Tuesday, April 30, 2013

My UTI story

This post is about urinary track infections. Be warned, I explain everything!

I caught a UTI somehow, right after B and I were married. I did have food poisoning before this, and it is said that salmonella can cause a secondary infection, usually a UTI.
After my honeymoon I noticed I was peeing blood. This freaked me out (I thought my kidneys were failing) so I immediately went to the doctor and they gave me a 3 day dose of antibiotics for a UTI. This stopped the blood, but I was still having frequency problems (when you have a UTI you have to go. All. The. Time) and pain when urinating (it hurts)!

So two weeks later I went BACK to the doctor (this was at a walk in clinic) because I was still experiencing these discomforts. After having me pee in a cup, the doctor told me that I probably had a STD, but it didn't look like I had a UTI anymore. What? 

No, I told him. I don't have any STDs. I still have a UTI. He said I was wrong, and told me to go to my gynecologist and get checked out. But I didn't have any insurance yet (B had filed paperwork for this, but we hadn't received my card)

So since I couldn't go to the Gyno right now, B went to get tested. He was clean.

Two more weeks after B was experimented on, I mean, tested, my insurance stuff finally came in and I went to my gynecologist for STD examination. They told me I didn't have any STDs (duh) but I still had a UTI. Wonder why that other doctor didn't see it? Did he even do a test?

Trust me, the story only gets worse.

My gyno gave me a 5 day antibiotic treatment. I took it. My symptoms went away. I was sleeping so much better (didn't have to wake up to pee in the middle of the night, huzzah!) and no more pain or frequency issues.

But then...like clockwork, two weeks later my UTI came right back. I checked into natural remedies. The internet said take cranberry pills. So I started taking cranberry pills. These did nothing but lessen my symptoms for a day or so.

So, like a smart person I decided that I won't go back to that first doctor that didn't believe me. I made another appointment with my Gyno.

They tested me for a UTI there and said it was negative. I probably had a STD, they said. Had I had any new partners since I last came in?

What? No! I replied. I'm married.

They basically told me I was making the whole thing up. The pain, everything. I explained that last time my other doctor had told me I didn't have a UTI but it turned out I did when I came here. They rolled their eyes and acted like I was stupid, but they said they would send my sample to a lab for more detailed examination. 

I cried on the way home. Was I wrong? Am I being stupid? I thought. But no. Something was wrong. Those next few days were really hard. It felt like my bladder was attacking me.

About four days later my Gyno called. Lo and behold I still had a UTI. She actually apologized and told me if I had any more trouble to come back immediately, and she phoned in a 7 day antibiotic prescription for me at my local CVS.

I took it. And guess what. Yup. Two weeks later my UTI came right back. I remember sitting in bed with B and crying because it felt so hopeless.

I didn't go back to the doctor right away. I was annoyed that they hadn't believed me and I wanted to take things into my own hands. I'd caught the UTI at the end of November and it was almost March! The antibiotic clearly wasn't helping.

I researched and researched EVERYWHERE on the internet and found a "herb" called D-Mannose was supposed to be really good for UTI prevention.

What the heck--I'll try it! Can't hurt, right?
D Mannose to treat UTI
not the brand I took
So I stared taking this D-Mannose and also a whole food vitamin. I prayed and begged God to cure me. I took D-Mannose for two days. My symptoms went away. They have never returned to this day! To say I'm relieved is an understatement.

Moral of the story? Doctors are smart, but they are not God. And they can be wrong. Also, I really hate being told that someone else knows my body better then me. Did the D-Mannose cure my UTI? Who knows? Maybe my body fought it off. Maybe the vitamin pills helped. I'm just glad its gone and I hope it never comes back.

*this post is not to be taken as medical advice. I am not a doctor. This is just my experience :)


deanna@delirious-rhapsody said...

it really struck a nerve with me with you said that doctor assumed you had an std and didn't even do a test. peppy's mom died (at 49 years old) last year because a doctor assumed she had a UTI and just gave her medicine without even testing her. she died two days later of a rare blood disease she never knew she had.

it's insane. do your tests, doctors!!!

Beth said...

It's actually quite common for newlywed women to develop UTIs, especially if they are not sexually active prior to the wedding. (It has to do with the extra...activity...that puts pressure on the urethra.) I am a little appalled that it didn't occur to your doctor that you might ACTUALLY have a UTI.

Chantal said...

I've also heard that UTI is the honeymoon infections, I can't cant believe you had to go though all of that though over something that's usually easy to take care of. Sometimes we just need to go to God first.


Michelle said...

Oh you poor thing. I'm so sorry!!! I've been accused of having STDs before too, when there was NO WAY that was the case. Once I even had a doctor tell me she thought I had liver cancer, and after months of fear and tests, we found out she had merely read the x-ray wrong and I was perfectly fine.

Paulina @ Color Me Brave said...

That is awful and I know your pain!! The same thing happened to be, but with yeast infections. I was getting them as soon as the came back. So they thought maybe I had an STD and I was like how I am a virgin!! How in the world could I get an STD, well they thought I was stupid and I got so fed up with them I changed Doctors and she suggested this vitamin for me to take and bam they were gone and have yet to get another one.

Paul said...

UTIs can be frequent when you are sexually active. You should look up some preventative measures such as urinating before and after intercourse to flush things out. It will probably keep you from getting them as often.

Charlotte said...

I can't believe you got yanked around so much. It's unfortunate your doctors weren't willing to listen to you.

I have a similar story: not sexually active before marriage, I got 3 UTIs in 2 months. My doctor recommended urinating and showering/washing after sex. It's a pain in the butt, but since then, I've only gotten 2 more UTIs in almost 5 years of marriage. So it's worth it!

katie said...

I'm so sorry. There's no excuse for the doctors to treat you like that.

UTIs are really common once you become sexually active, especially at first. So common, and almost always due the natural bacteria in your GI tract getting out of place into your urinary tract (so, almost certainly unrelated to your food poisoning!), that it's called "the honeymooner's disease" and often it's not even tested to confirm, just treated right away. However, UITs *can* be caused by less-common bugs and not every antibiotic is effective against every bug, so it can take longer to sort out. I'm sorry that happened to you, and that you were treated poorly. Please know that the emphasis on STI testing was not to insult you, but to help you -- they're far more common than you know, and so an avenue that a responsible provider is obligated to explore.

I don't know much about d-mannose, other than it's a sugar, not an herb (looks like it's the "active" ingredient in cranberries, etc that makes them recommended for urinary health?), but as both another woman and an interested-in-women's-health medical student, I *definitely* recommend probiotics. Your body has natural "flora," meaning yeasts & bacteria, that live all over your skin, gut and repro tracts. Probiotics help maintain the balance of these protective, beneficial flora, which prevents unwanted bugs from colonizing and causing infections -- especially important if you've been on antibiotics, since those are like nukes and take out the good bacteria as well as the bad! You can get both pills and suppositories, whatever you're more comfortable with. You want ones on the order of 8+ billion CFU (colony-forming units), with a few different strains, and requiring refrigeration -- if it's shelf-stable, the beasties aren't active, and won't be doing anything for you.