Thursday, April 03, 2008

One Common Side Effect of PKD ...

I've never made a secret out of the fact that I have PKD. If anything, I wish I could shout it from the rooftops so that anyone who ever hears this diagnosis wouldn't feel so alone.

Well, one of the common side effects of PKD is frequent UTIs. For the lucky uninitiated out there, UTI is short for urinary tract infection. It's an infection caused by bacteria in the bladder, kidneys or the cysts themselves. UTIs may also be known as cystitis if the infection is limited to the bladder and pyelonephritis when the infection has spread up into the kidney itself.

UTIs, in general, are quite common, but they're much more frequent in those with PKD. To complicate matters, there is an association between frequent UTIs and worsening kidney function ... which is the worst possible outcome.

So, the minute someone with PKD feels that first twinge ... the first sign of burning or pain ... or blood in the urine ... they should run, not walk, to their doctor. I ... however, am the hardest headed women in Central Illinois.

I knew something was wrong. I've known for days. The most common symptom for me is blood in the urine ... and it's pretty darned obvious so there's no excuse for my not calling days ago. Other than denial.

Today it was finally unbearable ... and, after running in for a pee test, it was confirmed. Severe UTI. They've called in Cipro and want me to re-test in a week.

Gosh I'm really down about this. I asked nurse Tracy ... who is an angel by the way ... what may have caused it this time. What should I be doing different? She explained that when the kidney cysts break, that fluid has to go somewhere. The internal cysts are the worst because the fluid empties directly into the kidneys and passes through the bladder ... and that fluid frequently starts the infection.

I know ... I know ... TMI. No one wants to talk about urine ... or bladders ... or cysts ... gosh even the word "fluid" is kinda skeevy isn't it? But for people with PKD and their family members ... this is just another day in paradise.

Oh think twice
It's another day for you and me in paradise
Oh think twice
It's just another day for you
You and me in paradise

Phil Collins - Another Day In Paradise


  1. Thirty-

    I'm sorry to hear about this. I'll admit that I didn't know anything about PKD before I read your blog. Now I feel like I know a lot. Thank you for always sharing with us. I hope that in the sharing, maybe you let off a little steam. Maybe you don't feel quite so alone. I hope.

  2. nancy1:15 PM

    Oooh! I feel your pain (not right now, thank God, but I've been there). DON'T WAIT SO LONG TO GO TO THE DOCTOR!!!!! Hope you feel better soon.

  3. Thanks, John. It's like you and Aubrey sharing information about celiac disease and the whole gluten-free lifestyle. I never thought about how hard it would be to live without wheat products ... and your posts really help enlighten everyone.

    Nancy, I had a talk with Mr. ThirtyWhat last night and you're absolutely right ... in the future, I just can't wait so long. If it's true and UTIs really DO cause a decrease in kidney function, then I have to get on the ball with this.

  4. 30What - Thanks for the info. My wife has PKD and I can definitely see the relationship between PKD and UTIs from her experience. I never understood why, though. I also didn't realize they could cause a discrease in kidney function. Now, I know to get on her case if she's dragging her feet on getting herself to the doctor.

  5. Oh yes, Bob ... if you can see she's looking sick ... if she has even a low grade fever ... get her in to see her Neph. In my case, my Neph was out of town ... so the family doctor had to take over. Any port in the storm, eh? haha :)