Health question, possible kidney issue

Discussion in 'The Watercooler' started by hearts and roses, Feb 15, 2012.

  1. hearts and roses

    hearts and roses Mind Reader

    I'm hoping someone can shed a little light on this issue I'm having.

    As you recall, I had the knee surgery, my back went out. While the back is slowly healing, it's a constant battle between the two areas because my gait is still so off. PT is helping with the knee and the chiro is helping with the back, they have been willing to work in concert with one another, which is nice.

    Anyway, I'm still taking a litany of medications: oxycodone, Tylenol, aspirin, stool softener, celebrex, Prozac, robaxin, singular, Advair. The Prozac and asthma medications are not related to those other surgical related medications. But that's a lot of drugs, no?

    So in the past few days, approximately four, I've developed a pain on the left side of my mid back, today it's also on the right. If I lie down, it feels somewhat better,but it's always there. And if I'm walking or standing, it's killer. Sitting is somewhat tolerable.

    I'm peeing normal, I feel, as I've been drinking water all day and night. I have two cups of coffee in the am and about seven to eleven cups of water. I may have one glass of wine with dinner. Again, my peeing is normal. My bm's - not so much. I was going great for a while there, but the past couple of days it's been difficult.

    So, I'm going to call my reg dr tomorrow just to be sure it's not kidney related, but thought I'd throw it out there to you wise folks! Any thoughts? Could it just be muscle aches related to my back? Does taking all these medications put a HUGE strain on my kidneys and liver? I'm trying not to freak here, so any input would be helpful. Thanks!
  2. DammitJanet

    DammitJanet Well-Known Member Staff Member

    Welcome to my world!

    Im telling you, you have convinced me I am NOT getting my knees I am in enough pain already.

    Yes the medications are probably not helping any..especially with the bathroom issues. Get a laxative and not just a stool softener. You may need an enema to really clear things out and then start afresh. Sorry. been there done that and still going through it.
  3. tiredmommy

    tiredmommy Site Moderator

    The new lower back pain may be directly related to medication-related constipation.
  4. susiestar

    susiestar Roll With It

    The things that are going to hurt the liver and kidneys the most are the tylenol, aspirin and celebrex. Who prescribed the celebrex and do they know you are taking aspirin? Those are NOT good medications to take at the same time. If for no other reason than they will tear your digestive tract to pieces in no time at all. It s quite risky to use both aspirin and celebrex at the same time, esp if you are taking aspirin at more than the 81mg low dose for heart health. Prozac seems to react with darn near everything so it could be a problem according to the interaction checker at You can go and put in the medications you are taking and read the listed problems, but be aware that MOST drugs that we have known about for long enough to become generic have a long list of potential problems.

    the BIG problem with celebrex and aspirin is the risk of GI problems/bleeding, esp with prozac added because the celebrex and aspirin control some of the body's response to pain and inflammation which can hide the problems and the prozac can interact iwth the aspirin to create clotting problems with the blood. So those could be an issue that could cause problems. Some of the medications intereract with others to keep each other from being used appropriately, creating more of the medications for the body to have to clear out. This could lead to problems with kidney/liver pain because those are the organs that clear medications out.

    Mostly I would see if you can reduce the aspirin or celebrex so that you are taking only one of them. Docs here seem to HATE celebrex and only use it for very short periods of time, maybe a month at most. I was told this was because it can be good enough at handling the pain that it can disguise some of the problems it is creating until serious damage has been done and because there is some increased risk of heart problems. I have only heard the heart thing from docs, but the pharmacists have triple checked with the doctor if we ever got a prescription for more than 2 weeks worth or if it had any refills at all because it can disguise the pain from the damage it can cause which seemed to be mostly about stomach problems (medication related ulcers and bleeding).

    If you have black or tarry stools, get to a doctor NOW. It is a sign of blood in the stool and can mean that you have a bleeding ulcer somewhere in the digestive tract that you don't know about. Same if you vomit or have diarrhea and it looks like there are coffee grounds in what comes out. been there done that with the medication related ulcers and they are NOT fun.

    I hope this is more of a muscle problem, or related to constipation from the oxycodone. If that is part of the problem, go for fiber. Fiber capsules that are psyllium are your best friend. They won't ferment and cause gas and bloating the wya other fibers do. The capsules are easy to swallow and you can start with 1-2 a day and work up over time to find what works for you. Fiber will soften hard stools naturally by adding bulk and attracting water, and it will also fix diarrhea by absorbing excess water and adding bulk. So it will help more than stool softeners and you own't get caught in a cycle of needing the softeners more and more because the body gets used to them.

    I knew all those years of IBS problems would help someone, sometime! That is where I learned about psyllium fiber = my system can go from one extreme to the other and back again in under 12 hrs. Which is NOT fun. But fiber is the ONLY thing to fix both ends of the problem.
  5. crazymama30

    crazymama30 Active Member

    Oxycodone has tylenol in it. Stop the tylenol. I think I saw you are on celebrex. If so, stop the ibuprofen you are at higher risk of developing a gi bleed. As for the constipation, try swiss criss. It is an herbal remedy, and I have found our works wonders.
  6. crazymama30

    crazymama30 Active Member

    Also, unless the surgeon has you on aspirin for a blood thinner I would question that also. For a post op list of medications? It is not that bad. I know it seems like a lot, but it won't be forever
  7. Hound dog

    Hound dog Nana's are Beautiful

    Could be kidney........but just as easily could be you're using muscles (to compensate perhaps) that you'd ordinarily not be using and it's making them sore. But....if it doesn't go away, get checked for a Urinary Tract Infection (UTI). It could also be (and more likely is) medication induced constipation. With the pain medication alone, you could have severe constipation, that's not factoring in the other medications.

    If I'm on pain medications, I tend to greatly increase my fiber. Because my normal daily medications have a tendency to constipate.......add in pain medications and I can find myself in heap big trouble pronto if I'm not very careful.
  8. InsaneCdn

    InsaneCdn Well-Known Member

    ... not to mention the impact of reduced activity levels... I'm voting for the constipation theory, too.
  9. tiredmommy

    tiredmommy Site Moderator

    Do you have your medications filled at one pharmacy? If so, you can call and ask the pharmacist to review your current medications. He/she may be able to tell you if you should be seen by a doctor or if your medication protocol may have to be adjusted.
  10. hearts and roses

    hearts and roses Mind Reader

    No, the oxycodone does not have Tylenol in it, that would be vicodin, which I am not taking. The oxycodone is simply the generic of oxycontin so it's all alone. The Tylenol is taken with the robaxin, a muscle relaxer, and the aspirin is 325mg twice a day.

    Janet, last week I was going very well and felt cleaned out but that is when the pain started.

    Susie, I'll ask my dr about the celebrex. I was taking the celebrex prior to the surgery due to the osteoarthritis in my knee so for all practical purposes, perhaps I do not need it anymore now that I have a new knee!

    Janet, being five weeks out now, I will tell you honestly, despite the issues I've had with my back, I would do the total replacement surgery again! The pain I've been dealing with for years in my knee is GONE. The pain I'm experiencing now I know will go away because it's all relative to the process of healing. If I remind myself of that fact, I don't for a minute second guess having the surgery. I still have very high hopes of an active summer ahead of me once all e PT is complete.

    I begin aqua therapy next week and I can't wait because that will mean less strain on my low back!

    Thanks ladies! You're the best! Sorry for any grammar or spelling errors-typing on my iPad stinks!
  11. InsaneCdn

    InsaneCdn Well-Known Member

    This is going to be a BIG WIN all the way around... great news!
  12. hearts and roses

    hearts and roses Mind Reader

    Great idea! I will call them first. Thanks!
  13. flutterby

    flutterby Fly away!

    You shouldn't be taking aspirin with celebrex - they're both nsaids. I would definitely ask about that one. I think tylenol more effects the liver than the kidneys, but not sure.

    Kidney pain is in the flank area. I would probably guess it's muscle pain and/or GI stuff, but if it continues I wouldn't mess with it. It's not hard to pee in a cup. :) You really don't want to mess with kidney issues.

    Hope you feel better soon.
  14. hearts and roses

    hearts and roses Mind Reader

    My reg dr has determined that it's muscle related, nothing to do with kidneys, etc. She gave e a script for flexeril to replace the robaxin, since in the past the flexeril as been more effective for back issues. I just have to clear it with my ortho tomorrow. I've a feeling they will tell me I can discontinue the aspirin tomorrow and *possibly* the Tylenol. Maybe the celebrex too! I'll ask my ortho tomorrow. I don't want to stop any drugs that I may actually need to get me through the worst of PT, Know what I mean??

    Reg dr also instructed me to get back on the miralax and lessen the stool softener dose, as she feels it will be more effective for THAT issue, lol.

    And lastly, she advised moist heat for the back, which I haven't tried (chiro swears by ice) yet so I'll do that after dinner.

    Ugh. I can't wait to feel like my old self again!
  15. flutterby

    flutterby Fly away!

    Ice usually helps me more, but switching back and forth between ice and moist heat might be helpful, too. I'm glad it isn't a kidney issue.
  16. hearts and roses

    hearts and roses Mind Reader

    Me too, I so don't need anything else right now and as my knee is improving I am really wanting to be normal again BEFORE I return to work! Wouldn't it be nice to have a week of feeling good before heading back to the office.
  17. susiestar

    susiestar Roll With It

    I can't use ice at all - not ever for any reason. It sends my muscles into spasms that don't ease for weeks. I scared the last PT who insisted I try it. Each person is different.

    MANY people do extremely well with alternating hot and cold packs every 15 min. Always remember that for 24 hours after an injury, NEVER use heat because it will create more inflammation and make things worse. Once 24 hours has passed, heat may be helpful or alternating heat and cold may be even more helpful.

    I use rice bags that heat easily in the microwave. You can sew up a hand towel, sleeve from a shirt you don't like, or whatever you want. Or take a tube sock and fill it with rice and tie the end closed. These make super easy rice bags that are really helpful.

    There is also a new hot pack that is filled with clay instead of that blue gel stuff. It holds the heat a LOT longer than the gel stuff does. It is sold iwth the other hot and cold backs at the store.