Coming to Terms with the Need to be Over-Hydrated – From a Patient’s Perspective

Water, Water Everywhere: Coming to Terms with the Necessity to be Over-Hydrated.

I know the consumption of plenty of water is necessary in order to stay properly hydrated, especially if one lives in a hot and dry climate.  I live in the desert southwest, where summer daytime temperatures commonly hover above 100 degrees, and relative humidity is often below 20%.  Obviously, I need to drink a lot of water in order to be healthy and functioning well in this environment.

Being a kidney stone former, I need to be diligent about drinking lots of water.  It’s quite likely my past failure to drink an adequate amount of water was a contributing factor in the development of stones.  It had been my habit to drink whenever I felt thirsty, but now I realize that waiting that long isn’t going to result in the consumption of enough water to prevent kidney stone formation.   I needed to find ways to make sure I drank before I experienced thirst.  How was I going to remember to drink water during my busy day, if I wasn’t even feeling the slightest bit thirsty?

I have discovered that I need visual reminders of the need to drink water during the day.  At home we installed a big water cooler with a five gallon jug sitting on top of it.  Not only does it serve as a reminder to drink, drink, drink lots of water, but  I can also see how fast the water level  goes down in that clear plastic jug.  When I’m at work or on the road, I take along a water bottle.  Again, I find it helpful to have one that’s transparent, so I can be aware of just how much water I’m consuming.

Of course, as I drink more water I also need to use the bathroom more frequently.  Since I’m a teacher, this can sometimes pose a challenge.  I had to leave my classroom of students unsupervised in order to use the lady’s room.   I found myself avoiding drinking much, in order to reduce bathroom trips. The solution to that problem was to schedule regular trips to the bathroom during breaks between classes rather than waiting until I felt an urgent need.   I have discovered if I use the bathroom every two and a half hours or so I never develop a sense of urgency, even with the extra water consumption.

As I have managed to drink more water, I also noticed the color of my urine has lightened considerably.  When I see a darker yellow color, it’s a signal that I need to increase my water consumption.  My goal is to produce clear, colorless urine.

Having experienced kidney stones, I am very willing to make adjustments in my daily routine in order to prevent another recurrence.  By always having water nearby, relying on visual reminders to drink it, establishing regular scheduled times to use the bathroom, and monitoring the color of my urine I have been able to significantly increase my water intake.   It feels good to be taking positive steps to prevent future kidney stone formation.

Editors note: Bonnie writes about her experiences as a stone patient in her posts. If you have experiences as a patient you would like to share, feel free to add a comment or send her an email at: ask@kidneystoners.org

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One Response to Coming to Terms with the Need to be Over-Hydrated – From a Patient’s Perspective

  1. Rhonda Saxton says:

    I encountered my 1st episode October 25th 2017,it was a little after 3am & I was hit with what I believed was probably an appendicitis since I had never dealt with anything like this before. Instant uncontrolled vomiting & was like having convulsions Bcuz the pain was so horrible.I drove myself to the Hospital & told them I thought I was having an appendicitis attack. They quickly hooked me up & started an IV with Norco for pain & something for nausea,within 15 – 20 the pain was gone. I said holy shit,I honestly thought I was going to die. I went in for an ultra sound followed by aCT scan,the scan showed I had a kidney stone sitting high on my right kidney. Released me with pain meds. & sent me on my way. I had occasional pressure like I needed to urinate until Jan 4th & that very same pain returned instantly & I knew I had to return to the hospital right away. Prior to this attack I had returned to my primary care physician with the frequent tendicies to urinate only to be sent back in for another CT scan & was told on the 3rd of Jan that I must of passed my stone. I was relieved at that point only to be awoken again on Jan 4th to yet another gruesome awakening with this horrible pain. Back to the ER again only to be give pain meds.& a urinalysis & was told that I had a terrible kidney infection from the stone creating havoc when I was passing it. Ok I’m on the mend now given antibiotics & drinking every drop of water I could get my hands on. Not even a wk later I was once again awaken with this god awful pain in my lower back,so I rush back to the ER,bomitting & shaking uncontrollably for the 3rd time. After returning for the 3rd time things certianetly don’t seem to go as quickly as you’d like,I suffered forever as though it seems. I had an amazing Dr.this time & he sent be back in for another ultrasound & told the technician not to stop until he found exactly where the stone was. The stone is now sitting at the tip of the urethra ready to pass as of two days ago. So that is my story & I can assure anyone & everyone that this should not be something that any human being should ever have to go thru. For anyone else out there going thru this very same ordeal my 💔 aches for you Bcuz this just isn’t humanly right! I’m still trying to understand where does this pain subside was given pain meds.& why doesn’t it return instantly after the meds. wear off. Wish I would have gone to medical school when I was younger!

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