Aug 11, 2007

On Kidney Stones, Opportunity Costs, and Merciful Doctors

I have been a sufferer of kidney stones since 1994, when I was hospitalized with my first excruciating encounter with this condition. Since that time I have had at least six additional bouts with Renal calculi, the most recent of which was last evening.

Fortunately, my latest experience was less painful than my worst stones, and I was reluctant to go to the hospital. Still, as anyone familiar with kidney stone pain can attest, I was in quite a bit of discomfort. My practical wife had a moment of utter brilliance:

"How about if I drive you up to the urgent care clinic?" she asked.

This was a much better plan than either: a) doubling over in pain every half-hour until the stone passed; or b) going to the emergency room, giving invitations for the physicians to run a bunch of tests to confirm what I already knew, and wasting 24 hours.

Thus we drove to the Toledo Clinic's urgent care facility on Secor Road and got immediate service. After my kidneys cooperated in providing him with a particularly burgundy-colored urine sample, this efficient doctor wrote me a prescription for a painkiller and I was home within 60 minutes, including the time it took for me to hit the local Rite Aid.

This was a win for everyone involved: I received much-needed pain medication, my insurance company received a much-smaller bill, and my wife received much-needed sleep, as she did not have to listen to me howl all night long.

Thanks, Doc!


Anonymous said...

I have shared your pain on many occasions myself. After a $5000 hospital visit and days off of work, I found something that helped me out and have not had the problem since I am kidney stone free for the last 5 years. I just take a natural supplement with my coffee or juice and that has helped me again I was getting these every 3 weeks, my kidneys look like someone dumped a salt shaker inside of it.

PS, RiteAid is a great company

Hooda Thunkit said...

Oooooooch, ouch, yikes!

I cannot really relate as I've not yet had the "pleasure."

And, I hope to die without having experienced it either.

historymike said...


Thanks for the tips. I, too, seem to produce kidney stones at a high rate, and I will have to make some dietary adjustments.

historymike said...


Yes, kidney stones can be quite the intense pain, but my last few have been moderate in nature. Maybe the passing of so many stones has widened my ureters.


Anonymous said...


A couple of important notes:

1. Not all insurance companies cover visits to urgent care centers. People should check their policies first.

2. My husband is a urologist and he rec'd drinking lots and lots of water. He says that August tends to be "stone month" because of the heat and people getting dehydrated. Somehow this facilitates the production of stones.

engineer of knowledge said...

Hello History Mike,
I too have suffered from several kidney stones but it has been years since my last one. I took an analytical engineering approach when the doctors could not tell me why I was getting them. I came to the conclusion that the more pure the water I was drinking the more pure water I would be passing. (I found out later that the water I was drinking at work had a 480 volt power line buried right next to the steel water pipe that supplied the water to the plant. The electromagnetic flux field being emitted from the power line was electro plating the steel into the water being supplied. I also have well water on the farm and ancient seashells from what had been sea floor “Limestone” was being dissolved into my drinking water. My kidney stones were made up of calcium and iron at different ratios on any given event.
I started drinking the gallon milk bottle types of distilled water that you can find on any grocery store shelve. I want to emphasize “Distilled” and not “Spring” water. I pay anywhere from $.58 per gallon from Wal-mart to $.78 per gallon from Food Lion. Of course I had to listen to the Rush Limbaugh dimwit drones that I was working with at the time on how I was paying more for water than gasoline. (Because that is what Limbaugh was blow harding at the time.) My reply was, “Where are you buying gas for $.78 per gallon?” Of course the reply was just a dull, blank stare. I have always found that once you get the Ditto Heads off script, they can’t generate an original thought for themselves.
Anyway, excuse the side track but the bottom line is since 1985 I was having a kidney stone every three years or less. I started drinking distilled water and I have not had a reoccurrence for over 11 years.
I hope this helps you out.