Kidney Stones

Short Story: In May of 2012, after a painful night in Peach Arch Emergency, I had a Laser Lithotripsy for Kidney Stones in the Left Kidney.  Once a year for the past 5 years, I have had follow-up scans (X-ray and CT) to monitor residual fragments that never passed.  In October 2016, another rather large stone was detected in the Right Kidney.  In November, I underwent Shock Wave Lithotripsy to address that stone.

Although these procedures broke up the stones, for some reason I wasn’t passing the larger of the remaining stones (~5mm).  I had at least one of that size in my Left Kidney and two in my Right.  Late February, one of the larger stones in my Right started to pass, but got lodged in the Ureter, causing a partial blockage.  This hurt..!!

Keeping the story short, over the next couple of weeks, I did manage to pass what appears to be all of the stones in both the right and left Kidneys (Feb 18 to Mar 9, 2017).  Before and after CT scans indicated this to be true (and of course, I collected them).

2017-02-18-2 kkoetter Kidney Stones.JPG
Feb 18/19 (possibly from Right Kidney)
2017-03-09 kkoetter Kidney Stone.JPG
Mar 9 (possibly from Left Kidney)

Speculation: Why is it that these stones suddenly decided it was time to come out..?  The only thing I can think of that was different is that I started to drink coffee again in mid-February.  Did the coffee act to dilate the Ureter..?  Hard to say.  There has been research to show that in about 15% to 20% of patients, coffee has had a positive impact on stone prevention.  But in my case, I already had the stones.  I can’t help but wonder if coffee had an impact on my developing stones in the first place.  It would have been at some point in 2010/2011 that I quite coffee cold turkey.  Was it coincidence that a year or so later, I start having stone problems?  At any rate, for now, I am stone free..!!


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