I realised last night that I had a UTI. It’s been a while since one has got hold of me, and for a few hours I suppose I didn’t want to acknowledge it ( don’t know why that was ). I had gone to listen to a talk at the Royal Geograpical Society but my legs were spasming non stop in a familiar but thankfully not so familiar anymore way.
From about now, almost a day later, I feel ok again. I double dosed on antibiotic dose and as my urologist advised previously, that has had a rapid effect. What I realise now though, and is very sobering to realise, is how badly a UTI affects me. Last night seems really hazy to me, as though it was a dream. I recall going to the Royal Geograpical Society, I recall being there and in the audience in front of the speaker, a famous explorer, but I don’t recall anything he said, am aware of a feeling of panic, of being afraid and vulnerable and unhappy, of being able to think about nothing but stopping the spasms somehow, of not being able to think or speak coherently, and just wanting to get away.
I got myself back and somehow managed to remove the catheter from my abdomen and change it for another one ( something a nurse or doctor normally does ) because I suspected it just wasn’t draining properly ( and yes it did look all blocked up ) and finding my antibiotics, and feeling tearful, and calling Wendy and asking her to please help me, which of course she did, and having feelings of being unwanted and alone, and worthless and pointless, but trying to rationalise these feelings in the knowledge that I had a UTI which would hopefully soon be treated and gone.
What I also know is that for pretty much 2 whole years I had a non stop recurring UTI, for most of 2015 to 2017 which affected and dominated my thinking, and in that same period I lost my home, my business, and my wife and kids. Having had an infection for the 24/36 hours and feeling it’s awful effect on me, I can almost not see how I managed to survive ( literally ) for the 2 years that infections had me in their grip. I’m extremely surprised now that I chose life over ending it all, for all that time. I remember that people didn’t understand what I was going through, and didn’t seem to care although of course Pia did try her very best to. I looked ok ( albeit in a wheelchair ) so why couldn’t I just cheer up and appreciate being alive? Well having not had infections for 2 years I can now tell you that the difference mentally between having them and not having them is just vast. It’s really no wonder my life went into free fall. There haven’t been many unequivocal articles written about the mental effects of UTI’s on those with dementia and other disabling conditions, but for me the effects are dramatic.
I hope I don’t get many recurrences going forward. I don’t think I could go back to living like that, I really don’t.