Tuesday, January 27, 2009

I See France

In addition to making myself sick while writing my review without trying to offer up reasons to rate me lower, I think I might be coming down with something. There's something going around. The date had it, but he stayed away for a week. Made him extra chatty on the phone, but he was out of work for a week. At least 3 colleagues have been home sick once in the last 3 days. My head is oddly wooly and I get a weird pressure between my ears when I swallow. Which I do a lot because there's a tickle in the top back of my throat that feels unhealthy. And that's hard because my mouth is all pasty feeling. And I've been loading up on allergy meds which may or may not be doing something. Which can mean that really, I'm sick but won't know it until I get freakishly worse or better because I'm really good at symptom remediation after a lifetime of nasal allergies.

On top of that, I went to the urologist today. While there, I noticed a sign for a seminar on bladder issues and recurrent UTIs happening this evening. I spent 6:30-8 pm at the seminar. They provided a fruit and cheese plate so I stuffed myself and went back to work afterward. I learned some interesting stuff:
  • Average bladder size is 400-500 ml.
  • Teachers' average bladder size is 600 ml.
  • This teaches us that if we repeatedly force ourselves not to go until we're more than desperate, we can increase bladder capacity.
  • More adult than baby diapers are sold in the US
  • Also, stress incontinence can be fixed or greatly alleviated with a bladder strap put in during a 20 minute laproscopic surgery. It keeps the urethra from bending out of place during coughs and other things. The bending is what causes the leakage.
  • Most treatments for non-infection related bladder issues are "retraining" in nature.
  • Most bladder meds take for-eeeeeehhhhh-ver to work and cost a lot.
  • If you do get a bladder infection, treat it early, but use the oldest, mildest antibiotic available. Only move up to cipro if you get them a lot.
  • If you are a UTI "frequent flyer", this doc recommends buying urine dip strips at Costco so you can treat it as soon as possible with a 3 day round of mild antibiotics.
  • When your seminar on UTIs and bladder control runs over an hour, someone's going to need a potty break.
[Start TMI section]

After using a camera on a scope a metric ton of numbing gel, the doc was able to tell me that my bladder "looks normal" aka "it always runs like that". I had another test last week that showed mostly normal results as well. I void in a way they think is normal and don't leak even when I cough - I know this last because someone sat there and watched to see if I did while they loaded up my bladder with clean water. Their suggestion is that my sensors are wacky - the nerve mapping to auto and deliberate controls is out of whack. So we're going to do bio-feedback retraining. Whatever. Can't hurt, might help. The meds mostly all work on the bladder and I don't think that's my problem. Or if it is, it's just the little bit that goes to the urethra.

I'm wondering if I have some sly skin fungus that's creeping inside because I do not fight of fungus (I've been unsuccessfully combating athlete's foot since age 6.) and I think I broke out in something after the antibiotics. I, all of a sudden, started getting buildups of stinky dead skin under my arms and boobs, and, of all things, uncontrollable earwax. Literally I would wash the underparts at lunch and after work to keep after it, and did my ears twice a day. I talked to my brother who mentioned that he got some ringworm fungus (sorry bro, I won't tell your future dates) on his hip. Doctor told him to use Lamisil on it for 4 weeks. Two to kill it and two to make sure it stays killed. Six weeks later, it was laughing at his pansy attempts. So he dipped a Q-tip in bleach and stuck it on. Aside from some collateral damage to adjacent skin, it worked like a charm. So I thought maybe my weird new extraneous stink could be due to a fungus.

I don't like working with full strength bleach because I cannot be careful enough and it splashes on clothes and carpet and ruins stuff. So I got naked but for my faceshield and mixed up a milder solution in a spraybottle with distilled water over the bathtub. I sprayed it on the underboob and underarm regions, hit the feet for good measure, and rinsed off. Sure enough, no more underboob buildup, no more extra sweat, no more stink. Huh. That's cool. To keep it gone I washed all my bras in hot water and to hell with the consequences.

I thought maybe the ears could be similar. I didn't want bleach down my ear canal so I just sprayed the Q-tip end and followed it up with my usual spray of face toner in the ear and a cleanup Q-tip. Sure enough, earwax levels back to normal in 2 days.

(It may or may not be helping my feet. I'm not objective enough to tell. 3 separate prescriptions have done little to make a dent, and even the dents are very temporary.)

To me, this means there was something - either fungal or bacterial living in those various places. No amount of elbow grease, organic soap, super concentrated soap, dish soap, antibacterial soap, isopropol alcohol, or straight Listerine had previously done anything which makes me think tenacious fungus rather than bacteria. But one or two bleach applications and it's gone like there was nothing ever wrong.

So I really do wonder if there's some sly little fungus that no one else would notice (or get or react to) that is hanging around my pee hole making me have to pee. The fact that this was a sudden onset symptom after a UTI and month of antibiotics makes me wonder. They're humoring me and running the fungus test, which can take 40 days and 40 nights. In the meantime, I'll be practicing correct peeing hygeine and taking probiotics.

[/TMI section]

1 comment:

azteclady said...

For the feet, if the bleach doesn't help: have you tried soaking them in vinegar? Sometimes a strong change in ph can kill the fungi.

Alternatively, scrub them with a paste of borax--just make sure you rinse them very very well afterwards.

On the bladder: here's hoping the retraining does it's bit. I had to had surgery myself (prolapsed bladder, no amount of training/retraining did jack for it) and it is just not fun.