Yet another joy of this transition into this ‘new phase of a woman’s life’ is cystitis, can it get any better? The last time I had this painful complaint was as a student nurse when I was 19, then I was told that it’s also called ‘honeymoon cystitis’ due the suggestion that it is caused by energetic lovemaking, okay, so what catchy little name should I give it now, ‘over-the-hill cystitis’ perhaps?
I had ignored the initial symptoms for a couple of days, peeing all the time, nothing new there, it is a known manifestation of the menopause “You may also experience an urgent need to pass urine, and need to pass it more often than normal”, unfortunately I hadn’t read it all, “During the menopause, you may find that you become prone to recurrent lower urinary tract infections, such as cystitis” so, the stinging I put down to a new shower gel but when the stinging became a burning I thought I would do a dipstick urine test, leucocytes +++, blood +++, protein +++. Right then, stop the coffee, increase the water. By yesterday evening it was obvious that my efforts were failing, I now no longer wanted to drink anything as that would make me pee, and that was far too painful, plus I was now passing urine which contained frank blood, so frank in fact that it looked like blood. I was also feeling unwell and, unheard of for me, I had a temperature. Time to speak to a doctor.
In this area we have an ‘out of hours’ service which has little consultation surgeries dotted around and this innocent thought she could just phone up and arrange to see a doctor at one, no. When I phoned they were busy and a clinician needs to speak to you to assess if they need to see you, I would have to wait for a doctor to phone me back. I told the operator that I didn’t need a super-urgent appointment, so should I phone back tomorrow? Her advise was to just wait for a phone call as they may be just as busy in the morning. A night of phone calls followed, ‘comfort calls’! Yes, the on-call folks keep calling to check how you are, if you are getting worse, apologizing for the wait and promising that a clinician will contact you soon. The fourth call was the doctor, who gave me an appointment for 8.30am, hurrah! I am now on trimethoprim, drinking glasses of water and looking at a carton of cranberry juice. Cranberry juice may help to clear-up cystitis, if you read one article, according to another it may help prevent cystitis, whatever, it seems to be the way to go but I just really don’t like it.
Prone to – now that upsets me and makes me think that I had better start loving cranberries!