What a Relief!
New year, new beginnings — not a chance.
Theresa May still has Brexit as her waking and sleeping nightmare, and I’m still battling urinary tract infections (UTIs).
Over the last few years, I’ve probably written about this more than anything else; it’s the one thing the medical establishment and I haven’t been able to square away.
I thought trigeminal neuralgia would be the ancillary illness attached to my MS that would wrestle me into an easy submission. Then, I was kindly referred to a pain consultant by my friendly neighborhood MS nurse, and life changed immediately.
The consultant put me on a therapy called Oxcarbazepine Mylan, saying, “It’s more expensive, but it’s got a better molecule.” It fought off the pain with no side effects. The previous medication, carbamazepine, also battled the pain but turned my already misbehaving body into blancmange.
For the last few months, I’ve practically forgotten about trigeminal neuralgia — that’s one for the home team.
UTIs (get with the medical acronyms people) are a different matter. I can tell I’ve got one from the myriad symptoms; at an extreme, I can hardly move, though this could also be a relapse. On New Year’s night, I couldn’t get my legs onto the bed; if only this had been down to celebrating! Wee pongs/is cloudy/want to pee after just peeing. And in the piss de resistance (sorry, I’m sure this is a pun too rude for my editor, but when will I ever get to use it again?), a dribble actually emerges from the old todger, the old-fashioned way. No plastic pipe needed! Somehow the bacteria overrides my MS!
I get into a fugue state, and the infection just doesn’t abate. As soon as I stop taking antibiotics, the infection erupts. I’m in one now.
Hypochondria must be the normal state for anyone with a chronic disease — lightning has struck once, surely it can strike twice. And the thing about lightning is that it really happens! However justified you feel, you lose confidence when the medical establishment keeps telling you you’re wrong.
I’ve often been writing weekly emails to my doctor pleading for more antibiotics.
Last year, this resulted in the rigmarole of having every urology test possible. (Well, it might not have been, but it sure felt that way.) By the time it eventually finished, that particular fugue state had passed (ho-ho). There was nothing wrong with me, apart from the obvious.
Now, I’ve been a news junkie my entire adult life, to such an extent that I swapped journalism in my early 30s to embrace satire instead. It fused my two passions — news and comedy — into one happy bundle. The fact that I could make a partial living from it was a bonus. As one of my comics pointed out after a recent rocking packed Christmas show that, “We get to muck about for two hours and then someone gives you £500. What could be better than that?”
It means that I scour the news daily, and undoubtedly more thoroughly then if it were just for my own pleasure. Just before Christmas, I saw this article buried in The Guardian: “UTI test often fails to detect infection, say researchers.”
Well done, those researchers!
This ties together everything I’ve experienced. Including, recently, the real hassle of sending in a sample of my urine that I knew was infected (from both using my own dip test and my symptoms) and being told there was nothing wrong with me.
Immediately, I emailed this article to my doctor.
The great thing about science is that belief can somewhat ironically be trumped by fact!
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