I bent over to lift the Bagco bag filled with foodstuff.
Those alabaru women were nowhere to be found. As soon as I picked up the bag, I felt a dull pain in my belly button, it did not stop there. It went on with a pulling effect to my lower back and rested there. I remained in the curved position till the pain subsided. The wave was quite excruciating.
I got some ‘over the counter’ analgesics and antacids in a bid to prevent another bout of pain.
“I hope its not another this toilet disease”.
I have treated that thing three times this quarter; my friend who was a medical student in his fourth year had asked me to get an antibiotic to treat it. It did but for a short while.
“You should just go to the hospital, what if its not what we think it is” my girlfriend had said.
“I’ll go after today’s lectures” I told her just so she could stop pestering me. I got all ‘dude’ about it and decided to wait a little longer. However, after a week of duding, the pain didn’t go away, it was worse.
I promised myself that I would go to the hospital to have it sorted out, but there was so much to do, assignments to submit, tests to study for, projects that were yet to be completed. The only time I remembered my promise was when the pain occurred.
I noticed my urine had grown darker and had a strange smell. The straw that broke the camel’s was handed to me the day I had the urge to empty my bowel, the fluid trickled and then I began to feel a sharp pain in my lower back. How do I explain to you the feeling of a blockage despite the looming rush of urine? Something had stopped the urine from flowing and it was sorely painful, tears rolled down my eyes.
I managed to get to the hospital where I met a long queue…
“choi, shey man no go die today?”
I was between standing and sitting, the pain kept shifting base, it however did not leave me and i had to maneuver my posture in a bid to get some form of relief. Three hours went by before my name was called. A nurse took my temperature, 104.3. She directed me to the consultation room where the doctor asked me several questions, some I thought were unnecessary and I almost screamed
“can’t you see I’m in pains?”
Sometime later, with an IV in my arm, orisirisi drugs in my system, and after they had performed an ultrasound of my belly, I was informed that all the pain was as a result of the presence of stones in my kidney. The pain that had brought me to the hospital was due to a small stone which had been trapped in my ureter.
A CT scan was performed for confirmation and the nephrologist who was rather worried explained that I had a kidney stone which was as big as a golf ball. This however was not the only problem, the stone was a staghorn stone and had several small stones surrounding it and ranged from the size of sand to that of a pea. Asides from this, since my body could not get rid of the stones, I had developed a serious infection around my kidney and blood.
I could not understand the news. I drank a lot of water, ate veggies, I followed all the health rules. How could this happen? Do I risk losing my kidney? Would I die of a kidney problem? Could the situation be remedied?
“So what do we do now?”
“Well, due to the infection, we can’t get out the stones. We need to drain the fluid around your kidney, then, give it some time to heal before we take any further step”.
I was hooked with three antibiotics for the infection in addition to some pain medication and when the surgeon and the urologist felt the kidney was good enough for manipulation, they came to my room and explained the available processes.
The stone was too big so they could not perform the Shockwave lithotripsy (sitting in a pool and breaking the stone up with ultrasonic sound), therefore the options available were Ureteroscopy and Laser Lithotripsy (going through the urinary tract with a tube and exploding the stone) or
Percutaneous Nephrolithotomy (making an incision through my back into my kidney and inserting a small tube/vacuum to break up the stones and suck up most of the pieces.)
It was not a easy decision to make, I was scared, I had never gone through a surgical procedure before. They assured me that the procedures were safe and I had nothing to worry about. Eventually,I went with Percutaneous Nephrolithotomy, the stone was so big, the urinary tract option could leave stones trapped along my urinary tract.
The surgery was carried out, I woke up to see a tube which was passed from my back to a bag, the contents of my kidney were filling the bag rapidly. Blood, urine and of course, the stones which settled at the base of the bag.
I smiled weakly.
The procedure was successful.
Its been four years since the surgery.
The risk of my right kidney losing its function is however high due to the infection it endured. I have since had to monitor my food and drink intake and even check the labels for anything that was not so kidney friendly.
I keep asking myself the question,
“If I had been to the hospital earlier, and not conclude I had a urinary tract infection, would the situation have expanded this much?”