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Wednesday, July 23, 2014
I have had kidney stones in the past. Since I discontinued dark colored sodas, coffee, and milk, the stones have not returned. Once I was working hard outside in the heat, and was sweating badly. I drank milk that day and BAM! a stone! I can usually drink a cup or 2 of coffee, and a glass of milk if I am not hot, and no stones will occur (I love milk and coffee). It is always only my left kidney that gives me problems. Since I could not afford my medical insurance any longer, it was cancelled and I am very concerned about my health care at 54. Every time I had a stone in the past it would take stents, surgery once, and twice, the need for the doctor to actually go up into the tube and blast the stone out. They found that the urethra tube had a sharp bend in it and the stone would always stop at that bend. The last time they removed it, it was in the tube so long that it embedded into the wall, and the doctor burned a hole into the urethra tube that was very painful after surgery and painful during the healing. I still have pain their at times. I do not drink much milk at all and have stopped drinking coffee. If the pain I`m having would get severe, it would be unbearable, and the stone will not pass because of the sharp bend in my urethra tube. The last time was so bad and lasted so long that I developed post trauma, depression, and paranoia that lasted for months after. (I had health insurance) I now have kidney pain in the left kidney at times, and am afraid that the hospital will send me home with pain medication. I have had so much pain medication that I have a resistance to it and doctors will not believe me and give me dilated for pain. Please help me and tell me what I can do. I am so concerned about the pain that may begin and no health insurance so see me through this time. I am a realtor and this market has caused me to not be able to pay a $1,800.00 health insurance bill per month. I was told that if I could afford to renew the insurance, the stones would not be covered. Please help me. I`ve tried the County, and asked the health department what there might be for me. They could not help. My doctor reduces his fee to see me, but I can not afford tests. Is there anything out there that I can do? Please help me. I know the hospital will not admit me. On the last stone, the hospital sent me home with pain killers because they thought my health insurance did not cover me. I pleaded with them, but they would not listen. I went to another hospital, and they saw that my insurance did cover me and then admitted me. It was 4:00 AM! It took 4 weeks to recover. The guard outside stopped and talked to me and could not believe I was waiting for a ride and in so much pain. The doctor this was not new to him. He just walked into the room and said "your insurance will not cover this and I am sending you home". I told him about the bend but he was not interested. That experience was very painful and scary. Sorry for the long letter, but I am desperate. Please help me.
The type of stone you have must include oxalate, which is contained in coffee and colas, and you were wise to discontinue drinking them. Keeping up your fluid intake will keep your urine very dilute and will help to prevent stone formation.
We see that you have some problems with health insurance. Listed below are two sources that may help you find the care you need:
-The US Department of Health and Human Services Bureau of Primary Health Care has a directory that will help you find a clinic that will give you medical, including dental care, even if you have no medical insurance or money.
-Coverage For All.org also contains information about free medical care and programs in your area.
NetWellness does contain some general information about kidney stones and their treatment. Please see the list of links below for more information. Best wishes.
Mildred Lam, MD
Associate Professor of Medicine
School of Medicine
Case Western Reserve University