Resolving Pain with Kidney Stone Surgery

Video Transcript

I'm Cindy Konold. I live at Clear Lake, South Dakota. My husband and I have a farm where we have beef cattle, and we do some row crop and alfalfa farming. We have three kids, and we have five grandchildren. I am currently a middle school ELA teacher at Duel Middle School.

Why did you come to the hospital for kidney stone pain?

I woke up early on a Monday a morning with side pain in my left side, and I immediately knew that I had a kidney stone trying to move its way. I've had kidney stones before, so I knew that's where I was headed. But this one, I got sick to my stomach and I was completely drenched in sweat. I knew that this was different.

How did the ER staff help you feel comfortable?

I didn't feel like just another patient. They knew that this was a painful situation. They made me feel comfortable. I didn't feel like a burden, and they just said, "Anything you need, just let us know." They were there to help.

How did the staff diagnose your kidney stone?

They got me comfortable, did a CT scan, and confirmed that it was a kidney stone. Dr. Bhat came over and said, "No, this has to come out, but it won't pass on its own." And so they told me that I would have surgery that day, but that I would have to be fit into the schedule.

Why did your kidney stone require two procedures?

I am currently taking a blood thinner, and because of that, they were not able to do the procedure to remove the stone. However, they did a procedure to put a stent in to allow the urine to flow. He said that the reason for the extreme pain was that it was blocking that. And so they were able to put a stent in, but I had to be off of my medication for two days before they could go in and remove the stone. Dr. Bhat was sure to send me home with a prescription for pain medication, but I did not have to use it. So the stent was doing its job and allowing everything to flow and work the way it was supposed to without that kidney stone giving me more pain. So from the time I had the stent put in on Monday until the surgery on Wednesday, I was very comfortable.

How was your experience with Dr. Bhat?

Dr. Bhat is an...he's an outstanding person. He's very professional, but yet in the same respect, he's very personable. Every time he came into my room, he greeted me by my first name. And that meant a lot. When my husband was with me, he would ask questions as well, and Dr. Bhat answered his questions. He explained everything. He had some diagrams that he was showing where the kidney stone was. After that, he always asked if I had any other questions or needed any other information before he would even think about getting up to leave from whether it was an appointment or bedside.

How was your recovery?

My recovery has gone very well. They put a stent back in after the stone was removed, and then that was not taken out for a couple of weeks. So I was a little concerned about that because I didn't know if I would feel it, or if there would be pain associated with that, but I didn't have any bad effects or any pain associated with it. We went to have a checkup with Dr. Bhat, it was about four days, five days after the surgery. And he, again, made sure that I was comfortable and it was just kind of a consultation type appointment so that we could see how things were going, and then we scheduled to have the stent removed at a later time.

What advice would you give if someone was delaying a visit to the urologist?

Go check it out. You know, if you have a kidney stone, they can send it in to see what type it is. Dr. Bhat told me mine was a calcium buildup. And from that, he was able to tell me a few things not to eat or things that I should eat or drink. So that's very helpful. If you can avoid it, go now, get it checked out before you end up in the middle of the night running to the emergency room like I did.

Why would you recommend Brookings Health System to others?

I would recommend the Brookings Health System to other people because they just take such care in making sure that it's safe. You're not feeling like you're being exposed to COVID, or to any other viruses, or illnesses unnecessarily. They take great pride and care in making sure that everyone is treated, treated well, treated to the best of their ability. And they always make sure that you're feeling okay before they would let you go.

What did you appreciate most about your care?

They called me by my name, they treated me well, they were kind, they were compassionate, empathetic to me with the symptoms that I was experiencing. I just felt like I was cared for to the best of their ability. When we left, the nurse walked me out to the door. You just feel like you're welcome and that you're not just another sick person. You know, you feel like you're important. They just make you feel at home, especially when you're in a situation where you're not yourself. You know, I don't think I said any bad words or anything, you know, but I was miserable and they took the best care of me, I was comfortable, and I can't say enough about the staff making you feel at home.

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