A UTI story, from a heart doctor.

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I saw my cardiologist today. He is the lipids expert at the university and is treating me for Metabolic Syndrome. He doesn't see people as a cardiovascular system, though. He is the only doctor other than a psychiatrist who consistently asked about my caregiving on every visit for 10 years.

I mentioned my mother today. He told me that he was consulted once about a colleague's elderly patient who seemed to have a heart condition. He did diagnose a-fib. He was called by the colleague's office and told "Doctor, I wonder if you checked the wrong box on this form. You seem to be asking for a urine test." He explained to me that the doctors are always polite to each other, but that the underlying message was "We asked your cardiology opinion. What the heck are you doing with a urine test!" He replied that the lady was suddenly focused and disoriented and he suspected a UTI, which should be treated if other treatments were to be effective. He also said it politely but the underlying message was "Why on earth didn't the internist order this test?! The elderly lady did indeed have a UTI. My cardiologist suspects that internist learned something from that consultation!

Moral of the story, to me at least, is if an elderly loved one suddenly has dementia-like symptoms or a person with dementia suddenly has greatly increased symptoms. ask for a test for a UTI -- even if the doctor doesn't suggest it herself or himself! It may not be UTI, of course, but ruling that out is a reasonable first step.


my mother has recurring UTIs. i've been going to all her doctor's appointments for two years. she is 83.

i thought the same thing, that surely now that i'm on board with this information everything will be fine. well everything was not fine. the internists/PCPs do give them a urine test, from my experience only if you specifically ASK FOR IT. and even then it was a battle. particularly with my mother's long term doctor's office, this was before i had her files pulled, moved her to another PCP. i would take her in to her appointments many times when she was completely disoriented. even in this condition they would tell me it was all in my head, i needed therapy, or my mother and i needed therapy, and there was nothing physically wrong with her. kicking and screaming they would reluctantly give her a urine test. this went on for 18 long months.

fast forward to the new doctor, and the point of the story. so now we're at the new PCP, mother is still acting nuttier than squirrel poop, they are testing for UTIs, giving her drugs, no longer telling me it's all in my head. i figure problem solved, right? wrong.

next thing i know my mom is asking to be taken to the ER. 3 times. each time they find nothing wrong with her, other than, you guessed it, UTI.

turns out the PCPs were just running a urine test, prescribing a pill, the same one they put everyone on, and saying a hail Mary that they got the right drug for the right bug.

you have to get a culture done on her urine, the test takes some time, and only then do they know what's causing the infection, and the correct drug to prescribe to combat it.

the hospital called me at home after one of my three trips to the ER, explained all of this to me.

of course this is no guarantee it can't happen again, which is precisely the situation that we are in today. the infection is back. i know if we go to new PCP we'll get the same run around, and i'll be damned if i'm sitting in the ER tonight and most of the day tomorrow trying to get this resolved properly.

so i bought an at home test kit at Dollar Tree. will confirm the infection. put my mom back on the antibiotic she got from the hospital the last time, put her on the cranberry tablets that were recommended here, until july 8 when she is scheduled for a colonoscopy. hopefully it is cleared up by then or they can't do the procedure. i have to get her tested three days prior to make sure all of this worked.

the medical establishment is well aware of this problem and is basically doing nothing because it is a big cash cow for them. wake up people, you're being fleeced and abused. do some research about the reasons for doctor's office visits, close to the top of the list, you guessed it, UTI symptoms.
Jeanne, I enjoyed your story of your cardiologist. I had to re-read it twice and still could not "read between the lines" that the doctor obviously saw. But, I will take his word for it. I can just see it. You bring the patient to a cardiologist, and he recommends a urine sample. =)

Shaking, my mom went to the ER, got admitted, and put on antiobitic IV (so says the doctor.) After 3 days, they could not find what's wrong with her and told my dad that they were releasing her. I was there when he asked the doctor straight out, "Did you test her urine?" He did not reply. He left. They tested mom's urine - you got it - UTI.
My dad is going through this. His symptoms resemble a heart attack or stroke. We have had the ambulance here so many times they know us by our first names! UTI has been the culprit each time!
Shakingdust was there a good reson for doing a colonoscopy on your 83 year old mother. Does she have symptoms, has she had a positive polyp biopsy or colon cancer previously? Did she do the three sample stool test and was it positive? Or simply was it ten years since the last colonoscopy so they said it was diue.
You have learned to question the UTIs please you and everyone else question all these other tests your loved one may be "due" for. Ask yourself if they find something what are they going to do about it and would you want them to do it. Quality of life not quantity is the
I know the original post was posted a few months ago, and by this time, the colonoscopy has probably been done, etc., but I have to say UTI's are painful and nothing to sneeze at. Quite frankly, once they occur, at least in my case, they require antibiotics. Cranberry tablets aren't going to get rid of the pain associated with a UTI (at least not in my case they don't and I've had these for at least forty years).

How on earth does one help their mom prep for a colonoscopy at the age of 83. I'm sorry, but I have to ask. I cant' imagine my mom drinking all the liquid required and sitting and/or making it to the toilet the evening before. Unless there was something seriously wrong, I'd never subject my mother to this. Her doctor suggested one at the age of 90....um, no...absolutely not was my answer. Not all tests are required just because the doctor 'says so'.

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