I passed my first kidney stone when I was 22. At the time, I was working at a medical spa offering massage and mineral make-up consults. I drank tons of coffee, sat at a desk most of my work day, and was using the excuse of ‘I’m hungry’, ‘I deserve it’, or ‘I’m bored’, to nibble on the donuts, treats and Birthday blobs of gooey goodness provided by the nurses daily in the break room. I was also processing through some old emotional issues, as I was in spiritual counseling. I was dealing with old mommy and daddy stuff that I hadn’t quite ‘resolved’. I looked up kidney stones in Louise Hay’s book ‘You Can Heal Your Life’, and she says these pieces of calcium and uric acid in the form of a little stone are ‘bits of un-dissolved and unprocessed anger’. Hmmm…. Interesting information. This was, in fact, true for me at the time.
The painful experience of feeling a kidney stone building in your kidney, the infection of the kidney and urinary tract that comes with the stone, and the actual passing of the stone is one that no one would ever want to repeat. I wouldn’t wish this kind of pain on anyone, not even my worst enemy. This is how my story goes…
I was with my friend Karen, playing with her little boy, and all of a sudden my lower back started to ache. I had just treated and recovered from what I thought was a Urinary Tract Infection, and thought ‘Oh darn, my UTI is back’. But then, it burned SUPER bad to pee, worse than any sensation I felt while urinating with the UTI. It stung so bad it brought tears to my eyes. I went and sat down in a comfy chair, trying to get my back in some sort of comfortable position. No avail. It was futile. The level of pain was growing, rapidly, and I could feel it moving into my side. It felt like something with ripping me open. As the pain kept building and building I finally got to the point where I thought, ‘This is NOT a UTI. Maybe my appendix is rupturing.” I was in so much pain, a pain I had never felt before, that I was completely overtaken by a state of slight panic and fear. I, Miss All Natural, in a sobbing plea begged Karen to take me to the hospital. By this time I was hyperventilating the pain was so terrible. I contorted myself into a little ball in the passenger’s seat of Karen’s car, as we made the long trip to the closest hospital in the country hills of South Carolina. It hurt to breathe. It hurt to move. It hurt. It just hurt so, so, so, badly. I could feel my entire left side being stabbed and shredded from the inside out. Honestly, there were more than a few moments in which I was wishing for death. I remember Karen’s mom, doing her best to help me keep it light, said, “Honey, whatever your going through, it looks more painful than childbirth, so know that one day you’ll be grateful for this and having a baby will seem easy’. I smiled.
I arrived at the emergency room to be on a four-hour waiting list. I was literally writhing around on the floor in pain. I couldn’t control my breathing or my squirming. I suppose I put on quite a scene because the few people who had been waiting in the ER before me were happy to let me go first, before all of them. Most of them were there because they needed to see a doctor for some reason and they had no insurance. I had insurance. Well, correction; I had been PAYING for medical insurance, as they were taking it out of my monthly paycheck. Apparently, this does not actually guarantee that you are insured…
This is where the story gets really good. So, I’m flopping around in pain and having a very hard time catching my breath because the pain is incredibly excruciating, and they tell me I have to go through all of the insurance paperwork before anyone can see me. Basically, they don’t give a shit about actually treating me, they just want to make sure that they are going to get paid for whatever expensive procedure they will surely put me through. I’m shaking as I am signing papers, having to have my friend read me the words because I am feeling to horrible to make sense of anything. My logical mind was far-gone. After I handed her my insurance card, the receptionist tells me that my insurance does not actually kick in until 12 AM on October 1st. It is 4:50 PM on September 30th. A difference of 7 hours and 10 minutes. I begged the nurse to change the date. “Please’, I said. “Put October 1st as opposed to September 30th. Please, help me.” Her response, “Sorry ma’am”, she says without even looking up. “If I break policy that’s my job. You aren’t worth me loosing my job. We’ll treat you but you’re insurance isn’t valid until tomorrow., You can come back then if you like.” In that moment I was in so much pain and also feeling equally emotionally and financially devastated. As of that day, I had made one payment for my insurance and received my card and everything. Apparently I had to make two full payments for it to be effective. Some HEALTH insurance! (Aetna, for those who are curious. I have no shame.) What bullshit! Pardon my word choice, but seriously…it was pure, unrefined bullshit.
So, after ALL of that, I was able to see a doctor. He hardly looks at me and says, “Describe your pain.” I wanted to stab him. ”EXCRUTIATING!” I moan. ‘Please, just give me some morphine,” I ask. His response “On a scale from 1-10, what number would you rate your pain?” Growing delirious I scream “A TWELVE! PLEASE JUST GIVE ME SOMETHING TO NUMB THE PAIN!” I was going to vomit. I told him, and he handed me a tiny, little tray as big as my hand. I looked at it and said “You better point me to a bathroom or you’re gonna have a serious mess to clean up.” He just left the room. My friend Karen found a bathroom and I made it in time, but a really huge part of me wanted to throw up right on that man’s white, crispy and cliché doctors coat. He did not care about me at all. It was obvious. No one really cared, except Karen and the people who were already waiting in the ER and graciously allowed me to receive ‘treatment’ ahead of them.
They took me to get a CAT scan. I am throwing up all during the CAT scan, still begging the staff for something to kill the pain and nausea. I wanted anything to knock me out. I was literally in hell and at the mercy of these people who were all about the procedure, not the person.
After the CAT scan, they put me in a room that gleamed with metallic surroundings and smelled of Clorox. I threw up again. Throwing up is painful enough. Throwing up while passing a kidney stone is pretty much the worst pain I have ever experienced. These people were cold; cold like surgical instruments and dead bodies. No one touched me in a loving way; no one extended a hand or an ear, no one told me it would be ok, except for my friend Karen. She stayed by my side smiling, holding my hand. I was very, very, very grateful to not be alone.
I lied in the hospital bed with the little plastic band on my wrist, marking me as a patient, as they finally, after almost 3 hours, injected me with morphine and an anti-nausea medication. I am not usually for meds unless it is a situation like this. I am not going to pop an Advil for a headache, but I gratefully allowed an unknown dose of sedatives to seep into my system, alleviating the pain that was facilitating thoughts of death and holding me in state of complete and total fear. I stopped throwing up. The pain slowly but surely subsided. I fell into sleep, exhausted.
After about 2 hours, Karen woke me saying they had my CAT scan results back and were ready to discharge me. They came in and all they had to say was this “Well ma’am, it looks like you have a kidney stone. It should pass on it’s own. Here is a nephrology (kidney) specialist to contact when you leave here.” Seriously? That’s it? I was pissed. At this point they were stating the obvious. What about treatment? What about educating me on WHAT a kidney stone is and HOW they come about so I can PREVENT another one? I am only 22! This happens to older people, not young adults. They wanted to just schlep me off to the next guy who was going to take my money without facilitating any kind of healing in return. No way. No specialist could help me. I know what causes kidney stones; too much coffee, sugar, and negative thoughts. No doctor was going to be able to tell me anything more than that, if they even KNEW that. I was on my own at that point. All of my faith in allopathic medicine was gone after that experience. Guess how much my bill was?
$13,000. That’s right. $13,000 for a five-hour ER visit, a CAT scan, hospital room and bed, special treatments/injections/meds, and all sorts of other ‘procedures’ that I was totally unaware they were even doing. When I got that bill, I cried. I finally understood how people could go bankrupt from medical misfortune. It’s a very sad, sick (no pun intended) cycle. I was appalled! There was no way I was going to pay that amount of money, ESPECIALLY after the way I felt I was treated. There was no way I COULD pay that amount, anyway. It was just crazy. I called them up to tell them that I was simply not going to pay this outlandish cost, and they quickly rebutted with ‘Oh, well we have a No-Insurance-Discount for folks like yourself.” Oh, goodie. So, now my bill was only $6,050. Still, a stupid, insane, completely irrational amount to pay, but I made a series of payments, and paid it off within 14 months. I am actually kind of proud of myself for doing that, but wish I hadn’t needed to. That is the end of Stone Number One.
Onto Stone Two! I promise this portion of the tale is not anything like the previous. This is the inspiring part ☺
A few months ago I was having some back pain that seemed out of the ordinary. Sometimes my back would hurt from twisting and turning at too much of an extreme angle from hoop dancing or acrobatics. This was different. It felt familiar, however.
I was at my parent’s house in GA with my Beloved Sebastian and one day I was feeling very blue and tired. I went to sleep around 6:30 pm. I woke up around 11 pm in serious low back pain. It didn’t feel like it was my bones or muscles. I knew I had another stone. I was a little freaked, but now I had tools. I knew, from all of the Qi Revolution seminars that I have attended and worked, that kidney stones could be dissolved by consuming as much watermelon as possible in the form of a smoothie. I sat awake that night realizing that I had a stone in my kidney and it was going to come out one way or another. In all of my pain, Sebastian awoke, and sat up with me through most of the evening, chanting and praying over me, helping me breathe my way back to a relaxed and relatively pain-free state. He massaged me and held me. Again, so grateful to be in the company of someone who was who loved me.
The next day I went to the health food store and bought all of the organic watermelon they had and a bunch of immune and kidney support. I loaded up. I spent well over $100 that day, but that is nothing compared to a $13,000 ER bill. I vowed to watermelon/raw food fast until I felt the stone was gone. I made smoothies multiple times a day for Sebastian, my father and me. At the time, my Dad was in recovery from a stage four congestive heart failure diagnosis. I wanted to dissolve my kidney stone, of course, while at the same time showing my father the healing power of living foods. I began to see that this little stone in my vital organ was a true blessing.
I began to feel better. I was drinking TONS of water, totally gave up caffeine., and had an easy time sticking to the watermelon/raw food fast. It was time to leave my parents house and head to Chattanooga, TN for a Qi Revolution. Yay! I was excited to be around the healing energy of the Qi. I even coerced my father into coming!!! I was really excited about this particular Qi Revolution. I also had set up a couple of hoop dance workshops that promised good attendance. I was grateful to be feeling healthier and happier.
I arrived on the opening day of the Qi Revolution and was setting up my post behind the Music Table. My friend and colleague, Sheila, shows up and hands me a watermelon smoothie. How interesting! I said, “You know, I’ve been drinking these for weeks straight to build up my kidneys and dissolve a possible stone.” She said, “Wow, well I intuitively made you this smoothie this morning thinking that you could use it for some reason.” I was blown away and SUPER grateful for her spot-on intuition. I drank the smoothie and each morning she continued to bring one in for me to drink. By day three, right after we had a really wonderful and intense breath circle, something shifted. I got up from the breath circle and had to pee SO badly! I had never felt a pressure like that inside of my bladder. It was really intense. I ran to the bathroom and sat down and the most forceful stream of urine started blasting out of me. All of sudden, I felt something hot and sharp shoot out of my urethra at light speed! I heard it go ‘ping ping ping!’ against the porcelain of the toilet. I looked down and there it was; a kidney stone the size of my pinky nail. It took a moment for me to realize what was happening. I had just passed a kidney stone with out ANY pain! A pain free kidney stone?! I almost didn’t see how it was possible considering the only other experience I had ever had with a stone of the sort. I was amazed. I was so grateful for all of the watermelon, Qi Gong, Breath Healing and love from my family and friends. I now, from experience, knew the power of healing food. In my case, watermelon smoothies and raw foods prevented me from having a devastating experience. Now, I can recall the second (and last!) kidney stone experience of my life as enlightening, as opposed to frightening. When I tell this story to people, they are amazed as I was when I saw that little grey lumpy stone sitting in toilet. It really is a miracle. A miracle that I created! This is the real point of this story. You create your reality by learning material that is relevant and applying it to your daily life. I would have repeated painful history if I had ignored or numbed my back pain, continued with dehydrating habits, and disregarded healing food protocols that I have studied in depth. I USED the tools that I sought out. I created a reality for myself that was far more enjoyable and inspirational that a second emergency room saga.
You, too, can create healing miracles in your life. LISTEN to your body, DO the research, and continue to educate yourself with information that is appropriate for the healing of your body and the bodies of others. We have power in this world. We are not victims; we are creators; we have choices! Make the choice to live in health, not desperately seeking it when a system or organ is failing. This is my story of how food, love and a devotion to my body temple allowed me to live in harmony, happiness and healthiness. Gratitude for reading my words, and have a beautiful day ☺