Frequent Urinary Tract Infections

Last updated: September 2019

In January, I was admitted to ICU with sepsis. It came from a urinary tract infection. It was the first one I had ever had in my life, so I didn't even know I had it. No symptoms other than sleeping for days (the sepsis was starting). After two weeks in the ICU and two weeks in rehabilitation, I came home.

Pain in my bladder

Two weeks later, I actually had pain in my bladder. Immediately I called my doctor because I still had that fear of almost dying a month prior. Sure enough, I had another infection. I was immediately put on Bactrim. I felt better by nightfall.

Fast forward three weeks later - another urinary tract infection. We immediately thought that the initial infection may not have cleared completely, but after doing a culture and sensitivity, we came to realize the infections were indeed different.

Staying ahead of future infections

I started 2019 having never had any type of urinary difficulties, but it seems since being diagnosed with bladder cancer that has been changed forever. I now have to be very conscious. I even purchased the urine dip sticks to be able to test my urine myself to keep closer tabs on the situation. If you suffer from frequent infections, I would suggest two things. One is to buy the strips so you will know if you actually have an infection as we know treatments sometimes cause pain that might lead you to think you have an infection. Number two is to consider buying AZO - I love that stuff. For me, it stops pain within a few minutes (Heads up: your urine will become reddish/orange - don't panic - it's not blood - it is the AZO.)

AZO is an over-the-counter medication, and they have several variations to choose from. It WILL NOT cure your infection, so make sure you give a urine specimen for culture before you take the first dose.

Drinking cranberry juice

Another tip my medical team gave me is to drink cranberry juice - a lot of it. So now I have cranberry juice every night with my dinner. It's been ten days since my last regimen of antibiotics and so far so good, so I can only hope we finally killed the organism causing my infection and the cranberry juice is helping prevent another infection from starting.

The pain of a UTI

People always told me, "You'll never understand the pain of a UTI until you have one." Oh boy, is that the truth. It's sort of like when your mom told you, "Wait 'til you have kids." Same shock level. The light bulb went off when I had my first one with pain, and I was amazed by how people function daily once they get one. I luckily am on disability, so I was at home.

Finally, don't ignore any type of bladder issues. Pain, blood in urine, stinging when urinating, fever. All are symptoms and should not be ignored. Call your physician promptly.

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This article represents the opinions, thoughts, and experiences of the author; none of this content has been paid for by any advertiser. The team does not recommend or endorse any products or treatments discussed herein. Learn more about how we maintain editorial integrity here.

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