Sunday, April 27, 2014
I Write My Own Rx
Things are about to get real REAL up in here, more specifically, down...in...there.
Ok, I'll just come out and say it. Last week I experienced my 1st (and hopefully last) UTI.
There is no cute Pinterest way in sharing that.
Just like most not-cute experiences in my life thus far, it has provided me with a newfound appreciation for the finer things in life. Now that I've "lived" in Africa and now that I've "lived" this infection, both running water and healthy pee are on the top of my finer things in life category. I'm a cheap date.
Friday-Sunday I googled, read, and texted about all things urinary tract related. Riveting stuff.
I also watched a Netflix queue-load of "Pretty Little Liars" in between bathroom breaks and bubble baths, (without the bubbles). I also spent an hour searching for the nearest cranberry bog to sit in, for the rest of my life. If Ocean Spray needs a new spokesmodel, call me.
I'll be honest though, there was a doctor prescribed antibiotic pack sitting on my nightstand by Monday evening. After a weird flash of odd symptoms, those little pills became my backup plan. Kinda like when I used the birthing center across from the big box hospital. Backup plan. Dot my i's and cross my t's. Seems to put me at ease.
Then I take pill #1 and I'm reminded why I don't take pill #2.
Azythromycin gives me a rash. Found that out about 10 years ago, when I took my last round of antibiotics for an ear infection. It was around the time that "meningitis" was all over the media, so, there I am sitting on the couch, home alone, watching a news special as my skin starts turning purple. Yay.
"You should've used garlic oil, zaps it right away," says one of my classmates after I finally venture back to school.
This isn't only a me thing either, and I am not a dramatic-hypochondriac-world-is-out-to-get-me kind of person. I hypnobirthed a child for goodness' sake and broke my pinkie playing leap frog in the 3rd grade and didn't tell anyone. I know that I'm kind of a big deal, but I won't tell you about it. My husband has been through multiple rounds of antibiotics for severe allergic reactions to poison oak, of which, he has had lasting effects from, including joint pain, headaches, and skin sensitivity. Four years ago, a doctor hastily prescribed antibiotics, epi pen, inhaler, the works for Daniel's random bout with impetigo. Maybe, impetigo. Possibly a mango rind allergy.
Maybe I read too many "Encyclopedia Brown" books or watched "The Great Mouse Detective" too many times, because medical mysteries fascinate me.
I also use to babysit the children of a major pharmaceutical's sales rep, so, I practically hold an honorary doctorate degree.
My husband's medical-ness fascinates me, (as well as everything else about him, awwww).
And this visit started it all.
"I've researched the connection between mango rinds and poison oak, they appear to be in the same family. This is just something topical, contact dermatitis. Also, he recently had Chinese food, maybe with cashews in it? There's a connection too, and..."
"No, no, this is definitely not that. Was his throat closing up?"
"No. Just a skin reaction..."
"Well, it'll probably happen next time. Here take this, and this, and this..."
Not only $CHA-CHING$, but we left more confused than before. A quick fix and it was on to the next number, I mean, person.
The medicine did seem to work...until the infection instantly came back, on his skin. I busted out the colloidal silver and grapefruit seed extract. Gone. Hasn't been back since. Just sayin'.
Monday night, I'm sitting in the ER for the first time in a decade waiting upon waiting plus waiting times some more waiting, to figure out what is up. Daniel looks around the room, little kids wrapped in blankets, elderly lady with an oxygen tank, crying teenager in her wheelchair. "I feel like I'm getting sick," he whispers. We are kind of a pitiful bunch, watching the clock tick through the fluorescent haze. Two hours drag by and I need to lay down. Sip cold water. Head to the bathroom. Repeat. "I feel like I'm getting more sick," I moan.
The check-in nurse steps into view, everyone anxiously snaps to attention.
"Oh, Bonnie!" There you are. Come on down."
I feel like the winner on the Price is Right! I will have my pet sprayed or neutered, just let me win some health!
Twelve minutes later, we're back in the car with two prescriptions and a pamphlet on urinary tract infections. "Most can be cured at home," says Dr. C, "and obviously you've been doing great staying hydrated since the infection is so low in your sample."
"Yep, I felt almost 100% again, but then some random aches and stiffness and tingling started, so, I came in just to be safe."
"Hmmm, have you been stressed lately?"
Apparently "stressed" is medical jargon for, "What are you doing here? Away with you apparition! And your phantom voodoo symptoms!" Half-expecting him to disappear in a puff of smoke while he threw Zofran fairy dust in my face, I fumbled through my exit interview, said thanks and goodnight.
Tuesday afternoon, I was ready for this infection to be DONE. Completely. Enough dilly-dallying on my naturopathic soapbox.* I double-checked the common side-effects, cross-examining with the abnormal "congratulations you're special" side effects. Down the hatch went the first Cipro pill. Still, I mused, "We're treating this 'mild' infection over the course of five days with something that has the strength to destroy an Anthrax exposure. Okkkkkk."
Four hours later, as I'm bending down to pick up some laundry I feel a rapid succession of "pop pop pop pop" as my spine curves. My wrist, neck, shoulder, all the joints begin creaking over the the next few hours. Congratulations, I'm especially abnormal. "Tendon damage is a possibility. Stop taking immediately." That night before drifting off to sleep, (and switching off my iPhone), I casually mention to Daniel, "I guess I'm not taking my 2nd dose today. Or ever." Sigh.
Never trust a man wearing Crocs.**
Update: I woke up the next morning with a lower backache, stiff joints, and funky circulation. Five days later, and my muscles are still occasionally sore, lower energy, blood circulation is sporadic (freezing hands, freezing feet, mild numbness in legs while laying down, etc). Any anxiety symptoms afterwards were random, arriving in small waves, but I could see how further medication would freak you out, especially if you are an already anxious person. Anxiety is one of Cipro's many side effects. My joints occasionally sound like a bag of Rice Krispies. Snap. Crackle. Pop.
This was ONE PILL out of the ten I was supposed to take.
But, I can use the bathroom like the good ol' days, because of the three days prior to my visit filled with:
-LOTS of water
-D-Mannose (super cranberry power!)
-Apple Cider Vinegar (drinking it mixed with water & a little bit of honey)
-Baking soda baths
-Grapefruit seed extract
-Colloidal silver, vitamin c, probiotics (post-uti recovery)
-Maybe that one Cipro pill. I'll be nice and give it the benefit of the (major) doubt.
*I'm back on my soapbox.
**Doctors, I appreciate you. I really really do, regardless of your footwear choices. Obviously, there is a bigger issue here within the realms of preventive medicine and treatment and drug companies and science and society and money...
Posted by Bonnie Iliyn at 4/27/2014