Mom has had her third UTI in 6 months. What can I do to prevent this?

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My mother has her 3rd UTI in 6 mos. The first two landed her in the hospital and she was septic the first time. The signs are very subtle - lethargy, loss of appetite, chills. Her doctor came yesterday (she makes house calls for seniors) and all my mom's vital signs were fine. But she believed me when I said her vitals were fine last time, until she got to the hospital and then they were alarming. Doc prescribed a broad-spectrum antibiotic and my mom took the second dose today. So far I don't think she feels much better. The last two times there was a "sign" that we had to call 911 - i.e. she had a dreadful episode of diarrhea and vomited. There hasn't been anything dramatic this time - yet. The last thing I want to do is call 911 again, especially when the oral antibiotics might kick in soon. It is so traumatic for her and for me to deal with the ER, ambulance, etc. So I don't know what to do. I'm terrified of another sepsis episode. I guess I will ask the doc to order a blood test, but that takes a few days to get back.


(FYI, the cause of her repeated infections is a large kidney stone. Docs are not confident surgery for that is good idea due to her fragile health.)

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Xina; we had great success with my mom using a probiotic called RePhresh. It was recommended by mom's gyn. Not sure if it will help, given that huge stone, but I think at this point, ANYTHING is worth a shot!
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Looked up AZO products. These are only for the discomfort of urinary infections, not a cure. My Mom was put on cranberry tablets this time last year after a UTI. At that time they catherized her and removed any urine left in her bladder. Then the antibiotics and because of them she was put on a probiotic.
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It is very, very difficult to prevent UTIs in women who are already sick or frail. The skin thins. In women, the urethra is very short and the vagina is very close to the bowel tract. Add thinning skin to the mix - or dry skin due to drying up of the mucosa - and you surely can see how difficult it can be to prevent a UTI.

I don't know what her underlying conditions are but you are fighting an uphill battle due to aging and, perhaps, medications that are killing her natural flora. Do you have a gynecologist for your mother? Not an OB/GYN - they focus on women of reproductive age - but rather a geriatrician or a gynecologist. You also may want to see a registered dietician.
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Xina, I've more or less skimmed through all the answers so I apologize if I'm suggesting someone already raised by someone else. But have you tried cranberry juice to prevent the UTIs?
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I am so sorry you have to go through this with your mom. Just know that whatever happens, you've done the very best you could. It's clearly a difficult decision for all involved and there are no easy solutions. Your mom is very lucky to have such a strong advocate in her corner.
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Thanks for asking, Barb. She's doing OK, eating well, no signs of a UTI at the moment. I don't know if you read my previous post of meeting w/the kidney stone surgeon, but for now I've decided to postpone the surgery. He won't do it until she sees (another) cardiologist and he said "I know a high-risk patient when I see one," so it feels too scary right now.
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Xina, how is your mom?
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bump
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OK, well I just got a call from the surgeon's office saying that the EKG they did on Friday was abnormal, so they want my mom to see a cardiologist for a second opinion before they proceed with surgery. I think it's highly unlikely that more tests will reveal that her heart is up to this, don't you. She was cleared by a cardio in the hospital on 9/17, but apparently that is no longer valid.

At least this would take surgery off the table (pun!) and I wouldn't have to obsess about doing it or not. So that means repeated hospitalizations (or hospice, not something I am ready for, and she refuses to go there). Next time I think I will have her aide take her to the ER and I will meet them there. I need to give myself some kind of break here and not feel like I have to do everything myself.
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Well, now it's seeming like she may possibly be getting another UTI (let's pray not), so I don't know if they will do the surgery - or maybe they will. OY. 
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