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My adventure has taken many twists and turns. My decision to leave the Appalachian Trail and prep for New Zealand from the comfort of home turned out to be a very good decision. At about 2:00 PM on Aug 22, I called 911 and was taken by ambulance to a local hospital. At first I thought I was experiencing a hot appendix. However, as the pain increased, it began to radiate around to my back. After a quick trip to Radiology, it was confirmed. I was giving birth to a 5mm kidney stone.

This is not my first kidney stone, but it’s the first time I’ve ever experienced this much pain. It is also the 2nd time I’ve experienced a kidney stone while hiking on the AT. You would think with water being the primary fluid consumed along the trail, my kidneys would be properly flushed out. But, alas, I suppose it’s part of my lot in life to suffer.

I was given pain meds and sent home on the 22nd. I know that passing the stone takes time. By the 24th, even doubling up my pain meds did nothing to ease the pain so I decided it was time to go back to the ER.

I was admitted to the hospital and scheduled for surgery to put in a stent to ease the pain and allow my right kidney to drain. Once that was done, I was moved to a room and told I’d be staying in the hospital until lithotripsy could be scheduled. Finally, on Monday Aug 27th, I was wheeled to the OR where my stone was blasted into dust.

I’ve been discharged almost a week now and am trying to get back into a routine for fitness, however, the stent is still in place. It comes out on Sept 6th. The only way i can describe the pain/discomfort of the stent is the feeling you get after the initial shock of being kicked in the groin wears off and you just ache.

I’ve been living with that pain for a week now. The 6th cannot get here fast enough. I just hope I can be ready for New Zealand by the time my plane leaves Oct 3.

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