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The evil of an infected bladder

In order to get to the crux of this matter, I first need to tell you a boring story about my weekend.

Will went down to Southampton to see some of his friends, and he asked me to finish off some Brie in the fridge that had been there since Christmas. I was happy to oblige, because cheese. The night transformed into vomiting, my throat partially constricting, and some diarrhoea for good measure. It was quite a hellish time.

The next day, I found out that Brie is made with Penicillium camemberti and can cause allergic reactions for people who are allergic to penicillin. I am allergic to penicillin. So, no prizes for guessing what happened there.

Needless to say, it’s a bit of a bummer that I have to be careful with cheese of all things. I didn’t manage to swallow drink until quite late on the Sunday, so I was very dehydrated. I then started experiencing symptoms of a bladder infection.

Apparently, normal bacteria that would routinely be flushed out with urination, can build up to unhealthy levels and cause an infection, if you’re dehydrated. Which might be what happened, or maybe all the diarrhoea didn’t help.

I’ll ramble about bladder infections for a bit because people always seem baffled by them, especially boys. They are actually super common, especially for women. I get them every few months or so. They simply involve bacteria getting inside the urethra (the hole you pee from), and then travelling up to the bladder, and maybe the kidneys. They sometimes require antibiotics but mine usually go away quite quickly.

The bacteria involved in this have little hooks that they try to grip onto the urinary tract with, the little buggers. Women are much more likely to get these infections, because the urethra is much shorter than a man’s.

Maybe having some bacteria going in you doesn’t sound like much of a big deal. But it makes things very sore and inflamed, and manages to create the constant feeling of you being bursting for a pee, even when you are actively on the toilet and have emptied your bladder. It is a very horrible pain that is not only in your genitals, but takes over the whole of your lower abdomen. Then there comes the shivers, chills and general feverish feeling that makes you worry it might have gotten into your kidneys. ?

This has lasted from Sunday right through to today, Thursday. This is longer than normal for me and it has been horrible, with going to the toilet about every 15 minutes (although thankfully not so frequently today, so I should be on the way out of this). I have washed my hands so much in the past few days that they are cracked and bleeding. It’s just a very strange kind of torture.

Last night I was actually trying to sleep on the toilet, because I was so exhausted with going back and forth and there was too much pain for me to go to bed. It wasn’t very successful. I went up to bed at 5am but still had to get up for the toilet a couple of times. I got up with Will at 8-ish am, I am still very exhausted but thankfully the feeling of needing to pee has decreased.

My normal recommendation for bladder infections when my friends get them, is: Fill a 2 litre bottle with water. Drink it as fast as you can (you might have to wait for your stomach to empty between drinks). Hold it all in your bladder until you are super bursting. Pee it all out in one long, strong stream, to drive out all those horrible hooked-on bacteria. 

Also take painkillers, many painkillers, because you will want to die if you don’t. If you take Buscopan for IBS, this can help a bit when your bladder and associated tubes are spasming and inflamed. Also putting antiseptic liquid (the kind for personal hygiene, not cleaning the house) in your bath can provide some temporary relief.

My usual drink-a-huge-bottle-of-water method did not actually help me so much this time, but it should be the first thing you try usually.

I think Freya knows I’m a bit down in the dumps because she was quite forceful about having a sofa snuggle.

I am not very good at taking pictures of said snuggle, though.

I am in horrible pain but it will hopefully go away now.

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