Setting the Record Straight and a Lot of Whining

I’ve given birth twice. I’ve passed kidney stones twice. I’ve had surgery to remove kidney stones twice. The question is, what hurts more – child birth or kidney stones?

I’d have to say intense labor without drugs is the worst pain I’ve experienced. The pain of the contractions is like no other. Sorry, boys.

However, I can definitely see how someone who has never given birth would say that passing a kidney stone is the worst pain they have ever experienced. In my situation, I was aching from my chest to my legs, all the way around my body. There were waves of stabbing pain in the center of my abdomen (between my rib cages), and about every 30 seconds it felt like I was being cut in half at hip level. Both times I passed stones, this went on for about an hour and a half.

To avoid that kind of pain, I’ve opted to have surgery to remove stones on two different occasions. Unfortunately, the recovery has involved having a ureter stent placed each time. The pain associated with having this piece of plastic inside my body has been just as miserable as trying to pass stones on my own. There is no comfortable position, and drugs like Lortab and Percocet have provided little to no relief. It just feels like a constant stabbing from kidney to bladder. And peeing causes bladder spasms, making it all a thousand times worse. I am serious when I say I would welcome being placed in a medically induced coma until the stent can be removed (Saturday at noon, in case you were wondering). Until then, I will have to settle for Percocet-induced drowsiness to help me sleep through the next 30 hours of my life. Thank goodness my kids are being well taken care of by my superhero husband and my saintly mom and mom-in-law. I couldn’t get through this without them.

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