurologists. One saying that his brain MRI was terrible; the worst he has seen in over 20 years. The second doctor I went to said that my husband brain MRI isn't that bad. He sent him for a spinal MRI. News on the spinal was that he have barely any lesions there. he is severely frustrated. One, because he cannot get the answers he desire from either neurologist; and two, because he have trouble walking his right leg. during my research i found a patients preview on how Total Cure Herbal Foundation saved her from this similar condition,i order the natural products from https://totalcureherbalfou5.wixsite.com/herbal/contact OR email Totalcureherbalfoundation@gmail.com,my husband used the remedies for complete 15 weeks which reversed all the symptoms and give him a good health again,i cant thank God enough.
    cheers

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  12. I hope you feel better soon! I have had similar experiences with doctors, they just don't get it. Look forward to your next post.

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  13. Sandra SchneiderJune 12, 2018 at 9:26 AM

    About a year ago, I an abdominal CT with contrast which incidentally revealed kidney stones. The doc. brushed it off as, "very common." I hadn't had any symptoms, except small particles in my urine occasionally, so I brushed it off. About 2-3 most. later, I had an attack, which started at my kidney and followed the path of the ureters to the urethra-I knew exactly what it was-severe pain, heart pounding and drenched sheets till it passed-luckily it only lasted 2 hours. I knew it wasn't urate-based from the color of the particles. I increased my water, dietary calcium, cut out the spinach, which I'd been eating a lot of (oxalates) and decreased the salt- which I love. If you weren't able to collect the stone, they might need to do a 24 hr. urine to see what you're producing. Hope you don't get stoned again. The pain ranked in my top 4-labor, this, esophageal spasms, bad exacerbation of herniated disc in neck. But, mine was only a 2 hour ordeal. Yours sounds like it was much worse.

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    1. Sandra SchneiderJune 14, 2018 at 7:06 AM

      Make sure they rule out hyperparathyroidism. Feeling much crummier than usual with kidney stones are consistent with this.

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  14. Dear Marc, I hope You get bettet soon. All the best. Johan

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  15. Pain just sucks, period.

    It's really difficult and somewhat harrowing trying to direct doctors to issues that may be medically important and possibly physiologically related, only to have them dismissed out of hand. There has to be a way for patient and doctor to work in concert, especially in the case of dealing with MS. The patient's prior experience should be as important in the overall diagnosis and treatment as the current medical issue. It is distressing that so many medical facilities, including emergency rooms, are so woefully ignorant of multiple sclerosis issues and acute care in the 21st century.

    I hope you are feeling better soon, sir.

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  16. Hey, You need some Greek ouzo. It either kills or cures you! Feel better.
    Love ya,
    Hilda

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  17. Hope you feel better soon Marc. I'm in NY as well - and the $3000 doctors piss me off too - thanks for mentioning it.

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  18. Halfway through the second para I was thinking, yep, welcome to MS neuralgia. Intense stabbing pains, very localised, come and go at will. Sometimes an hour, sometimes a week. One time I was in the High Dependency Unit for 6 days while they threw everything they could think of at it. Fentonyl worked, but who wants to keep taking Fentonyl? I've seen it called 'ice-pick' pain. I'm just coming out of a 3-day episode. But believe me, better for you it's a kidney stone.

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  19. Just another loyal reader sending you every good wish.

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