PSA: From my Kidneys

The following is a Public Service Announcement from my Kidneys.   Just a quick story to remind everyone how you can go from just enjoying the first few days of summer to feeling like…well…crap.

At 48, a lot of my body parts don’t work quite like they did 20 years ago.  I mean my wrist has a sharp pain now and then.  My knee started making a popping noise and I’ve got hair growing in places that I often question God’s design plan.cross-section-of-kidney

So last Sunday, when I started having a few mild symptoms of what I thought could be a UTI, I just figured it was another body part slowly showing it’s age.

The frequent urge to pee. Check

A little bit of discomfort when I was finished. Check

I’ve only ever had one UTI in my life so I wasn’t all that familiar with what the symptoms were in the first place.  Now, my friends, I have them memorized.

I, of course, ignored the symptoms and thought it would just go away with a lot of water.

Monday rolled around and I decided to go to my local Walgreens and see what kind of awesomeness they had on the shelf to help with this annoyance.  I was sure that I could make this go away with some Cranberry juice and AZO. ( For future reference…UTI’s very rarely cure themselves and cranberry juice has a lot more calories than an antibiotic.)

Tuesday and Wednesday, still drinking Cranberry juice and taking AZO and convincing myself that I was getting better.

Then Wednesday night hit!  Like a Mac Truck running over you and then backing up to make sure it got every inch of you under the tires.

Fever, stabbing pain in my back, and the joys of being sick to my stomach.  (Still thinking you will just drink more water, Cranberry juice and take AZO, Smarty-pants?)

Thursday morning I was the first one getting assistance from my favorite Texas doctor on Teledoc, first one in line at Walgreens pharmacy and first one admitting that I should have listened to my body a little closer.

Y’all kidney infections are serious business.  Hospital stays, sepsis, blood infections and amputations????  (Apparently, your feet, hands, and ears have a close relationship with your kidneys. Who knew?)

Never wanting to go through this experience again, I did a little research and talked to a few people in the business of keeping our kidneys healthy.

Here is what they had to say:

  1. Drink plenty of liquids, especially water.  Southern girls, sweet tea is hard on the kidneys.  Throw in a glass of water now and then.
  2. Wipe from front to back. UTI’s are caused by bacteria. Try to avoid getting that bacteria back into your system by wiping from the front to back and do it efficiently!
  3. Go to the bathroom, after having sex. (TMI I know, but gals we need to know this.)
  4. Summer swimming pools, lakes, and oceans are full of bacteria.  Girls, don’t pee in them.  Take time to pee in a bathroom, behind a bush or somewhere other than in the water.  You can’t fully flush your bladder in water and it often retracts some of the water back into your bladder.  And that’s just yuck when you really think about it.

Oh and that myth you’ve heard about drinking cranberry juice to help prevent and cure UTI’s? Well, many doctors believe it may not help at all and it was probably just a brilliant marketing scheme for Ocean Spray Cranberry Juice. In fact, some studies show that cranberry juice could actually make some of your symptoms worse. (I feel so taken advantage of!)

Most importantly, if you start feeling the symptoms of a UTI don’t delay…get to your doctor or call your sweet Teledoc doctor. The sooner you get on antibiotics, the less chance you have of the infection spreading to other areas.

I’m back among the living today and it feels so good to be talking to you again.

Let’s keep our kidneys healthy y’all!!

Allyson

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