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?
Have you ever had to change holiday plans because of lupus?