Coping With Urinary Tract Infections

by Lynne Richardson

Coping With Urinary Tract Infections

Once again I find myself at the health centre because I have another Urinary Tract Infection (UTI). It’s been a month of ups and downs.

The downs were mainly based around infections which unfortunately I am rather prone to – I tend to get one every 4-6 weeks. Although this time I had reached the dizzying heights of 8 weeks! I have learnt to tell the signs very quickly now and can act swiftly in an attempt to deal with the infection and keep myself out of hospital.

Warning signs of a UTI

For me, the warning signs of a UTI are, initially, cloudy urine with an offensive smell (not caused by eating asparagus, salmon or Starbursts!) quickly followed by dizziness, lower back pain, nausea and nightmares. I also sometimes hallucinate which can be very unpleasant and frightening. If the infection is particularly bad I spend a few days in bed until the meds kick in.

After discussions with my GP, I now keep a course of antibiotics at home so I can start them straight away (why do these things always seem to happen at the weekend?) When the results from the urine sample I provide return and I know what antibiotics the infection is sensitive to, my GP will change my antibiotics accordingly. This waiting time is when I hope and pray I don’t need IV medication directly into my vein.

As readers of my previous blogs will know, I love travelling. It is because of these recurring UTIs that I always travel with 2 different courses of antibiotics in the hope that if 1 doesn’t do the trick then the other will. That’s not to say that I don’t seek medical advice while I am away, because I do. That’s what travel insurance is for – peace of mind!

A Healthy Bladder

There is much discussion as to the effectiveness of cranberry juice preventing UTIs. I drink a daily glass of cranberry juice but sadly it doesn’t seem to lessen the number of infections I have. However, it does make a big difference to the amount of mucus my ileal conduit produces (editor’s note: cranberry juice is not suitable for everyone as it may interact with some medications so seek advice prior to using this). I drink plenty of water during the day – at least 2 litres – and can even have a glass of water before I go to bed as having a night bag means I no longer have to get up half a dozen times at night!

The ups of this month? A great trip to stay with friends in Yorkshire! The Autumn colours were stunning, particularly in the sun at Fountains Abbey – I thought I would share a photograph with you to show that life is never all bad!

Lynne Richardson

About the author

I have had a urostomy since 2012 and will be sharing some of my personal experiences and thoughts as an ostomate. 

Recent Comments

  • Jan Buick

    I have had my urostomy since 2010, and since then I have had numerous UTIs and two bouts of sepsis. I drink 2 litres of water a day, and two cups of coffee, but I do not drink any juice because I am diabetic. I am so tired of these UTIs and sepsis, I am afraid one of these days the medical staff will not get me through it. What else can I do?

  • SecuriCare_Team

    Hi @Jan
    UTI’s can be a common occurrence in people with urostomies. Sugar free cranberry juice as long as not contraindicated with other medications might be helpful or may be available in a capsule. You should also consider how often your urostomy bag is changed and that the night bag is kept clean and or changed more frequently, and speak with your healthcare practitioner as soon as a problem arises.

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