So, commitment has never really been something I have done very well, but my silence has been for good reason. Ten days ago I woke up feeling some discomfort in my lower left side. I didn’t think too much of it. As day turned to night, discomfort turned to pain – I was pretty sure I had a bladder infection. My experience working in a hospital helped me to decide to wait until morning and go to urgent care, rather than head to the ER on a Friday night in New York City.
I woke up feeling the same – no better, no worse – but it was 5 am. Urgent care didn’t open until 9am. I am no better at waiting than I am at commitment, so I left the house and headed downtown. The only thing open at 7:30 am was Whole Foods – not a terrible way to distract me AND I found some all pork no additives bacon (it cost a fortune but Whole 30 approved). Things were looking up, right?
Wrong. I get seen right away at urgent care (a shout out to City MD for always being quick and efficient). As I had suspected, the doctor said I probably had some type of infection. While I waited for a second test, I started sweating. Then I felt a pain that no one should ever feel and is like an army inside my body armed with bayonets – stabbing and shooting. Next, nausea- then I almost passed out. I couldn’t figure out what was happening. The doctor called 911 and sent me to the nearest ER.
The ER was empty and I started feeling better, just really tired. Things are looking up now, right? Wrong. Though I got into a room right away, I didn’t get seen for over an hour. During that hour, the pain came back. I did everything I could think of to cope – guided imagery, reiki, Lamaze breathing, while it helped – I would say that the pain was a 15 out of 10. The next round of pain came an hour later – finally, they gave me an IV. I never thought I would be so happy to be poked with needles, but with the IV came morphine and some relief. After lots of blood draws, ultrasounds and a CT scan it was concluded that it was kidney stones and a kidney infection. They say that passing kidney stones is worse than child birth, and though I don’t have kids, I believe it. Worst. Pain. Ever.
It took a week to recover, lots of soup, and guess what – I remained Whole 30 compliant and finished out the 30 days. I wouldn’t wish that pain on anyone, but it was just proof to me that I can commit to something and to take it easy on myself.
People have asked if the Whole 30 caused the kidney stones. I am not a doctor – I don’t know for sure – but my theory is it was a perfect storm. I probably had some calcification (‘gravel’) in my kidneys prior to the Whole 30, I ate a lot of spinach, sweet potatoes and red meat during the whole 30 – which are high in calcium oxylate – and can lead to stones. Three days before this all happened I had an MRI with oral and IV contrast – which is filtered through the kidneys and when I went to the doctor I was extremely dehydrated. So, my theory is the Whole 30 didn’t cause the stones, but it probably contributed to this event.
What can you take away from my awful experience? Make sure you vary your diet during the Whole 30. Be aware of the foods you are eating, watch your salt intake and drink more water than you think you can possibly handle.
Next post? What happens after the Whole 30 is over…