Friday, March 26, 2010
Yeast, Peaches, & Kidney Stones
(((Warning))) You're about to read way too many personal details. Be afraid. Be very afraid.
My husband has a history of dealing with kidney stones. He also has a love for pop. He's been told that pop can contribute to kidney stones. Every time he gets a kidney stone, he swears off pop. Similar to childbirth, if we all stuck to what we swore off, everyone would only have one child. But it never fails, when the pain is but a distant memory, he reaches for the pop again. Sometimes he's able to pass the kidney stone naturally but occasionally they have to be surgically removed. In sticking with my childbirth analogy, my husband has required a c-section in the past.
Several years ago I got my hopes up that he would do anything he had to do to avoid kidney stones ever again. He was relieving himself at a urinal at work. It just so happened the President of his company was standing right beside him doing the same thing. Suddenly, my husband felt the large kidney stone he'd been struggling with making it's move. There he stood beside the president with no choice but to face reality of what was about to happen. So he held his breath and silently 'gave birth' to an extremely large stone that landed with a loud 'CLINK' into the base of the urinal. To the President's credit, he stuck to the rules of the urinal and never even glanced my husband's way. And to my husband's credit, he waited until the President left before digging it out of the bottom of the urinal. I'll spare you the details of how he took it back to his department and his buddies spent a good hour studying it under a microscope and congratulating him on his manhood to be able to pass such a boulder. But it didn't take long for him to go right back to his pop.
Over the years he had several minor kidney stone flair ups but nothing that required a c-section or reaching his hands into a urinal. But last summer he started feeling that similar feeling. (Insert my eye roll and 'Here we go again' look.) He came home from work in severe pain. We headed to the ER. Keeping in mind that I've been through this way too many times, I wasn't exactly doting over him with sympathy. As a side note that will hold relevance later, I was struggling with a Yeast Infection at the same time. When we finally got called back to a room, I grabbed a stack of People Magazines to bide my time. When the doctor came in, I was casually sitting in a chair, legs crossed, reading my magazine, while my giant husband rolled around in the fetal position on the exam bed moaning loudly. The doctor stopped and looked back and forth between the two of us several times. Finally, with a straight face, he asked, “So who am I seeing today?” I bit back the urge to say, “Me. I have a Yeast Infection. Chuckles over there just has an addiction to pop.”
Several hours, doctors, and magazines later, it was decided that he would be admitted and undergo surgery the next day. Actually, HE decided to be admitted. He had the option of going home on pain medicine but he wanted to stay. Possibly for his own protection from me, or he enjoys having a television within arms reach and meals brought to him on a tray...probably a combination of both. So I headed home to our kids and changed into my ratty old pajamas. At 8:30pm I received a call from our Pharmacy. It seems my husband had been forgetting to pick up K's inhaler and I had until 9pm or they would have to dispose of it. (Insert profanity of your choice here.) I jumped in the van and sped the twenty miles crying the entire way. With four minutes to spare, I pulled up to the drive through. It was closed. Crying, barefoot, and wearing pajamas that were never meant to see the light of day, much less the florescence of a Drug Store, I burst through the front doors running to make it back to the Pharmacy before it closed. Surprisingly, they gave it to me without asking for identification and / or calling security.
That brings me back to my yeast infection. (You still have time to turn back. Don't say I didn't warn you.) The next morning, it was out of control. His surgery was scheduled for the afternoon so I was looking for a quick fix to make me comfortable for the long day ahead. I turned to the internet for some good old fashioned Home Remedies. Yogurt was the recurring theme and I became convinced that it was my key to freedom from this vile infection. The instructions were simple: Buy plain yogurt. Eat half of it. Spread the rest onto a tampon and insert, thus killing the yeast from the inside out. Off I went to our tiny town grocery. I headed straight to the yogurt isle and was devastated to find that our little store didn't carry plain yogurt. Quite the dilemma. I was forced to choose between Mixed Berry and Peaches 'n' Cream. My husband likes to point out that I also had the option of walking two isles over and buying a tube of Monistat. I know that. But at our little out in the middle of nowhere store, Monistat would have cost a fortune and I held in my hand three doses of yogurt for two dollars. It seemed like a no brainer. Another thing I'm sure you know about small towns is if I'd chosen Monistat, word would have reached the post office and beyond that I had a yeast infection before I even arrived home. Anyway, I decided on Peaches 'n' Cream since it wasn't as darkly colored as Mixed Berry. (I believe that yeast drives a woman so mad that she can't think clearly. That's the excuse I'm going with, anyway.)
I sped home eating half a container of yogurt as I drove. When I got home I set up my laboratory in our bathroom downstairs and ever so gently iced a tampon with pretty pink yogurt and followed the rest of the directions. It didn't take long for my mind to connect all the dots of the error of my ways. Flavored yogurt contains sugar...sugar feeds yeast. What I had just triggered was a feeding frenzy that sent me running. I flew to the bathtub where it took ten minutes of ice cold water and the shower head to put out the flames. (The pool was Plan B.)
Needless to say, I bought Monistat that very day. I bought my second Monistat seven days later. Turns out yeast loves Peaches 'n' Cream. My husband believes people like me are to blame for companies putting ridiculous warnings on their products and that if we were the suing type, we'd probably win a fortune from Yoplait for not labeling their container with a 'should not be inserted on a tampon' warning. But on the bright side, for several days, our bathroom filled with the sweet aroma of peaches every time I urinated.
I'm pleased to report that his stone drama seems to be a thing of the past and the only yeast in this house is in the bread. We both learned some valuable life lessons. He only drinks pop on special occasions and I haven't even been tempted to put yogurt anywhere but in my mouth. See? All's well that ends well.