Story of a Urinary Tract Infection (UTI)
Here is a diary of a sorry story that happened to me.
This sequence of events resulting in a urinary tract infection could easily happen to any MSer who does intermittent self-catheterisation.
A brief summary of the events over the last 3 weeks
I was an emergency admission to Watford hospital and I needed a cystoscopy, putting a camera up my urethra to check my bladder. The hospital was unable to do this very short and simple procedure. Instead an indwelling catheter was inserted with a flip-flop switch and I was discharged. The Cystoscopy would be done at Hemel, date to be arranged.
A week after I was discharged from Watford hospital I was suffering from a UTI.
The most common type of UTI is an infection of the bladder which is usually caused by bacteria getting into the bladder from the urethra. Getting a UTI is not good news, it would seem as if I got the infection while at the hospital. Is this incompetence, bad management or because there is insufficient funding to provide sufficient staff?
I have kept a diary of events.
Wed 11 June
I go to a networking event at the British Library starting a 6 in the evening
20.00 Go to the loo to self-catheterise, blood comes out of my penis instead of urine. I now have two decisions – either admit myself to UCL hospital or go home, I decide to take the train home.
21.00 – 23.30 – At home, no discomfort and assume it was all a small blip and bleeding will stop. I fully admit this is a typical bloke attitude.
23.30 Go to loo and blood still trickling out of penis. I am now worried.
23.45 Taxi to Hemel Urgent Care Centre.
Thu 12 June
00.00 Arrive at Urgent Care Centre in Hemel Hempstead.
01.00 Seen by doctor in Urgent Care, nothing can be done at Hemel so I am taken to Watford hospital by ambulance.
03.00 Arrive at Watford General. Taken to a tiny room on Floor 5 and put in a cubicle. Blood and urine samples taken.
Next 6 hours are very vague, no sleep. Too many patients for the cubicles so have to ‘hot-bed’ A indwelling catheter with a collection bag inserted.
10.00 Seen by urologist, told they hope to get a Cystoscopy, in my case this is a very simple procedure.
14:00 I’m told no available spaces today for a cystoscopy. Medical staff insert a permanent indwelling catheter with a ‘flip-flop’ switch and I am discharged. I will receive an appointment for a cystoscopy in Hemel within next 4 weeks.
15.30 Collected from hospital by Barby.
Initial urine that went through catheter was a dirty dark brown and very small amounts.
Mon 16th June
Penis was swollen and pus present. Always left a stain on my pants, this was to continue until 28th of June when the catheter is removed.
Tue 17 June
Feeling awful when I am in London for ASCEND trial. That night I receive an email from a friend who was at the trial with me. She said that I was not my usual perky happy self. I need to do something about it.
Wed 18 June
Arrange doctor’s appointment to see the nurse & Dr R Walker at Manor Street Surgery. I had infected urine so I had a UTI, swab taken from penis and urine sample, both sent off for analysis. Started a prescription of Trimethopen.
Sunday 22 June
Feel awful, run down, its difficult to undertake precise tasks like typing. Do not feel fully in control of events. Fall over in the evening.
Mon 23 June
Still do not feel fully in control of events. Double vision is worse, harder to walk and keep balance.
Wed 25 June
Give a talk at the Preceptor trial, I discuss the problems with Professor Giovannoni, my consultant, he thinks I might need a suprapubic catheter, idea makes me want to slit my throat. Phone doctor’s surgery for results of sample taken for analysis, I was told to make an appointment, I will see Dr Hallan at 9.30 the next day.
Thursday 24th June
Dr Hallan says I have still got a UTI, given prescription for Cefalexin 250 mg tablets, 1 4X a day. It is a strong antibiotic typically prescribed when more mild antibiotics are no longer effective.
Saturday 28th June
Cytoscopy investigation at Hemel Hempstead at 8.45, Here is the report. The indwelling catheter is removed, advised to continue with ISC, prostate checked and OK. Cystoscopy findings are OK, suddenly feel much better, its really good to have the indwelling catheter removed. At home I have an accident, don’t get to the loo in time to have a pee, I use a catheter for first time since 11th June. I was quite apprehensive but it went OK and I feel very relieved.
Sunday 29 June
In the morning my urine still cloudy so I still have the UTI but I feel better in the evening. Now my urine is not cloudy. I must remember to make an appointment with the surgery to check that UTI has cleared up when I have finished my course of antibiotics. In future I must use a pad because my bladder control is still not very good.
A sobering thought
I need to finish the course of antibiotics and have my urine checked again, but touch wood, I am over the worst. Would the story have been different if I had taken a taxi to Stoke Mandeville hospital or gone to UCL hospital whilst in London? Who knows?. What really frightens me is this, antibiotics are becoming less effective, this UTI and the previous one were horrific, imagine the consequences if there were no antibiotics?