urinary tract infections, etc

Jake, who lost his 29 year old wife to a mystery infection a few weeks ago, FINALLY HAS SOME ANSWERS about her illness.

It appears the precipitating infection was likely a urinary tract infection that turned into a kidney infection. She had mentioned to him that she might have a UTI, and he noticed after she was hospitalized that she had been Googling "pelvic tenderness."

This really made me think.

I have been prone to UTIs all my life. I had my first one, requiring hospitalization, before I was three years old. I had my most recent one while I was pregnant last month. The midwife discovered that I had a "raging" UTI about a week before I miscarried. I think it's likely that I got the infection from an unecessary catheterization I'd agreed to while having some tests run at a local hospital the week before that. (I agreed to the catheter because I was just wanting to get out of there after being there many hours). Interestingly, in the comments BELOW JAKE"S POST about finding out his wife had a UTI, someone says she believes she got a bad infection from a a catheter.

I will never know if the infection caused the miscarriage, but it certainly complicated things. I was on antibiotics for several weeks - until last week.

In general, like lots of women, I tend to ignore UTI symptoms. They rarely make you sick, unless they make you VERY sick. And Jake's loss reminds me that they are nothing to ignore and mess with. This was a good reminder for me. I tend to avoid ever going to the doctor and had really avoided even routine, commonsense check-ups for several years until my recent pregnancy.

Now I am going to get serious about making sure I get all my check-ups, and don't ignore "minor" infections, and just generally take better care of myself. I owe it to myself and to my children and husband and the rest of my family. And I really appreciate Jake sharing this information with all his readers, because it was a kick in the pants I needed to make a commitment to take better care of myself.

It also reminds me how lucky I am to have health insurance and how much more difficult it is for the millions of Americans who do not.

So I'm talking publicly here about less-than-pleasant stuff like urinary tract infections and catheters and death in hopes that maybe some of you who have been putting off getting that check-up, or going to the doctor about that nagging "little" problem will pick up the phone today and call the doctor.

Do it in B.J.'s memory.


dancediva said...

Ugh, I woke up this morning with the first symptoms of a UTI, so I couldn't believe this when I read it! (I was following AT's blog as well.) I'm lucky; one of my tenants is a urology practice and can get in there the same day when I need to. After learning these things, though, I'll be taking a lot more proactive steps than I have in the past.

Thank you for your honesty.

becky said...

My dear friend's brother died in his late 20's of a urinary tract infection gone awry. The story is eerily similar to B.J's. He too was healthy and fine just a few weeks before. it is important to point out that though they are more rare in men, the infection is just as devastating.

Anonymous said...

so, um, what I dont get is why someone who is OBSESSED with the health ramifications of something that may only marginally improve the health of ones baby, if at all, and perhaps then only on paper: why would this person be so neglectful of their OWN health? I mean HELLO...its common sense that you go to the doctor if you think you have something that needs treatment. It doesnt take a rocket scientist to figure that out. But I dont get why someone who is prone to something doesnt just recognize that here they go again and march off to get their treatment ASAP? Assuming of course they can afford it but if they have insurance, why would you sit around hoping that something that you know needs antibiotics might just magically go away by itself?
That is just sheer stupidity. My father died young and lost all his teeth before he was forty because he had a phobia of doctors/dentists and never went.

becky said...

what the hell are you babbling about?

Beci said...

I keep a big bottle of amoxicillan on hand for when I feel the first hint of a UTI.
If I don't, by the time I get to the walk-in clinic a day later, it's set in full force.
I've probably been a day away from a kidney infection once or twice.

dewi said...

Katie, if you're prone to frequent UTI take Cranberry capsules regularly and visit with an Urologist.

Pure Cranberry capsule on daily basis is the prescribed preventative measures you can use. It really does work by changing the PH in your bladder to make it an unfriendly environment for the bacteria that causes UTI.

Not to compare the tragedy of your friends wife, or your discomfort. My dog has chronic UTI her vet told me to give her cranberry capsules daily and she has been well for ages, and off antibiotics.

She had UTI so regularly and on antibiotics too often that I had them do a sonogram to make sure there was not an anatomical abnormality where the urine was being caught in a little pouch of skin in her bladder that would make her prone to UTI. She did not have this problem; the reality is that the close proximity of the urethra and anus in all female species can cause UTI.

Cranberry is a miracle remedy for chronic UTI and so easy to take daily and good for your overall health!

clara said...

I want to add that 1000 mg of vitamin C every morning and another 1000 every night will help prevent UTI`s too. It works like cranberry, but for me the C worked better.

I used to have UTI`s constantly as a child & then every month in my 20`s. With my first pregnancy a South African midwife recommended the Vit C to keep the urine acidic enough to kill bacteria. Its totally safe in pregnancy and I`ve gone almost 10 years now without a UTI. Good luck! Also, always sleep without underwear. It works!