Lontz, 80, describes kidney stone pain as so intense that “there’s an immense feeling of desperation to get out of it. Absolutely nothing else matters.”
Lontz should know. He’s suffered the pain of kidney stones twice. The first time, he was in his late 20s. “I hauled myself over to the hospital. The pain got more and more intense while I was sitting in the emergency room. I passed out.” When he awoke the next morning, a urologist told him he’d had a kidney stone. “I remember him telling me, ‘If you have any luck at all, you’ll die before you have another attack,’ Lontz said.
But it happened again, several years later, and he had surgery to remove the stone. By then, Lontz was a patient at Duke Urology. Neither he nor his doctors wanted him to have a third attack, so they began taking steps to manage his kidney stone disease.