First, you need to understand that there are actually two steps to passing a kidney stone and you can “pass a stone” by going through either or both of these steps. An “internal passing” means a stone is migrating from your kidney to your bladder, while an “external passing” means a stone is migrating from your bladder to your toilet (if you’re lucky). My first stone was internal; my second was both.
The generally accepted medical rule for kidney stones is 3mm. Anything smaller will pass by itself, but the larger it gets the more likely that surgery will be needed to remove it. I was fortunate, if you want to call it that, to have stones that were 2.8mm and 2.3mm respectively.
The Internal Experience
The first thing you feel is what you think is gas. You feel like you have to fart and that feeling grows stronger over time. You will try all the normal things; you’ll try to fart and you may even succeed a little but it won’t change how you feel.
As time goes by this feeling will intensify; you’ll grow more and more desperate to pass gas. You may stand up or walk around a bit, maybe drink a bit of water. Nothing will help and you’ll realize this isn’t gas.
As the stone progresses towards your bladder you’ll begin to feel pain. Most smells will make you nauseous. Your breathing will get shallower and you’ll find it harder to stand upright. The pain will be sharp, almost hot, as if the white hot tip of a soldering iron was being very slowly dragged through the side of your guts.
Eventually you’ll wind up on your side in a fetal position as that’s the only way to abate the pain for a little while. Your heart rate will increase, you’ll start to sweat like a pig, and you’ll get the cold shakes as if you had a really bad flu as your body reacts to the stress of the pain.
You’ll make repeated trips to the bathroom because you feel like you have to take a leak but nothing comes out. You’ll be taking sips of water; anything more than a sip will make you want to vomit. In fact, as the pain gets worse you very well may vomit.
If you’re lucky, the stone will be small enough (3mm or less) to pass through to your bladder by itself. When that happens you’ll experience a rather large endorphin rush; all the pain you’ve experienced over the past few hours will abate almost immediately as the stone lands in your bladder.
You won’t notice it at first because you’re still afraid to exert yourself (breathe deeply, relax from your fetal position, etc) but eventually you’ll realize that the nauseous feeling is gone so you’ll give it a try and discover, to your relief, that you’re pain free.
The External Experience
Many times, especially with smaller stones, the stones will disintegrate in the bladder so it’ll never be ejected from the body as a single unit. You may never realize that you’ve passed it. But sometimes, you’re very aware of it.
The second leg of the journey starts as your stone begins its trek down the urethra. This may happen soon after you’ve passed it internally, or it may happen days or weeks later. In my case, there was a two week gap between the internal and external.
Your first clue that Something Bad is going to happen is when you feel like you really have to take a major piss so you run into the bathroom, whip it out, and….maybe half a tablespoon dribbles out.
This is where you should make sure to secure all loose articles because baby, you’re going for a ride.
Imagine you’re standing around, minding your own business, when someone walks up behind you. This person is 7′ tall and 300 lbs of solid muscle, most of it concentrated in his hips and legs. On the top of his right foot is a glowing white-hot magnesium spike about a half inch around. He winds up and, with all his might, kicks you solidly in the nuts from behind.
So now your testicles are shattered, your taint is bruised, and that spike punctured through everything and landed somewhere right behind your cock, a glowing ember capable of burning a hole through the sun.
That is almost what it feels like.
You stagger to the toilet and pray for salvation. As before you’ll be sweating your ass off, wanting to vomit, and basically praying for death to take you quickly. You begin to feel the pressure of your bladder push the stone through, a solid jagged crystalline geometric object being pushed/dragged through the piss hole of your cock.
You try not to think about how much damage it’s causing on its way out. It feels like the stone is growing bigger but it’s not, rather the “trail of pain” that the stone leaves behind makes it feel bigger.
That glowing ember behind your cock is now being dragged through your urethra. You grunt and push and cry and struggle. You may find a drip or two of blood come out first and you start to panic, just wanting it to end.
Suddenly, the stone ejects; you hear a BB shot in the toilet and you feel the most marvelous combination of relief (as your bladder empties) and pain (as your hot urine passes over your scraped-up urethra).
You notice, with an attitude of largely not caring, that your urine is a little more orange than normal and the burning sensation makes you think for a moment that you’ve got the clap.
As your body reacts to the endorphin rush you realize, without really caring so much at the time, that it’s going to burn while you piss for a few days until your body heals.