I had my 6th or 7th kidney stone a few weeks ago. I had the bulk of them in college when I still had undiagnosed Cushing's Disease, and these horribly painful tiny things were the missing piece of the puzzle, for me at least. Since college, I have gotten one every year or two, and after an ER visit and a day or two the painkillers can be stopped and life goes on. Except this time, the wonderful nurses and physician assistant realized that this has been going on for too long without an answer or help to minimize the risk of getting more.
I went BACK to MGH, my home away from home, to see a urologist today. She and her student/fellow (?) came in and asked me if I had any significant medical history. 20 minutes later and a full history behind us, they focused in on my parathyroid hormone, which has been elevated before, and I had assumed, which is not a great thing to do with a history like mine, that the endocrinologist who found that abnormal test, had re-tested after my calcium regimen and the problem was resolved. Of course, that never happened and a silly problem that could have easily been resolved via medication or very minimal surgery was now the probable cause of my many painful, awful kidney stones. Have you ever had them? Everyone assumes the most painful part is the exit from the body, but really, the worst part is when your kidney thinks it's in labor and contracts to get the sharp little thing out into the ureters, and once it's mostly through those, the worst part is over.
I had over half of the limit of blood drawn out of my body and put into 17 tubes, and off they went. This next month is going to be extra busy for me! EEG, sleep study results, urology follow up, endocrine and ENT coming up in the next few weeks!
I'm going to one of my favorite places this weekend for some cousin and beach time, then gearing up for a busy September.