6:15 am the other day had me back in the hospital for another kidney stone that decided to take a trip down the water slide.
My experience so far with them has been that they are not the agony that most people make them seem. They are more of a nagging pain that just doesn’t quit. In any event, they still suck and I don’t like them.
Now, while you’re in the emergency room (if you decide to go or instead be a big man and try to tough it out) they will give you one or more happy meds that dull or eliminate the discomfort/pain.
The first one they start with is Toradol.
Toradol is like the injectable equivalent of 800 mg of Motrin or some other NSAID. It works. But for me I found that it only worked for about an hour. Then the pain started creeping back up the “perceived pain” ladder; moving from 1 to 4.
When the Toradol starts to feel like it is wearing off, they then tell you they’ve got an even better drug but it comes with a condition. That condition is that you’re not allowed to drive yourself home; you have to have someone come pick you up.
For me, that’s a problem, because first I live alone, and second, all my family is 30 minutes away from me and probably working or in school or something else.
But fuck it I want the more powerful stuff because the Toradol has worn off.
So the super drug they are referring to is Dilaudid, also known as [http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hydromorphone]. If you thought the Toradol was a fun ride, wait till they hit you with the Dilaudid.
After my release from the hospital, I went to Wikipedia to research both of them, and Dilaudid is basically an alternative to morphine. It was developed shortly after heroin was removed from clinical use.
Vicodin, which is often prescribed for outpatient pain treatment, is partially converted to hydromorphone in your liver. I’ve never had to use the Vicodin I’ve been prescribed, but I can imagine what it feels like.
Anyways, the Dilaudid hits you about 5 to 10 seconds after they put it in the IV. First side effect is a pleasant dizzyness. Then, all the pain goes away, and your breathing slows down to a very “comfortable” pace. If you had a stuffy nose, it’s gone, and you tend to just easily breath.
Next, you’re probably tired from stressing over the kidney stone, so the Dilaudid makes you realize that you’re suddenly tired (and probably contributes to your tiredness in a way) so the next thing you want to do is go to sleep…which you can…because the pain is gone and you’re happily dizzy.
The good news about the Dilaudid is that the effects last about 3 to 4 hours (for me) but afterwards, it’s back to pain if the stone hasn’t passed yet.
As you come down off the drugs they gave you, you’re likely to feel semi-nauseous for the rest of the day. Well, the nauseousness is probably a combination of things (the stress, pain, damage to urinary tract, lack of sleep, drugs, lack of food, etc) but write off the rest of the day.
For me, I just crashed at the fam’s house for the night and the next morning was feeling like myself again.
I was advised to see a urologist, and I will. They have procedures called Lithotripsy’s which use shockwaves to break up stones that still reside in the kidneys. Bad news is that there are risks from the procedure. I guess the urologist would know more.
That was my exciting weekend though