Hello, Little Stones

The other day I went to the hospital to get checked for a UTI. I described my symptoms with the help of D and off we went to the different areas I needed to go.

The Chinese hospital experience is pretty similar to a Korean one. In China first you need to register at the hospital and pay for a patient ID Card (5 rmb) on the first floor, but we went to the Fourth floor and made one there where we saw the doctor.

First we went down to the second floor to the blood taking station. While we were standing in line, D went and paid elsewhere. He came back and said if we didn’t pay they wouldn’t do the tests. Pay first, service after. The lady who took my blood was super quick and it was painless. Thank You!

Next we were off to a giant waiting room. At first, I wasn’t sure what I was doing there. Then I slolwly realized it was the ultrasound room. Before it was my turn I ran into two friends who had recommended the hospital because it was nearby and not too busy and clean. We said goodbye and then it was my turn, D came in at first and then stepped out of the room and my friend from before came in. She helped translate a bit what the doctor said as they moved the ultrasound around to check out my kidneys. Sure enough something popped up on the scan and out we went. They said they would look at it and then talk to us in a few minutes.

Next we went to the pee station, I grabbed a little plastic cup and then brought it back to the counter. We lost a receipt somewhere which we had to hand over when turning in the pee cup. Somehow it got sorted though. While we waited for the pee test results my friend and I went back to the fourth floor to see the doctor with the ultrasound scan. He said that my kidney was a little swollen and I have a few tiny stones, but we had to wait on the pee test results to give us more information.

So back down we went to the second floor, grabbed the pee results and headed back to the fourth flour. The doctor said, I do indeed have a few small stones which he thinks should go away on their own if I change my diet , and take some medicine. I’ve been advised to take medicine for the next week and then come back next week for another ultrasound scan to see if the inflammation has gone down.

He said my diet is too high in oil and salt as well as spicy food, so I need to reduce those. I also need to reduce msg and some other seasoning commonly used in China. (Probably from eating out too much.) I also need to up my water intake and reduce my consumption of coffee and sugar. I had asked him about sugar and coffee out of curiosity as those are the two things I consume the most. Somehow I’m glad I asked even though it means I need to reduce my coffee consumption, especially lattes, as well as my beloved sugar. Maybe this will be the nail in the coffin to my sugar addiction.

So now I am in the process of learning how to overhaul my entire diet. I’m pretty lucky as D is on board to help me with the changes and we will eat the same things.  Yesterday, during lunch I struggled to choose something to eat and ended up eating these little pineapple cakes (its like a fig newton of sorts). That isn’t a lunch, but I was conflicted as a lot of Chinese food is very oily. So the first lunch after seeing him was a failure, but I did try to make a healthier dinner. I used very little oil to cook and I lowered the amount of salt used. To me I thought the food tasted a little bland, but D reassured me that it was good.

It’s been one whole day without coffee. I’ve gone six weeks without coffee before, but for some reason I was pretty emotional about cutting it back, the same with cutting back my consumption of sugar and chocolate. I know just increasing my water intake will make a huge difference, but I think the fact I should be reducing all of these is a good thing. We all get a wakeup call at some point, I’m just a little sad to know I had some stones form. Oddly looking back I had two little reminders that my kidneys weren’t happy. When I first was seeing the TCM Doctor he had told me that my kidneys were weak and we needed to strengthen them. And in the last post I said I had back pain, which I’ve had lower back pain more frequently lately and just thought I moved wrong or needed to stretch more. Turns out if I had paid more attention I would have been able to do more about this sooner.

The kicker for all this was that the hospital we went to was a little more expensive than the public hospitals, but not as expensive as those catering to westerners. I spent about $40 for registration, running a blood test and urine test, an ultrasound and a week’ s worth of medicine. Since it is a private hospital I don’t think I can get reimbursed with my insurance, but at public hospitals a lot of times you pay up front and then you are reimbursed.

So hopefully taking medicine and making changes shows a change next week in my kidney! So little stones, thanks for dropping by and informing me to take care of my health. But I wish you will be smaller or gone soon!

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