November 13, 2018: We saw Dr. G’s nurse this morning as scheduled. Her assignment was to teach me how to do self-catheterization. After removing my Foley catheter, she showed me how to do straight self-catheterization, going through each step with me before having me do it myself. I was slow, but it wasn’t difficult.

I’m to do self-cath at home daily for one month and then gradually taper off. Dr. G explained that the residual urine left after I void (usually about a cupful) is a risk factor for re-infection. This warm pool of urine is an ideal culture medium for any bacteria. Keeping the pool drained reduces risk of reinfection. My next appointment with Dr. G is to be on February 14, 2019.

November 15, 2018: I had worsening urinary burning and frequency during the night and this morning, so Dr. G’s office had me come in to see his nurse-practitioner. Seeing evidence of urinary infection, she started me on an antibiotic and suggested that I increase my self-cath to three times daily. The urine culture report two days later showed sensitivity to another antibiotic, so that was called in for me.

November 27, 2018: My UTI symptoms of severe burning and frequency came back again yesterday. Dr. G’s office found an opening for me in his schedule this morning. After reviewing my “voiding log” and examining a fresh urine specimen, he advised me to start using a #18 straight catheter twice daily instead of a #14 catheter. The larger bore catheter is intended to dilate my stricture more. He had me do this once in the office to be sure I could do it. It was a little more difficult to insert, but I managed it.

December 14, 2018: I saw Dr. G again today with recurrent urinary burning and urgency of urination. He started me on Augmentin and wants me to do pelvic muscle exercises frequently in an effort to improve my urinary function. He is also referring me to Dr. C for plastic urologic surgery. Dr. C is so busy that my appointment is not until April.

February 3, 2019: I had increasing urgency through the day and then an episode of severe shaking chills and fever around midnight. This was the first time I had such systemic symptoms with my urinary infections. The urologist on call said to go to the urology office first thing in the morning. If I had another episode during the night, he said to go to the hospital emergency room.

An hour later I had severe shaking chills and fever again, but I was so weak that Carol could not get me into our vehicle. She had to call for an ambulance. It took three husky men to get me into the ambulance. Carol followed the ambulance to the hospital.

[Blog to be continued next week.]