Kidney Stones – the rest of the story

This is the post where you find out how the Kidney stone saga ends.  I’m sorry to keep you hanging for so long.  If you aren’t following this continuing drama then go ahead and move along, nothing to see here.

When last we left our hero….oh wait, that’s not it…

Oh yea,  We left the ER for the second time and hoped that darn stone would pass quickly.  They’d told us that the stone was 4 mm and it would take between 2 and 30 days to pass.  (If it had been 5mm or larger they would have been able to go in and break it up,  remember this little factoid)  For the next 3 weeks there was almost no pain but he was on edge thinking about it and anticipating its ugly return.  The Dr. told us that they ureter, (The tube between the kidney and the bladder), which is between 3 – 4 mm in diameter, makes a couple of bends as it enters the bladder and that is when/where the pain would probably happen again.

Then on a Sunday morning, three weeks to the day after the first visit.  Mr Pain reared its ugly head again…Off to the ER we went for the THIRD time.  Morphine was the goal for this visit and after rehearsing the story to the staff (some of which were there the first time and couldn’t believe he hadn’t passed it yet) they obliged.  After a couple of hours we were sent home again with pain and nausea meds and the suggestion that we call the Urologist to set up an appointment.

Really long Side note about the prescriptions:

We went home with prescriptions for pain and nausea.  The anti-nausea medication comes in a pill form and a quick-dissolve tablet that you put under  your tongue.  This is significant because if you are nauseated the pill form doesn’t stay down very well and if it doesn’t stay down it can’t do it’s job.

I went to the local Walgreens because it was open 24 hours and they informed us that our insurance didn’t cover the quick-dissolve version of the medication.  So our only option was to pay cash for that one.  Turns out the cash price for the generic version was $116 for 15 pills.  Well that was a deal-breaker, we just don’t have that extra in our budget so we went home and hoped for the best.

That evening I remembered an article that I had read about an experiment someone had done about price differences for prescription medications, it turns out the variations in price from one pharmacy to another were significant.  I also remembered that Costco was one of the better ones so I gave them a call the next morning.  Are you ready for this?  For 15 of that very same medication that Walgreens had quoted $116 for, at Costco they were $16.  That is huge.  For us that is the difference between getting the medication and not getting it.  What’s even better….You don’t have to be a member of Costco to use their pharmacy.  If you are you get an extra discount.  Guess who will be getting my pharmacy business from now on?

We met with the Urologist on Tuesday afternoon and he was surprised that it hadn’t passed.  Since it wasn’t coming out, the decision was made to just “Go in and get it’ (Use your imagination here)  He got on the surgical schedule for Friday.  We didn’t know what time it would be but they said they’d call us that morning and tell us when to come in.  It’s a general anesthesia procedure so you can’t eat or drink anything  after midnight.  The call came and they said to come in at 1pm.

So in we go at 1pm and they start all the preliminary stuff;

  • hospital bracelet (amassing quite a collection at this point)
  • height
  • weight
  • blood work
  • urine sample………Urine sample? that would have been nice to know considering he hasn’t had a drop to drink in the last 13 hours, and emptied his bladder like we all do every morning.  Nope ain’t happening.

Long story short a little shorter, there is an emergency that pushes us back to about 5pm.  Procedure takes about 40 minutes .  All is well  and this is what we have to show for it….Drum roll please…..

6mm Kidney stone

A brand new baby kidney stone.  Now if you’ve followed this saga you might remember that they told us that it was a 4mm stone.  Take another look at the photo and tell me if the radiologist needs a new ruler.

6mm kidney stone with ruler

I think “YES”  That baby is a good solid 6mm stone.  But it’s out now, Hooray!

We are so happy to move on from that very expensive month of our lives.  Thanks for listening.

Now back to your regularly scheduled preparedness programming….



  1. Christene says:

    So glad it has passed and he is feeling better! Give him our best.

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