Coping with Frequent UTIs, Part 1
Although my UTIs (urinary tract infections) are much less frequent now compared to what they were 4 years ago, I still have to be so careful. I suppose I just wanted to share my experience with you and hopefully let others know that they aren't alone.
I had my first UTI at the age of 17 - it was what you’d call the typical ‘honeymoon cystitis’ that is very common after having sexual intercourse. I took a course of antibiotics and I recovered well. I never had another attack until 2014.
UTI symptoms return with intense pain
This is when life really took another turn and when I look back it was quite traumatic.
I remember my partner and I were having a break away and when we were on the way home I started to get a really uncomfortable sensation down below and a feeling like I needed to pee really bad. I did recognize the symptoms from the infection I had all those years ago. I stupidly thought that perhaps if I drank some water it would pass off, but oh boy, was I wrong!
The pain continued to intensify to the point where I was in tears. When we got home I rushed to the toilet and was horrified to discover that I was peeing blood!
I just remember not being able to get off the toilet due to a constant urge to pee.
Antibiotics provide relief
I managed to call my doctor's office but it was a Sunday and the only advice was to go to our local ER which was a good 40-minute drive away.
I ended up having to wait for two hours to be seen by the doctor. He took a urine sample and after a few minutes confirmed that I had a UTI. I was given a course of antibiotics and sent on my way.
I took the antibiotics and I noticed the symptoms started to dissipate after about six hours. I remember feeling relieved that I was out of pain and all I wanted to do was go to bed and sleep as I felt so exhausted.
I carried on with life as normal but after about seven weeks I started to develop those familiar symptoms. "Oh no not again," I thought, "surely it can’t be another UTI?!" I called my doctor's office and they made me an appointment. After another urine test, it was found that I had an infection, so another course of antibiotics was prescribed.
I wasn’t too bothered at this point because I knew that the antibiotics would sort me out- which they did.
Infections return more frequently
A month later those familiar symptoms came back again! I was attending a wedding on that particular day and I could not believe that this was happening again. Rushes of anxiety were running through me as I was thinking there must be something seriously wrong with me. I knew it wasn’t normal to be getting so many infections.
I got more antibiotics but this time they didn’t work! I couldn’t understand why the symptoms seemed to be getting worse? It smelt like I was peeing out my kidneys and my urine was an awful orange/brown color.
I called my doctor who asked me to do yet another urine sample and she sent it to the lab so they could do a culture on it. She changed me on to a different type of antibiotic which thank goodness took effect, but how many more times was this going to happen?
Who do you turn to first for emotional support? (choose up to three)