My Story

How it all started
Back in 2010 at the age of 30, I had my very first experience with Kidney Stones. I’ll never forget the night it all happened.

In my early to late 20’s, I was living the “invincible” lifestyle where I thought I could eat any type of fast food, or drink as much pop and alcohol as I wanted to without suffering any consequences.

Was I ever wrong.

Something wasn’t right
It was an early Friday morning around 2 am, and something had woken me from my sleep. It was a mild pain on my lower right side between my stomach and back. At first, I thought it might have been indigestion or that I had to use the bathroom.

So I proceeded to do my business, but afterwards there was no relief and the pain kept on increasing. After multiple tries with little to no result, I thought I would just go back to sleep and see how I felt when I woke up. However, the pain started to become incredibly excruciating no matter what position I slept in that I thought I needed to go to the emergency room. Fortunately at the time, I was living with a very good friend of mine.

It was about 3:30 am and I had proceeded to knock on his door to ask him if he could take me to the hospital. His first thought was the same as mine – that maybe it’s just a stomach ache and I should use the bathroom. But the pain was so unbearable, I couldn’t stand up straight or let go of the area which was causing the most pain.

To the hospital we went.

Off to the Emergency Room!
On the way there, reading street signs and business names seemed to distract me for awhile, but the pain never stopped and it increasingly kept getting worse. After several red lights, we finally made it to the hospital.

Inside the emergency room waiting area, there were 3 people ahead of me waiting to get signed in. Normally this wouldn’t be a problem, but at this point the pain was so unbearable that I had to sit down, leaning forward while clutching the sides of my stomach. After about 30 minutes, it was my turn to go through the sign-in process and then head over to the next waiting area to see the emergency room doctor. They ran some preliminary tests and cat scans, and proceeded to diagnose me with Kidney Stones.

Great, now what?
Turns out I had to go in for surgery, but it was still around 5 am at this point, and there were no surgical doctors on hand. After a couple of hours, a doctor finally came in to see me informing me that I would be going in for surgery that very day. At this point, the pain had come down a little, but it was still painful nonetheless. They assigned me to a room where I awaited my turn for surgery.

Surgery Time
12 pm had arrived and it was time to head in to surgery. After being placed on the operating table, I had an I.V inserted into my arm and an anesthesia gas mask placed over my face. I was told to count to 100, but I think I only made it to 7 before I passed out.

I woke up later in my hospital room with a burning pain in my lower region. The doctor came to see me and told me that the surgery was unsuccessful. Apparently, I had 3 stones that were lodged in an area of my kidney they couldn’t get to. He had mentioned that they were able to move it slightly and there was a possibility that I could expel it through my urine. I was then sent home, with a pack of cone filters to catch the stone during urination. I was scheduled to go in for another scan the following month.

During that time, there was a lot of blood in my urine due to the surgery. I was told this was normal and that within 1-2 weeks, the bleeding would stop. So eventually, 3 weeks passed and I still didn’t pass my stones. What was worse was that there was still blood in my urine, which eventually caused a Urinary Tract Infection (UTI).

Emergency Room Part 2
Well, the UTI caused a blockage so I had to go to the emergency room yet again. After about 2 hours in the emergency waiting room, I was finally able to see a nurse who was able to use a medical procedure that I won’t share to help empty my bladder. I had another cat scan shortly after, showing that the kidney stones were still present. After that, I was supposed to be assigned to a room, but there were none available so I spent the night in the hallway, awaiting my second surgery the next morning.

Surgery Part 2
Morning had arrived and I was feeling a bit nervous, hoping that the second round of surgery would be a success. I had my fingers crossed as I was being taken to that familiar surgery room again. The procedure was similar to the first time where I was given instructions to count down and pass out. I awoke a few hours later, waiting anxiously for the doctor to give me the news. He walked in with a big smile on his face, and told me that the surgery was a success. What a relief!

Next Steps and a New Diet
After the good news, the doctor had recommended me to see a nutritionist to alter my diet so that I can reduce the chances of this happening ever again. I was more than happy to do so.

I was given instructions to drink A LOT of water to stay hydrated and flush out toxins in my system, preventing stones from forming again. Other recommendations were to reduce my sodium and sugar intake, which I complied with happily after enduring through this entire ordeal.

The End?
This experience changed my life. It brought me face to face with my own mortality and made me realize that we can’t just take things for granted. They say we are what we eat, and if my eating habits before were the cause of such enormous pain and misery in my life, I am much happier now, especially since I started taking better care of my body and am feeling stronger every day as a result of it. This is not the end, but only the beginning of a journey to live a better and healthier lifestyle. It was definitely a wake up call and I wanted to share this story in hopes that others can avoid having to go through an experience like this.

We live in an amazing time where information is easily accessible and can be shared with the click of a button. With a great team supporting me, I want to combine my experience, knowledge, and craft (web developer) with the necessary tools available to reach my goal of helping others stay healthy–using great natural home remedies–and sharing it with the world.

Thanks for taking the time to read my story! Visit often, and I’ll be hard at work trying to help people change for the better one click at a time.

Brian Ritchie