Kidney Stones:Size Matters

Kidney stone size matters.

I’ve gotten a kick out of some of the responses to my post on delivering a kidney stone. The experiences are varied, terrible, and, we all agree, painful. All of us who were caught unexpectedly the first time dread the possibility that another of these prickly little chemical pests will reoccur. People have written to tell me they’ve postponed travel, re-scheduled important events and made exit plans if confronted with a reoccurrence while at work.

But one of the small chuckles I get–and believe me there’s not much about these painful accretions to laugh about–is the attention to size. Size matters. Apparently, a six centimeter stone is too large for most of us to pass. Beyond this measure and it’s likely a laser procedure will be required. That’s not exactly a walk in the park either.

What brings a smile is the willingness of my compatriots in pain to share the size of these things in emails. “My stone was 5 centimeters, what was yours?” After mine was fragmented by a laser the largest piece was 3 centimeters, by the way.

I know I’ll be going through this again as another was identified with the one that I recently passed. I don’t look forward to it, but I know a day of reckoning will come. So, to all who have written, I say, “Thanks.” I hope you are recovering and your life will soon get back to normal. And, believe me, I feel your pain.

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