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  • My kidney stone and yoga

    17 comments Published Apr 2, 12 PM
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    By Don Ogata

    About a month ago I went in for a physical checkup. After a couple of lab tests and a CT scan, it showed that I had a 9mm kidney stone in my right kidney.  After I found out about this, I knew it was an opportunity to apply the yogic methods I’ve learned over the years to create goodness and gratitude in my life.

    The first thing I did was imagine a bubble of light, enter it, and immediately stop all physical activity.  I even referred to myself as Bubble-Boy.   No yoga, no walking… even thinking twice about taking an escalator or an elevator.  You see, over the past few months I had developed an achiness in my lower back after every walk that went away when I drank enough fluids.  As my doctor explained, walking probably caused the stone to float around and start bouncing against the opening of the ureter, so the fluids would float it back down.  My new strategy was to limit my movement so the stone would stay settled and not cause a commotion.

    The next principle I applied was to “let things be” and embrace the calmness of the serene flow of life.

    Of course, what I ended up doing was spend hours looking at YouTube videos of kidney stones and bladder stones being destroyed, all taken through cameras inserted through body orifices that should not have cameras inserted through them.

    Did I embrace the videos that talked of how to get rid of kidney stones naturally without medical intervention? No chance!  I thought about begging the doctor to just cut it out in the office and be done with it.  Ultimately, the method that was used was something called ESWL, which stands for Extracorporeal Shockwave Lithotripsy.  Shockwaves were shot through my body, passing harmlessly through soft tissues, hitting the stone, and pretty much vibrating it to self-destruction.  Despite the doctor telling me I would probably feel like a horse kicked me in the back, I was pretty comfortable with the  idea of the procedure.  Now all I had to do was wait motionless for three weeks until its scheduled date.

    The day finally comes and I’m all decked out in my hospital gown, hairnet and Dollar Tree toesox (seriously, they come with little traction pads to keep you from slipping). The nurse comes to take my blood pressure.  It’s 150/95, which is just a couple of shades away from “temples exploding,” so they give me a minute before they take it again.  I decide to employ yogic deep breathing techniques — boy will they be surprised when it comes down dramatically!  Sure enough, it lowers to 148/92.  Guess I was a little more stressed than I let on.

    I did enter a state of nirvana during the procedure, since I can’t remember a thing after the oxygen mask was lowered gently over my mouth and nose.  I’m sure the drugs pumped through my IV had nothing to do with it.

    Waking up in the recovery room after the procedure gave me another opportunity to use my highly developed yoga methods to speed the process.

    Since you don’t get released until you can prove that you are in full grasp of your faculties, I knew that I could use conscious thinking to metabolize the anesthetic in my system and amaze the nurses that it only took me scant minutes to be released.  The trouble was that every time I started to consciously think, my eyes got really heavy and I fell asleep again.  But I do remember the mantra I was using.  It went like this, “Be awake, be awake, feel the chemical molecules converting to caffeine with the power of my mind…  Oh, let me just close my eyes for a second… Snore, snore.”

    By the way, as I was lying there, during one of my “conscious thinking sessions,” I looked up at my last blood pressure reading, which was 115/72.  I was thinking of making the suggestion that maybe I was taking the wrong drugs to keep my BP under control, but I fell asleep again and promptly forgot.

    After the standard 90 minutes of recovery, I was finally released and felt determined to embrace the yoga lifestyle that I had slipped from — which must have been why I manifested the kidney stone in the first place.  The only thing standing in my way was the fact that I hadn’t eaten for  16 hours, so my daughter and I stopped for a bacon cheeseburger and fries on the way home.

    Update:  I just got back from the doctor and the x-rays show that the stone is completely broken down into manageable pieces.  I know that without yoga and the peace it has brought me, I would have had a much more difficult time dealing with this harrowing experience.

    About Don Ogata

    Don Ogata lives in Southern California and is gainfully employed. He doesn’t have a blog or website and he doesn’t run his own business. His current passions are Yin Yoga and contemplating his next RY sticker placement. He can be found on Facebook or wallowing in self-pity from the Corporate Wasteland.