Getting a 2nd Opinion – What I Learned

Getting a 2nd Opinion – What I Learned

I had been put under the care of a Urologist who I saw approximately every six months. I was self-catheterizing 3-4 times a day as my bladder didn’t fully void (empty) by itself. He would perform a urine test, record my weight and speak about my health in general.

Feeling increasingly unwell

Gradually over time I began to start feeling unwell. The main symptoms being sweating and nausea. I put a urine sample into my local Doctor and lo and behold, I had a UTI. A five day course of antibiotics was prescribed. A few weeks later the same symptoms returned, sweating and nausea. Again I put another urine sample in to be tested, and yes you guessed it, another UTI, another course of antibiotics.

The frequency of the UTI’s began to increase. I had an appointment with my Urologist and explained what had been happening. He decided to put me on a low dose of antibiotics, to be taken daily for three months. I would then come back and see him. During this period I contracted yet more UTI’s. It turned out that I had now become resistant to the prescribed antibiotics. So a different type was issued.

The appointment date came to see the Urologist and a cystoscopy would be performed. I was feeling pretty rotten. I had began to lose my appetite, still had the nausea, a temperature and felt so very tired. I was also losing weight.

The cystoscopy was performed but all that could be seen was infection, lots of infection. So before leaving the hospital I was given an infusion drip of antibiotics and a prescription of yet more antibiotics, in fact this time I was give a six month course of low dose antibiotics and told to make an appointment to come a back in three months time.

Recurrent UTIs

In the months that followed I had more UTI’s and was beginning to feel very weak. I would wake up sweating so much that I had to change myself and the bedsheets, absolutely sodden wet. I also began to feel a very intense sharp pain up my back passage whenever I needed a bowel movement. So intense that it would stop me in my tracks.

My appointment date with my Urologist came around and I attended with my Husband in tow. I explained everything that had been happening, the UTI’s, sweating, pain. I had now also lost almost two stone in weight. He seemed dismissive of my symptoms and instructed me to continue taking the low dose antibiotics and also issued me with an emergency 7 day courses of a different antibiotic should I feel that I had another infection. This would mean I wouldn’t have to wait for my local Doctors to conduct a urine test before issuing yet more antibiotics.

Knowing something isn’t right

I felt deep down that something wasn’t right, I even expressed my fears to my Husband. But I was brought up in an era where you didn’t question Doctors, as they always knew best. I saw my Urologist for a further two appointments, each time, feeling worse but advised to just keep taking the antibiotics.

Over the next couple of months I was rarely without infection. I had now lost 3 stone in weight and felt so weak, I was almost bed bound. My appetite was virtually nil and the pain had become excruciating up my back passage. I felt I could not continue like this. I had no quality of life whatsoever. So I rang my local Doctor, explained how I was feeling and asked to be referred to a different Urologist for a 2nd opinion. She agreed and a referral was made.

Receiving a diagnosis 

Within 2 weeks I had my appointment, and within 4 weeks I was diagnosed as having a high grade aggressive bladder tumor. The tumor was at the back of my bladder that sits right next to the bowel. Hence why I was experiencing pain with bowel movements.

Lesson learned

What I learned from this is not to hang around if you are unhappy with your treatment or Urologist, or any other Doctor you may be seeing for whatever complaint you may have. My regret is not asking for a 2nd opinion sooner, don’t let it be your regret too.

This article represents the opinions, thoughts, and experiences of the author; none of this content has been paid for by any advertiser. The BladderCancer.net 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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