Cystitis – Myths, Medications & Me

“Its like peeing razor blades”!  That’s the response people get from me when they are stupid enough to ask me “What does the pain feel like”?  The wincing look on their faces, post-inquisition, pees me off too!  As I sink a dollop of bicarbonate of soda into a ice cold glass of water, their faces immediately change to horror “You are NOT going to drink that are you”?  Through watery eyes I give them eye-daggers, down the vile potion, grab a magazine, a tub of salt and a two litre bottle of water and make my way to the bathroom; as quickly as is possible with my legs crossed.

Works immediately but beware, too much & its an evil laxative!

Since the age of two, I have suffered with chronic cystitis.  I have a clear memory of being on the toilet, too small for my feet to even touch the floor, clutching the seat as the burning had me sobbing in agony and the look of helplessness on my Mum’s face as she tried to comfort me.

At the age of 14, my doctor finally informed me that, after an average of 8 water infections each subsequent year, this was not normal.  Ya think?? He referred me to a Urology Consultant for further investigations.

At the age of 19, I finally got to see said Urology Consultant.  His miraculous treatment? Zilch. His theory on the cause of infections? Sex (hmm… I should have known better at the age of 2!!) His advice on preventative measures? Hop on one leg.  Yes, that’s right peoples, I waited 5 years for this pillock to tell me to hop on one leg!  Apparently this will help me empty my bladder.  I left his office in tears.  I had been desperate for his help and was devastated to be fobbed off.  My partner complained to the hospital administration on my behalf and the letter we received back simply stated that I was unhappy to be discharged because I had WANTED to have something wrong with me.  Nope, what I had wanted dude was to give you a huge slap…still do when I think about it!

As it happened, that same day, Company Magazine invited their readers to apply for alternative medicine trials for persistent health problems.  In utter desperation, I wrote to them and was amazed when I received a call a few days later from their features writer.   It was arranged for me to try homeopathy with a practitioner from Cardiff, and a writer & photographer would join me for the appointment.  I had nothing else left to try so I agreed.

The medicine the herbalist woman gave me tasted like….imagine dunking bran-flakes into floor polish then using them to wipe your bum before eating them….in short. bloody disgusting! She informed me that she believed me to be intolerant of dairy and should cut this from my diet.  I didn’t believe her.  I ignored.  A decade later, allergy testing at the Royal Liverpool Hospital proved her correct.  Wish I’d listened earlier!

I’ve now cut out all dairy and live quite happily on soya produce; yes, that surprised me too!  I have no idea whether the dairy stuff irritates my bladder or my IBS but as long as I cut it out, then I don’t need to bother either way.

If stress is the cause then I will add it to the list of other stress-related issues such as belly bloating & big fat zits but since I wasn’t stressed throughout my childhood, I don’t put much credibility into this theory either.

After speaking with a number of Gynae, Urology, Dermatology and Gastro Consultants over the years who have all tried to pinpoint the issue down to everything from washing powder irritants, bath products, diet, IBS, allergies, stress, immune deficiencies, hormones and lack of hopping on one leg, I’m resigned to my current Consultant’s theory which is “Lyndsey is just simply prone to it”.

As for the Urology pillock, there was a miniscule of merit in his ‘uber-crap’ diagnosis. Sex.  While it was ludicrous to say that this was the cause of my infections from toddler age, it is fair to say that it impacts in my adulthood.  So these days, before nookie commences I drink a glass of water, when nookie finishes, I pee (and yes, I know the female wiping rule so no, that’s not the cause either). I then take two antibiotics and hope that they don’t cause thrush (which was a bi-monthly occurrence until recently too).

Four months into this routine and so far, so good.  Maybe its working or maybe its luck, but right now I am happy, my man is smiling almost daily and I have not had a two hour salt water bath or water flushing frenzy.  Long may it continue…

3 Comments Add yours

  1. Unknown says:

    I feel your pain! D-mannose kept me sane for several years until I found out it was an imbalance between the progesterone and oestrogen, caused by slightly too much thyroxine replacement hormone. Probably not your issue though. I think eating liquidised raw garlic was the worst attempt I had at curing it. Good luck.


  2. Raw garlic? That sounds worse than my herbal bran flake concoction! Thanks for your comments, it's amazing just how many women are suffering with this condition!


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