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How a Kidney Stone Changed My Life: A Painful Reminder To Take Care Of Oneself

I've always been the kind of person who struggled with my weight. In high school, I managed to keep it in check by participating in various sports like swimming, wrestling, football, and even fencing. Staying active was easy back then. However, once I entered college, the challenge of maintaining an active lifestyle became increasingly difficult, and my weight started to creep up every weekend. By the time I reached graduate school, it had reached an embarrassing 450 pounds.

In my early twenties, I unintentionally shed a significant amount of weight. I know that sounds like a brag, but it was the unintentional part that was the problem. I had not built a system. Rather  I was working in Anacortes, WA, surrounded by the breathtaking natural beauty that kept me active. But as life progressed, and I got married to my wonderful wife Lisa and started a family and  my career took center stage, my weight slowly began to creep back. Year after year, the pounds piled on until I found myself at the age of 38, weighing 450 pounds once again.

I ignored the warning signs that my body was giving me, dismissing them as insignificant. My Apple Watch continuously alerted me about my low cardio health, but I brushed it off, assuming it was just a glitch. Climbing the stairs left me breathless, but I convinced myself that occasional bursts of exercise were sufficient. The creaking of my office chair was surely just my imagination, and the tightening of my clothes was merely a result of shrinking fabrics. I turned a blind eye to the reality that I was in deep trouble.

Then, one fateful night in late February, everything changed. As I settled into bed, a sudden, excruciating pain shot down my side. I panicked, thinking I had thrown out my back. But the pain intensified, overwhelming my senses and making coherent thought impossible. I paced back and forth in the bathroom, acutely aware that I was in serious trouble.

I had to wake my wife and call my aunt in the middle of the night to watch our kids. After white knuckling the 40 min it took my aunt to drive to our house,  My wife drove me to the emergency room.mI did my best to maintain composure despite the agony I was experiencing. Finally, we arrived at the ER, which was eerily quiet at midnight.

The nurses checked me in and took my vitals. Out of the corner of my eye, I saw them enter my weight, and the software prompted them to confirm it wasn't a mistake. It was a new low, clearly not  literally and figuratively. When my blood pressure was measured, an alarm went off, indicating a cause for concern. And, of course, the gown they gave me to wear didn't fit.

After a quick  back-and-forth conversation, the medical team concluded that it was likely a kidney stone causing my excruciating pain. They administered painkillers, and the intensity of the pain diminished. However, I was left in the room, waiting for confirmation. Hours passed until the MRI results came in, confirming that I indeed had a 4 mm kidney stone.

Lying there, staring at the ceiling while the monitors beeped incessantly, warning of potential cardiac issues, my mind wandered to my father. He had gone from being a master of the universe to managing kidney failure. Was that to be my fate as well? Thoughts of my family, especially my youngest child Zelie, who has Down syndrome, consumed me. They needed me, and by neglecting my health, I was failing them. No matter how successful I may have been in other areas of my life, I realized that I had to prioritize my well-being to ensure I could be there for my loved ones.

The next day, still managing the pain and reflecting on how I had reached this point, I made a firm decision. I was determined to reclaim my health. I started by assuming that all my body systems were failing, and I needed to find a way to fix them. This led me down a rabbit hole of health knowledge, exploring functional medicine and devouring books like Young Forever by Dr. Mark Hayman, Stay Off My Operating by Table Philip Ovadia and The Carnivore Diet by Shawn Baker 

I embarked on a journey of dietary changes, eliminating gluten and dairy due to their potential for inflammation. I delved into the world of supplements, experimented with cold showers and intermittent fasting, even tried grounding mats (no judgment, please!). Rucking with a 40-pound weight plate became a regular part of my routine. And through it all, I found solace and strength in my faith.

Within two months, I began to witness remarkable changes. My resting heart rate dropped significantly, my blood pressure returned to the high end of normal, and I shed 50 pounds. I still have a long way to go, with 150 pounds left to lose, but the transformation I've experienced so far is nothing short of amazing. I feel rejuvenated, revitalized, and ready to continue my journey toward a healthier future.


  1. How a Kidney Stone Changed My Life" offers a poignant reflection on the transformative impact of kidney stones. Through personal anecdotes and heartfelt revelations, readers gain insight into the profound ways in which this condition can alter one's perspective on health and self-care. With vulnerability and honesty, individuals are reminded of the importance of prioritizing their well-being and seeking proper medical attention when faced with health challenges. With the support of Meri Sehat and access to online doctor in Pakistan, individuals can find guidance and encouragement on their journey to improved health and vitality.


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