Thursday, November 6, 2014

TMI- That Time I Got a UTI from Buying Shoes

So, I had a UTI recently. 

Yeah.  We just went there.  

I don't know how many of you who read this blog have kidney problems, or bladder problems or UTIs ever.  But I'm just going to assume that some of you, maybe a small portion of you, have or know someone who has kidney issues.  Therefore, you are well acquainted with the UTI.  

Or maybe you're just a woman.  UTIs seem to LOVE women.  

If you are not a woman and have no idea what I'm even remotely talking about, a UTI is a Urinary Tract Infection.  It occurs when bacteria somehow finds its way into your urinary tract, which includes your urethra, your bladder, and the infection can also spread to your kidneys.  Women are more likely to experience UTIs because we have a shorter urethra, which makes it easier for bacteria to end up in our bladder.  The risk of UTI goes up especially if you are sexually active.  Ever wondered why you're supposed to pee after sex?  Well, this is why.  They leave so many things out of movie sex scenes.  I guess the parts where the woman jumps up, leaps across the bed and runs to the bathroom immediately after sex is one of the film strips that ends up on the cutting room floor. 

Other causes: not wiping correctly like your momma taught you when you were three, certain types of birth control, having a suppressed immune system.  I also heard somewhere, I don't remember where, that holding it ("it" being your pee) is one way to get a UTI.  I'm pretty sure that's how mine came about.  I held it for about two hours while shoe shopping after a dentist appointment.  I even asked the woman at the counter when I checked out with my new shoes if there was a bathroom in the store.  I still didn't bother going.  I'm pretty sure that's how I got my UTI.  DSW.  That new shoe smell seduced me and convinced me that it could wait.  Just try on 10 more pairs, it said. That was on a Thursday.

About five days later, things set in and just like I predicted, Tuesday morning I went to the bathroom, and something felt...OFF.  For most people, the first pee of the morning would be too early to tell if they had a UTI.  Especially since I'd yet to feel the REALLY BAD symptoms.  But I've had one UTI every year since I was 18 years old.  I've gotten use to the early signs. And being an ESRD and kidney transplant patient I am hyper-aware of my urinary habits.  Cameron Diaz, in a talk with Oprah about her new book, said something that I totally agree with:  ""Every time you go pee, you can look in the toilet.  You can see what color your pee is, what it smells like, and how often you've gone. And you can tell whether or not you need to drink more water or drink less coffee or whether or not your kidneys are being able to be flushed out. That's important to your body."  This is normal for me.  I highly recommend paying more attention to your urine. 

Anyhoo, first pee of that Tuesday morning: off.  Second pee:  still off.  Third pee:  OK...something's about to go VERY wrong, I thought.  As the day progressed, I started to take action to hopefully delay what I was sure would come in a few hours.  I downed water and peed as often as I could trying to help my body get rid of some of the bacteria.  Because if this did turn out to just be some mild irritation from something I ate or whatever else, I wanted to help my body along as best I could.  So it was drink and pee. Drink and pee for about seven hours.

I went home that night and told Ben that I thought I was getting a UTI.  He remembers the last UTI I had.  It ended with me vomiting and a trip to the E.R.  My husband is so wonderful.  He tried to tell me not to worry about it and that it was probably just a false alarm.  We had just heard this sermon from church about not letting our minds run wild with negative thoughts that have no bearing.  So I could tell what he was doing here.  But what I had wasn't a negative thought.  It was fact. I held my pee for two hours so that I could buy shoes and now I was about to pay for it.  

Just as we were getting ready for bed, it started.  The fire.  To sum it up, having a UTI is like pissing fire.  That's...about as best as I can explain it so I won't continue.  Just imagine fire.  Or acid.  Now, imagine that is your pee.  

I thought, maybe if I just continue drinking water through the night I'll eventually rid my body of most of the infection and I can get just enough sleep to go to my doctor in the morning.  I made it to 1 A.M.  That's when I left the bathroom, where I'd been holed up for most of the night, threw on my hoodie and some shoes and drove to the only urgent care center that was open 24 hours.  I guess that's the one positive.  I didn't have to pay possibly $100 for a visit to the E.R., and I didn't have to risk the chance that they'd want to keep me overnight for observation.  I knew that I'd be a target for that, having a transplant and all.  And once you check yourself into the cannot check yourself out.  I had a big day of work in the morning and minimal sick leave so urgent care was the only answer. 

I peed twice at urgent care, and moaned and shook and sweat both times.  I couldn't even sit down when the doctor was telling me that I did in fact have a UTI.  He gave me a prescription for antibiotics to fill at a 24-hour CVS.  I arrived at the deserted CVS at 2 A.M. on Wednesday morning.  The pharmacist could tell exactly who I was because I was pacing back and forth and I asked her if I could use the restroom.  

I purchased a big bottle of water, some gummy bears and a box of crackers along with my medicine.  And there in the parking lot of CVS, I took my first does of antibiotics and ate that entire package of gummy bears.  Afterward, I drove home, went BACK into my bathroom with my Android tablet, and continued to piss acid until the antibiotics kicked in...around 4 A.M.  I slept on the the hallway...on the bathroom floor with my face pressed up against cold tile and bits of kitty litter on my palms.  Then at 6 A.M. I finally made it to my bed, where I slept uninterrupted for about two and a half hours until I had to get up for an important day of work.  

Want to see a picture of the shoes I bought before I got my UTI?  Ok!  

Cuuuuuute, riiiiight?! I know. So cute.