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“A small snag inside the human body can create a big mess”. This one-liner has a colossal meaning. The importance of health fitness is so underestimated in these busy working days that we forget to follow a healthy diet. But this minor mistake can lead to chronic illness which is inexorable.
I recently underwent a surgery for kidney stone, and I felt a need to share the painful experience.
Kidney stone, also known as nephrolithiasis, is a hard deposit of minerals and acid salts that combine together in concentrated urine. Generally, kidney stones are composed of calcium oxalate, calcium phosphate, struvite and uric acid. Small kidney stones of size less than 6mm can be passed with medications and do not require surgery unless and until it causes swelling or infection. In case of swelling or infection and larger stones, it needs to be removed immediately by ureteroscopy and LASER.
The symptoms of a kidney stone can be pain along the side and back, below the ribs. It may circulate through the groin area as the stone moves down the urinary tract. You may feel nausea and vomiting. The larger stones may pain more than the smaller ones. But sometimes the severity of the pain is irrespective of the size of the stone. Generally, the stones pain when they pass through the ureter and while passing through the urethra, you might notice blood in the urine. The pain can be unbearable and constant.
Taking into consideration my case, I had severe and constant pain in the back and side, below my ribs. I had vomiting and nausea that lasted for two days. I had sonography the next day, which reported right lower ureteric calculus of size 7.9mm with mild right hydronephrosis. I immediately had a blood and urine test which showed a defective Leucocyte count of a range 20100/cmm. The normal healthy range is 4000 – 11000/cmm. This made the case severe, and I immediately consulted a Urologist. Under his supervision, a plain CT of abdomen and pelvis was performed to understand the details of the stone. According to it, a calculus of size 5mm was seen in the lower right ureter, and a mild fat stranding was seen surrounding the right ureter at the level of the calculus. I again had a blood test to check CBC(complete blood count). The Leucocyte count was up to 16400/cmm, which was still more than the normal range. Though the stone size being as small as 5mm, I needed to have surgery because of the swelling and infection.
On the day of surgery, I was given a dose of TT injection. I was into the operation theatre from around 9 am – 10 am. I didn’t feel anything after I was anaesthetized. But I remember shivering inside, to which the doctors and nurses immediately responded and were very comfortable. I was asked to have complete bed rest for one day. I wasn’t allowed to drink water for 6-7 hours after the surgery. A catheter was inserted to allow the urine to drain freely. I was put on an I.V.(intravenous) therapy to rehydrate and also to inject antibiotics and other medications for six days. After these doses, I again had a blood test to check the CBC. The Leucocyte count this time was 10500/cmm which was normal. I was given oral medications for completion of the course. However, a stent was inserted into the ureter to prevent blockage of the flow of urine from the kidney to the bladder. The urologist has recommended removal of the stent in a month.
Finally, the stone is removed successfully, and the pain is over. But kidney stone is a chronic illness and can reoccur, and so, it is very important to be careful to prevent them. I am advised to avoid calcium oxalate, uric acid-rich eatables like tomato, spinach, leafy vegetables, chocolates, tea/coffee, cheese, paneer, non-veg items. Cauliflower, mushroom and brinjal contain high amounts of uric acid, and hence less consumption of such foods is highly recommended. I am asked to consume more carrots, bitter gourd, banana, pineapple juice, barley, oats and almonds, which helps to prevent kidney stones. Along with food habits, drinking 5 litres of water a day is highly recommended. Due to less consumption of water daily, the minerals solidify and form stones. Drinking adequate amounts of water can prevent kidney stones and keep one healthy.
Due to the insertion of a stent, I feel some back pain at times and frequent urge to urinate. This might differ from person to person. Every experience is a lesson. And health must be the first priority is the moral of it. A good amount of time was squandered. The level of mental stress and pain involved is unforgettable. All this worries just because of an unhealthy diet and less consumption of water. It is very important to take care of health and understand the severity of some chronic diseases.
I hope that when you read this article, you feel the extremity of the pain and want to avoid it. I want you to have a painless, healthy and happy life. A healthy body is an achievement. It is a reward in itself. The way we would feed our body, the same way it will respond back. As we grow old, it is very important to take care of the food we intake. It might not seem dangerous while we consume it, but with time the problem can be worse. I was perfectly fine for a moment, and the next moment I was full of unbearable pain. Everything happened suddenly, and I had no idea what’s wrong with me. I am so lucky to be at home in this crucial time. It would have been quite difficult to handle everything alone with a lockdown going on, and coronavirus spread at its peak. Such sudden jerks harm mental health too.
This is not an article to threaten a happy soul like you, but it is a small effort to keep that happy soul always healthy.
I wish you good days!!!
Featured Image Credits: Wikimedia