Primary school pupils learn about kidney stones

A primary school teacher is teaching her pupils the importance of drinking plenty of water following her experience with kidney stones. Last November Simone Doyley, 35, began having pains in her back and sides. Believing it was just a sign of getting older she ignored it, but when the pain became more severe she went to see a doctor and was diagnosed with kidney stones.

Simone's brother Nicholas had had kidney stones before, and had passed them by drinking lots of water, and so she resolved to do the same. “The stones didn't pass and I went into hospital. Whilst there I was told to continue drinking lots and they should pass on their own.”

As a teacher working in London Simone didn't want to take time off work because of the pain, so instead she started taking painkillers, but they had no impact.

“Before Christmas I went into A&E with severe pain, I was given painkillers and I was taking one every two hours for weeks. I was very concerned I was getting addicted, but I couldn't stop as the pain was too severe. At its worst it was so painful I screamed at times, and I couldn’t move until the pain had subsided.”

Simone went back into hospital after being unable to move for several hours due to the severity of the pain. “I was told the pain was similar to being in labour, although it hasn’t put me off having children. I was in hospital for 48-hour monitoring and they gave me some stronger painkillers.”

Simone said she was a different person whilst in pain, and realised she needed to get the stones resolved when her head teacher asked to see her. “The pain was making me very ratty at work, and the head took me to one side and said that I needed to sort it out. Despite everything I only needed to take five days off work.

“The pain was still very severe, and so I decided to take some different action. I emailed all the surgeons at my local hospital to try and get the problem resolved. My partner thought I was mad.”

A urologist emailed Simone back and said that he could see Simone within a week, but there were more problems still to come.

“Before the operation, I wasn’t nervous just anxious and prayed the stone would go. I went into the operation but when I woke up they told me they couldn't find the stone within the time frame of the anaesthetic. I was furious and hysterical, I really couldn't believe it after all I'd been through. I was only in hospital for the day. The stone was really small – about 3mm – and it was unusual for it to cause so much pain.

“I went home devastated, I thought when I'd gone into surgery they'd be able to solve the problem. However within a week I felt much better, I was relieved. Clearly the surgery did some good. I've been back for a check-up and everything is fine, I assume I must have passed it after my surgery.”

Simone never wants to experience kidney stones again. “I didn't drink enough so now I'm the opposite, I make sure I drink loads. The children in my class saw what I was going through, and now they know the importance of drinking plenty of water too. They made me a really lovely card and I told them all about kidney stones, especially as I showed them exactly what one looked like. Hopefully none of them will ever get kidney stones!”


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