The summer of 2019 was a blur…but not in a good way.
It was a summer of intense, distracting pain as I suffered with two huge kidney stones. I get stones regularly. When the stones are bigger, the pain is hard to describe. Sharp. Piercing. Relentless. And the fatigue is debilitating.
I’ve had so many incidents I can tell when a stone is forming, where it is in my body, and what it’s going to do next. The pain changes when the stone moves. When the stone gets lodged in a spot, you run the risk of infection and long-term kidney disease.
In mid-June I started feeling that familiar pain in my flank. Two stones. I knew they were big ones. I called my doctor at HSC and booked a lithotripsy procedure to break up the stones. As the lithotripsy date approached, one of the stones dislodged and I was able to pass it. The second stone was massive and more stubborn. It started to descend, but got stuck. The lithotripsy broke up the second stone, but even those fragments were too big to pass. The doctor sent me for a scan called a KUB CT and then scheduled me for another procedure in October, this time with a laser to target the remaining fragments. I passed a sandbox of tiny stones that day and felt immediate relief.
In a follow-up, I got the all-clear and was put on a medication to reduce my uric acid. I feel better than I have in years, but I know my kidney stones could come back. That’s what kidney stones do.
Along with other important projects, the HSC Foundation is raising funds for a new Manitoba Urologic Centre that will help patients like me by offering access to ever-advancing technology and by reducing wait times for patients with kidney conditions, bladder cancers, and other urological health challenges.
For patients who need urologic procedures, the wait times are far too long. The pain is far too intense. The risks are far too great. You can make a difference by donating to our Manitoba Urologic Centre campaign today. To donate, please click here or call 204-515-5612.
By Mona Bartmanovich