So Kidney stones and I'm blaming the Spinach.
I had Kidney stones for the first time eight years ago.
Kidney stones pain is quite something, some woman have claimed it to be worse than childhood (but then we all know that male doctors give new mothers something to completely forgot the experience of childbirth ...so they'll go through it all again. It is,, I'm told, something that's been going on for tens of thousands of years, a conspiracy among doctors).
Anyway it's nasty. Eight years ago I assumed it was something I'd eaten (not wrong) that didn't agree with me (again, not wrong) and thought it was a stomach ache that would pass. I walked around the garden a hundred times, sat in a hot bath, rolled around on the floor, sat in a cold bath, moaned and groaned quite a lot but still refused to call the doctors (English, don't like to be a bother). It was a couple days and several attacks later that , following sustained threats from M. I called the NHS direct medical helpline.
Next day the pain hit on the bus to London, awful because you have to try and be dignified and can't curl up on the seat or preferably under it in, fatal position (all I could think of at the time) but have to cowboy it out. I went straight to the hospital and it was eight hours of agony and tests before they gave me some morphine or something through the drip, ahhh bliss.
A couple of weeks of peeing through a tea strainer (told you, too much information) that I had to carry around everywhere in my pocket and the little bugger was out.
Turns out it was of the common Calcium oxalate variety and had most likely been a result of the rhubarb (high oxalate content or something) from the garden that we'd been eating for the last couple of weeks.
That was eight years ago and since then I took up Yoga, lost a huge amount of weight , went Veggie, pretty much gave up drinking or a least cut down drastically and thought I'd never be troubled with them again.
Here's a list of foods to be careful with if you have a history of Kidney stones
Foods and Drinks Containing Oxalate
People prone to forming calcium oxalate stones may be asked by their doctor to limit or avoid certain foods if their urine contains an excess of oxalate.
High-oxalate foods-higher to lower
black Indian tea
Foods that have medium amounts of oxalate may be eaten in limited amounts.
Medium-oxalate foods-higher to lower
Spinach right up there with my old nemesis Rhubarb, you do the math.
So it looks like the spinach in my green smoothies was the course of my second and current attack of kidney stones.
Now don't get me wrong, I'm not blaming the noble green smoothie, I should have been more aware of the things I was supposed to avoid, spinach in particular, don't even remember it being on the list they gave me all those years ago.
Kidney stones tend to visit middle aged men, rotate your greens in the smoothies, I am in no way saying that green smoothies WILL give you kidney stones but If you've had stones before, do your research.
M., whose been doing a lot of research into this while I've been writhing about on the floor and sucking my thumb in fetalasana, has been pointing out that it's not that spinach and the foods mentioned in the list above are bad for you or even that you should necessarily avoid them or green smoothies. It seems its the relationship between Calcium and Oxalate, if you take in enough calcium then the two seem to balance or cancel each other before they reach the kidney's. However if you don't take enough calcium then the two end up meeting in the kidneys and stones can form. But it's complicated. You might take in a lot of calcium but if you eat a lot of salt, sweat a lot, drink quite a bit of alcohol, not enough water then this can affect the calcium level and put the calcium and oxalate levels out of sync which again can lead to stones in those susceptible to them. The point is, if you've ever had kidney stones then there's a good chance you can have them again and so need to research this stuff .....but while your sitting there with google drink a couple of litres of water.
So anyway, this time I knew the drill, at first I thought the pain I was feeling was a stomach upset, M. had left town for the weekend and I'd pulled a calf muscle running for work so couldn't get to the shops, ended up eating fish finger sandwiches for three days, all there was to eat in the freezer, thought perhaps they'd disagreed with me.
An hour later I pretty much knew it was kidney stones but with no car had to cowboy it out until the morning when I could take the bus to A& E (our ER).
Lots of tests, CAT scans, Kidney stones confirmed (top of the kidney supposedly), painkillers oven sent on my way.
Three days later the pain hits again and as the Verve sing ( and this song was going around and around in my head
"the drugs don't work"
Four hours later i try something else
two hours later still hunting around for anything resembling a painkiller
"the drugs don't work".
Nor by the way does sitting in baddha padmasana (nice pressure on the kidney from the arm) or pranayama though the latter helped and probably got me through the night.
Turns out the first doctor had his scan upside down or something and the stone was near the exit of the kidney, different ball game. This time I came away from the hospital with a big green bag of drugs, three kinds of pain killers.
A side affect however is constipation ( I know too much information, warned you) and we hate to do our practice ....unburdened. Even bought a couple of tins of prunes yesterday, what the hell do you do with prunes, disgusting things
Yesterday evening I couldn't bear it anymore and needed a full on Ashtanga practice, no deep profound long stay, deep bandha'd long exhalated and breath retented (is that even a word) Krishnamacharya practice but a demon banishing, Pattabhi Jois knows best, sweaty, driving practice.
.....thing is, have you ever practiced on pain killers? Three kinds?
No pain gets through, no aches, or twinges nothing....it was like ...what it must be to practice when your twenty-one or something.
OK, apologies, sure you have your aches when your twenty-one also but I promise you if your still practicing at forty-eight you'll know what I mean, lot of creaking a cacophony of twinges.
Lat night it was beautiful, apart from the nausea in standing postures and the constipation in the binds and weakness in jump throughs half way through but no aches, no pains.
This is a problem of course because there ar no warning signals and you have to be mindful, resist going too deep in the forward bends and backbends, remember where the aches and pains usually arise, my right knee for instance in half and full lotus, resist the urge for lots of hands free padmasana's in the joyfulness of practice.
So there you have it, a Kidney stones practice, seems it could take a couple of weeks for the little darlings to work their way out ( trying to get hold of this curious tea, Chanca Piedra, that Madhu recommended, supposed to help encourage them along) but I can look forward to practicing like a twenty year old for a while 'though with the fear of that first drug free practice out there on the horizon.
|By M. 5minutes ago (post practice)|