Kidney stones now hitting more teens

We spent Christmas Day 2011 in the hospital with our youngest son. The ordeal started out with excruciating pain. When M pointed out where his pain was coming from, I had a bad feeling it would be kidney stones. I knew. Because years ago, I also had the same pain. In that same area. I felt so helpless seeing him writhing in pain in the emergency room, knowing exactly what kind of pain he was going through. I wouldn’t wish it on my enemy.

Hospital personnel who attended to my son often had the same reaction upon finding out he was just a teen. “Ang bata pa!” (“So young!”). And I would agree because during my time, only people past their prime and approaching senior years were diagnosed with kidney stones.

To make the long story short, M had a stent placed inside him for months. His physical activities in school were cut down to barest minimum. We had to finish his graduation and summer classes before going for a procedure called Extracorporeal Shock Wave Lithotripsy (ESWL) which used sound waves to blast the stones lodged in his ureter. A month later, he underwent another ESWL – this time to target the 2 stones in his kidney.


(photo courtesy of Kidney Stone 911)

Continue reading

If you liked this post, here are ways to share:

My 2008 Thanksgiving Day

No, I don’t celebrate Thanksgiving Day the way it is done in the West.

But on the eve of Thanksgiving a few days ago, I had some things I had to be thankful for and gratitude always needs to be expressed.

In 2007, I found out that I had a kidney stone 1cm in diameter. It was lodged at the entrance of my ureter, too large to be flushed, too lodged to be pushed back into the kidney. During an operating room procedure where they inserted a camera into me, the doctors also found my ureter was crooked so putting a stent in was also impossible. The only solution was to blast the stone near the ureter — a 75% chance of success compared to over 90% if blasting was done to the stone in the kidney.

A post-operative ultrasound showed that the stone was blasted to smithereens but fragments were left in the kidney. Flushing had to be done so they do not start more stone formations. I was drinking up to 2 liters of water in the office daily.

This week, I visited my urologist again with some concerns. A follow-up ultrasound last January 2008 showed a tiny calcified cyst . My blood test also showed that the iron stored in my body was twice the normal range. My late dad had an uncommon blood disorder called thalassemia and I had myself tested for it with results coming out this week. Thalassemia shows up like anemia but thalassemic people cannot eliminate iron from the body. Iron overload, if not corrected, leads to heart and liver damage.  

To top it all, my yoga has been erratic so there went a great detox mechanism.

But after a repeat ultrasound ordered by my urologist, I received great news:

1. For some unknown reason, the calcified cyst could no longer be found;

2. Our family doctor who is an internist assured me that the high ferritin levels were of no concern now although I need to give him my screening results for thalassemia; and,

3. My urologist also cleared me of kidney stones (at least for now) and told me I just need an ultrasound every 6 months as preventive measure.


This episode reminds me again to look after my health first — this in the midst of the holiday stress and yearend work and systems implementation work that keep me so busy that yoga is now self-yoga. In the end, good health matters more than anything. And yes, I need to get back to my regular yoga routine — SOON!

If you liked this post, here are ways to share: