"You’ve tricked me.” The nice young ER doctor said smilingly. “It is a kidney stone that travels like this in your body to the current UV junction.” The doctor gestured a diagonal line from a kidney to the left lower abdomen.
I felt a bit relieved at the conclusion from the CT scan, that it was a 6mm stone dropping from the left kidney that caused the acute pain and the vomit. Pain was gone by the time the high dosage pain-killer had been inside the body for an hour or so. Tired and dazed with sleep, I was home 2 am in the morning of 02/25/2019.
However, my second ER experience on 02/27/2019 wasn’t that lucky. Wednesday evening’s ER was much more crowded. Though nobody looked as painful as I did, I was left unattended in the check-in lounge groaning for almost two hours before being admitted. Then a nonchalant young doctor saw me, without much enthusiasm, without much advice, a bit inexperienced to me too. He followed the first ER doctor’s medication, and instead of another CT scan, which was unnecessary, I had an X-ray. But the X-ray could not detect the stone. I was released around 10:20 pm at the night, being told that I would have to take the pain-killer Toradol every six hours around the clock for the next five days.
When Thursday came, the first thing I did in the morning was to call and make an appointment with a urologist, but the referred urologist wouldn’t be available until March 8. Worrying about the coming weekend, I decided to go with any doctor available in the group. So, Friday morning I found myself talking to a very young specialist who started practicing since 2018. She suggested surgery and had it scheduled in advance if by the time the stone still would not pass on by itself. She dismissed the ER doctor’s around-the-clock pain killer advice, but to take it as needed. A white-color strainer was given to me upon my leave.
I started to drink water like a cow in the weekend and hoped that the stone would pass on. However, much to my disappointment, large quantity of water resulted in frequent pees, with no anticipated small stone filtered out in the strainer.
Then came Monday. I called my family doctor, asking specifically for a urologist in the network, who was referred by the first ER doctor, for a second opinion. Then I frequented the company kitchen for more water, squeezing fresh lemon to it as suggested online and a friend who left a comment in my blog. Then something happened. A brownish small stone was spotted at the bottom of a toilet when I went to restroom. Before I could take a closer look, it was flushed away automatically. I stared at the clean toilet, empty and void of anything. Within minutes, I started to question myself. Was it really a kidney stone I saw?
The doctor I saw the very next day on Tuesday obviously looked more experienced and confident. By the time I saw him, I did so much homework by myself that I know a 6mm kidney stone has about fifty percentage chance of passing on by itself. Stones smaller than 5-6mm have much higher possibility. What I didn't know or what the three doctors did not tell me is that a 6mm kidney stone diagnosed by a CT scan could be 4-5mm in reality. Hearing this from the last doctor I saw, who said with an affirmative expression, I was led to believe that the little stone I saw the day before must be it, as pain did not afflict me again ever since.