Let’s start with some boring basic anatomy stuff:
Basically, your kidneys remove excess waste products and fluids from your body through urine. They also do a lot of other amazing things, but that’s a science lecture for another time. You can read about kidneys and their function here. Urine descends through the ureters, to the bladder, and then into the toilet (hopefully).
Anyway, when excess salts and minerals are not excreted as planned, they can crystallize to form kidney stones. These stones try to pass through the ureter with the urine, but oftentimes are too large.
So why are they a bitch?
(Warning note: I’m not trying to whine or complain here, just wanted those of you who don’t know what they are to be informed of how lucky you are. And to be aware that they could be coming for you.)
Size and Kind
And I don’t get the ‘easy’ kidney stones either – well, those don’t exist anyway. I get the jagged, huge, incurable ones. They don’t brake up, they don’t dissolve. There isn’t medicine I can take that will keep them from forming for good. They get just large enough to agonizingly scrape slowly down the ureter, causing me to piss blood and scream like a lunatic.
Or, they get too large to pass and cause an inevitable surgery. I’ve had four surgeries, my largest stone was 2.4 CENTIMETERS, 17 mm x 24 mm (you can pass them up to 6mm on your own). I hold the record at my urologist’s office for my age. I can’t even count the number of these small ones I pass.
Oh, I’ve heard it rated up there with just as bad as giving birth without an epidural. Now, I haven’t had kids yet, so I can’t compare, but I’ve seen the screaming in real life in the Labor and Delivery unit during clinical. I’ve screamed like that. So hard and loud you’re dry heaving bile and stomach acids. Super fun stuff.
The best I can compare it to is thousands of knives being stabbed and twisted into your back, side, and vagina – simultaneously and unending.
Or, like a rhino ramming into your back from behind..
They come with minimal warning, and other reasons they suck.
: One minute you’ll be driving to the store, jamming to your favorite tune – and the next you’ll be a screaming, writhing mess. Or hey, how about my college GRADUATION? My prom? Yes, my kidneys HATE ME.
: You’ll think you passed it, but nope- it was just a fragment – there’s more bastards still in there.
: Yes, water’s great – but you get so sick of drinking it allllllllllll day and night, and having 15 trips to the bathroom
: Surgeries and ER visits are expensive
: Stents, infections, and painful urination following kidney stones suck too.
: They could get you fired from your job…
So, that pretty much sums up why kidney stones are a bitch. I’m just glad I don’t have a penis for the extra few inches it has to travel down! Feel free to add your experiences or other reasons!