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Topic: Surgery Tuesday, January 22nd...I'm scared.
Message: Posted by: Justin Style (Jan 20, 2008 01:59PM)
Just found out this November that I have a Kidney Stone, 1.3 centimeters. The pain started summer of 2006. I didn't know what it was, so I let it go. Besides, being a magician, I have NO health coverage. Finally the pain was too severe, so I went to the V.A. (Iím a Navy vet) I Was told it's too big to pass. They put in a medical stent on December 20th. Now I am going in to have the first of treatments via laser. The surgery is this Tuesday, January, 22nd. I'm a little scared. Before the Dec. 20th, I was never sick a day in my life, never been to a hospital for any reason. Now I am 48 years old and this is my first time. The scary part is, both my parents were never sick and then one day they had to be admitted to a hospital and neither of them ever came out alive. My mother was only 37. And my father was 64.

I know a Kidney Stone is pretty routine; but I hope you can see my trepidation.

Anyway...if you have anything nice to say, or some encouraging words, I would feel happy, less scared and appreciative. Or if you have ever had a Kidney Stone maybe you could tell me what I'm in for? Right now I feel like C***, I haven't worked out or been on my bicycle since December 19th.

Thank you!

Justin Style


I just want to say [b]THANK GOD FOR THE V.A.[/b] I got out 26 years ago and this is the first time I needed them. They have treated me like gold every step of the way!
Message: Posted by: The Drake (Jan 20, 2008 02:16PM)

I think anyone who ever passed a stone " the old fashioned way" will tell you you're lucky to be getting the surgery. LOL I know your avatar is distorted on purpose but it looks a lot better than the face you'd make passing a stone.

It is routine and nothing to worry about. Just think of it.. You'll be able to keep it in a jar and BS people that you DID pass it and " didn't feel a thing" LOL.

Looking for happy thoughts????? Just remember how lucky you were that the VA stepped in. LOL

On a more serious note... maybe spend a bit more time actually visiting a doctor. If you're 48 then some annual checkups might prevent any other hidden problems from getting to the point that you don't survive them.

Good Luck,

Message: Posted by: Tom Fenton (Jan 20, 2008 02:19PM)

Can I wish you all the best with your treatment.

God bless,
Message: Posted by: Justin Style (Jan 20, 2008 02:22PM)
Thanks you guys!

Tim: You're funny! I promise, from here on out, I will make sure to get my anual check up...lol

Tom: Thanks, I'll have my Rosary beads with me.
Message: Posted by: Mark Rough (Jan 20, 2008 02:26PM)
Oh man. I feel for you. I've been dealing with stones for about 20 years now. Passed four between Thanksgiving and New Year's, one of which was 1/4 inch in diameter. The moderators don't allow the language necessary to describe the pain. Yours must be freakin' huge. If you've been dealing with the pain for over a year it probably just sat there growing. The surgery is very routine. You'll be home in a few hours, though you won't feel like getting on your bike for a good while. You'll be fine. It's way better than passing them. I'm blessed with a high tolerance for pain and by the end of an episode of stones, I can be crying like a baby. After that, surgery is a piece of cake.

Some advice. . . the pain killers. . . take them before you think you'll need them. I waited one time, just because I didn't like the groginess after a while. By the time the pain really gets going, they won't help. I took 4 percocet one time and they didn't touch the pain.

I'll try to remember to check in on you on Wednesday or Thursday. Just breathe, you'll be fine.

Message: Posted by: Stevethomas (Jan 20, 2008 02:52PM)
Surgery or lithotripter treatments for it? From which will you have to suffer? I've passed a stone or two in my life. Not pleasant. Good luck. What comes around, goes around, it's all Karma.

Message: Posted by: Professor Piper (Jan 20, 2008 09:11PM)
Good luck buddy! You'll do fine.

So you feel better, I survived a brain tumor 20 years ago...At the time they said I had 6 months to live....

You'll do great....No sweat, right?

And listen to Tim! It's time to start seeing the doc more often!

God Bless,

Prof. Piper
Message: Posted by: Justin Style (Jan 21, 2008 10:07AM)
Thanks Steve and Prof. Piper!

I know in the scheme of things, this is not much to worry about and I appreciate your thoughts. It makes me feel a little more relaxed about the procedure. I'm grateful for people like you guys who are willing to reach out. It means a lot.
Message: Posted by: housermagic (Jan 21, 2008 10:18AM)
I, too, will be thinking about and praying for your good results as I go to my local VA Medical Center for a re-check of my gall bladder. I had some kind of episode in mid-December that was said to be related to a stone that wouldn't pass.
Get back on the bicycle as soon as you feel up to it.
Message: Posted by: martini (Jan 21, 2008 10:37AM)
Hang in there Justin;
You are in good hands, and will be up and about in no time.

I have had 3 bouts with these *** things over the years, and my best description is trying to pass a watermelon through a straw.lol

They certainly are no fun and I feel for you, it is very painful. My wife keeps telling me that now I know what childbirth is like.lol

We're all pulling...(maybe that should be pushing) for ya.
All the Best
Message: Posted by: Dave Scribner (Jan 21, 2008 11:51AM)
Justin, I've battled kidney stones for 26 years. I had a nickname at my last job of "quarry master" because I passed so many of them. You won't feel anyting with the laser treatment. It just bombards the stone into smaller pieces so you can pass the bits easily. In most cases, most of the fragments will pass before you get home. I've had them surgically removed, laser bombardment and the latest toture device of having a surgeon go physically go in through my back and remove them.

I have several in both kidneys right now and have had them for quite some time. My doctor has me on medication that reduces the rate at which they grow. The key, besides visiting a urologist at least every year is to drink plenty of water. The more you drink, the better the chances of passing the little things before they get out of hand.

The stent will keep your urinary tubes open and protected so the fragments can pass easily without scratching anything. In most cases it will be removed in your doctors office and you won't feel that either.
Message: Posted by: Justin Style (Jan 21, 2008 12:36PM)
Thank you guys!

Hey Dave you really answered all my questions! You hit it right on target and made me feel a lot better, now I'm not as nervous about tomorrow. I am looking forward to having this stent removed though. It's almost as annoying as the stone. And I find myself going to the bathroom about twice an hour. After they remove the stent, will I need to go less frequently?

"[i]In most cases it will be removed in your doctors office and you won't feel that either."[/i]

whoa!...just the thought hurts -lol
Message: Posted by: calamari (Jan 21, 2008 02:51PM)
A friend told me the worst part was having the Stint removed, not so much painful as akward, he had (his words) this big, black, lady nurse come in and say spread um I have to wash your privates now. and then he said she hosed him down with this bottle of some kinda liquid till he thought she was going to turn it into an enima... then the doc comes in and well lets just say he had to go in through a natural exit with a long tube like thing with a grabber at the end (you get the idea) the doc says "your going to feel some presure and a little discomfort" my friend confirmed both occurred, LOL... ok so I guess this may not have helped much but to end it is something we all (and even he) laughs about now so it coud'nt have been that bad.
good luck (you health nazi)
Message: Posted by: Justin Style (Jan 21, 2008 03:04PM)
Thanks Rich, you're a good dude! I had the pain for 15 months before I found out what it is. Once the Dr. told me the plan of attack, I've been in a fog since. So, the pain, check. The stent, check. The laser procedure, check. The removal of the stent -while awake...priceless!

I guess if you are a doctor and do that kind of work, that's a little way of them getting some sort of kick. Sure, a "lilttle" discomfort...lol!

I check in at 7 am and should be all done and on my way home by lunch time?

Again, thanks to all you guys for your thought and well wishes. I really appreciate it!
Message: Posted by: Dave Scribner (Jan 21, 2008 03:28PM)
Justin, after the stent is removed, your urinary frequency should return to normal but the more you drink, the more you go. Unfortunately, the more your drink, the better off you are in the future.

Stent removal: I haven't had a stent for years. Didn't need it but when I did, there was a very small cord attached to it. The end was just inside, and out of view. I really didn't even know it was there until he told me. The doctor had me lay on my back and he just slowly pulled the stent out. I'm assuming the technology for that hasn't changed much.

I'm not a doctor buy mine has explained pretty much everything to me in detail. You will only have pain from a stone while it is in your kidney. Once it passes into the urethra tube, the pain goes away. It the stone is larger than that tube, then you have to have it removed. Otherwise it will pass by itself with enough water passing through.

I know pain is pain but if you have had it for his long, you are lucky. Normally a lodged kidney stone will double you right over with pain. You'll only feel pain when the stone gets lodged or adhere's itself to the wall of the kidney at a crease.

The doctor should be able to tell you what the stone was made up of and can then recommend a diet or possibly medication. In my case, I take a diuretic and an acid reducer. Those in combination with plenty of water had kept me stone free or at least free from pain for quite awhile.
Message: Posted by: Father Photius (Jan 21, 2008 04:28PM)
As one old Navy man to another, I'm sure you will come through it just fine. I'm sure come tomorrow evening you will be fit to drink to the foam again!
Message: Posted by: Chessmann (Jan 21, 2008 08:35PM)
Justin, you are also at the age where you need to have your prostate checked, as well as your colon.

Do it. Both procedures are painless.

Better feeling weird and having them checked than to lay in a hospital dying of cancer.

Colonoscopies are needed just every 10 years. Not sure for prostate. Just do it.
Message: Posted by: Mike Baxter (Jan 21, 2008 09:49PM)
Justin, You'll be ok. I was in hosp for 9 days two weeks before Christmas having a cancerous kidney removed :( During my stay, numerous kidney stone patients shared my room and none seemed too upset with the experience. One was a 93-year old man who got himself out of hospital the next day to take a flight down to the Aztecs in Central America.
Message: Posted by: rowdymagi5 (Jan 22, 2008 08:02AM)
Don't worry, all will be okay. This is something that is more common than you think! Our prayers are with you!
Message: Posted by: RobertBloor (Jan 22, 2008 04:31PM)
So today is the 22nd. Hoping your procedure went off well.

My dad had a stone once years ago. Was able to pass it but I tell you, I've never seen a grown man wallow in so much pain before.

Really hope they blast that sucker to smithereens!

Message: Posted by: ClintonMagus (Jan 22, 2008 04:38PM)
Words of encouragement:

"Minor surgery is surgery that's done on someone else!"

I hope everything went well. My dad had 28 of those buggers, until the doctor figured out what was causing them and gave him some medicine to neutralize everything. No problems after that, but he said if having a baby was any worse, then he pitied all the moms out there...
Message: Posted by: Mark Rough (Jan 22, 2008 05:11PM)

Just checking on you. I know you're probably out cold on the couch at the moment, drooling on the pillow while reruns of Law and Order go on the TV. Wanted you know I'm thinking about you. You're on the downhill side!

Message: Posted by: Justin Style (Jan 23, 2008 10:08AM)
Thank you all so much. I can't tell you how much your kind thoughts and nice words mean to me. It's people like you that define the true meaning of the Magic Cafť! I'm glad to know you are there and I hope I can be there for you in return.

Well, I made it through and am happy to say they got the whole stone on the first try. At first they told me they might have to get in two attempts, because it was so big.

I checked in at 7 30AM and went into the O.R. at 9:45. I thought about you guys and those who were thinking about me. They put the mask over my mouth and nose, I said a quick prayer and drifted off. Next thing I knew it was 12:30. I rested for about two hours and they let me go home. I will say that I felt like I was totally out of it and slept as soon as I got home. I didn't feel like eating anything and just slept through the night. I mean except for waking up every hour to try to meet my goal of p**ing 2 - liters per day.

Other than that, I feel really sore in my throat, like I got a karate chop. I think that's from the tube they stuck down my throat? I can barely swallow it's so sore.

Today, I'm supposed to take it easy and not do any work. Hopefully in a few days I'll be feeling back to my good ol self. The next step is to go back on the 29th and have the stent removed.

Again, [b]THANK YOU![/b]
Message: Posted by: Dr_Ficino (Jan 24, 2008 05:58PM)
Hey mate,

glad everything went well for you. I did a 2 month stint in urology (i.e. the medicine field which deals with kidney stones et al) - spent most of my time trying to get people to drink enough, so they'd pee enough so we could get them home. Having the stent out is no big deal though - so after the (agony) of stone pain you should have no problems.

Sounds like you had a GA (general anaesthetic - i.e. they put you to sleep) - yeah your throat will hurt! Just talk to anyone who sticks things down their throat professionally! Hu-hum.

Anyways - take it easy ;)

Message: Posted by: Justin Style (Jan 25, 2008 10:09AM)
Hi Dr. Thanks for the info! Boy, are you right, my throat is killing me and it's hard to swallow. I feel like Iíve been karate chopped in the throat and then choked, I even have a fat lip??? The most painful part of the whole experience is this pain in my throat. I guess thatís a good thing, though?

I still am cringing over the thought of having the stent removed while Iím awake. AS much as I want it out, I dread the thought of the processÖ

Over all, I have no complaints. I am thankful to all the people at the V.A. who helped me and to all of you who wished me well. With kindness like that I barely need the painkillers!

Thanks again Ė

Justin Style
Message: Posted by: Al Kazam the Magic Man (Jan 29, 2008 02:50AM)
Hey Justin,

I had my gall bladder removed a few months back. I had two procedures where they put big tubes with cameras down my throat to see what was happening, and remove gall stones. In the end I got mouth ulcers, not sure how, but maybe from too much anti-biotics. Just wanted to mention that in case you have the same thing. I was in a lot of pain not being able to swallow. If you can take a look down your throat and see small ulcers, then that's what may have happened. I got some medicine that I had to gargle 3 times a day and after 3 days I was fine.

Good luck,

Message: Posted by: Justin Style (Feb 1, 2008 12:57PM)
Hey JoJo, thanks for the nice thoughts, I appreciate it!

Well, I'm glad to report that everything is over and done with!!! I had the stent removed, taken out actually, and now I feel like a new(er) man...lol

What an experience! The stent procedure was very scary for me. Being awake was not what I thought I'd have to endure. The whole thing took less than three minutes but seemed like an enternity! I was shaken and sweating like mad. After the doctor took it out I got a good look and was amazed at how long it was - a1lmost 13".

Now, my goals in life have changed a little. My new priority is passing two to three liters of urine a day! Well, gotta go...

Thanks again to everybody who wished me well!
Message: Posted by: Chrystal (Feb 2, 2008 02:49AM)
Hi Justin,

I'm a bit late in wishing you well, but glad your surgery went fine and that you're on the road to recovery.

Best wishes to you!

Message: Posted by: JRob (Mar 6, 2008 01:09AM)
I have passes two stones the old fashoined way and wish they had given me enough warning for me to get the surgery. Glad you made it okay. continueprayers for your recovery
Message: Posted by: Justin Style (Mar 6, 2008 11:41AM)
Hi thanks for the nice thoughts, I appreciate them!

Funny, you should post today! I just was about to make an update!

I came back from the doctor yesterday and was told that my stone was made of [i][b]Calcium Oxalate[/b][/i]. So now I am going to do some research on line to find out what foods I need to avoid. My doctor says I am going to be surprised as to how many foods have high levels of Oxalate!

I didn't check yet, I hope to have a little free time this afternoon. I'll let you know what I find.

In the meantime. Keep drinking water (with lemon) and make sure you pass at least 2 - 3 liters of urine per day!

Other than that, I feel great and already have 200 miles on the rollers since they took the stent out!
Message: Posted by: Tom Fenton (Mar 8, 2008 03:30PM)
Great to hear that your recovery is going well, long may it continue.

Message: Posted by: Lord Anacho (Mar 11, 2008 03:12PM)
On a side line to all this.

Reading such posts always reminds me I must be thankful for living where I live. For very little money, you can have full medical coverage here. We are heavily taxed, true, but when I need to be in a hospital anything my health insurance doesn't cover is covered by an extra insurance through my employer. All this for some 130 euro a year. (that would be some 200 dollars)

Now that my father is in intensive care and prospects are very bleak indeed, it is somewhat comforting to know that the emotional trouble for my mom will not be aggravated by financial worries.

Better rich and healthy than sick and poor eh? (Not that I am rich, not by any stretch of the imagination)

Ciao for now

Message: Posted by: Justin Style (Mar 12, 2008 09:20AM)
Ciao Erik -

Thanks. Health is the most important thing, no doubt. I will pray for your dad, his doctors and your mom. I hope all works out for the best!