Friday, April 6, 2012

Vitamin C

More fun on the sickness front. Last night Brighid came down with a raging urinary tract infection. The emergent signs had been there last week and the vomiting lurgy didn't help in terms of the need to flush out any bacteria before it got a hold. So. Late on Holy Thursday in a small town with no pharmacy and likely no emergency medical clinic for days and she is screaming and squealing in pain. What have I learnt since 2006 when Fionn had just such an infection? Back then, I didn't know anything about UTIs and yet I have never before or since seen my son in such pain. We took him to the doctor and I've never appreciated antibiotics so much.

But antibiotics weren't an option last night. Even had I chosen to take her to A & E, they would have focused on making her comfortable, which translates to giving her what I consider to be horrific doses of paracetomol and ibuprufen, and not had the abx to hand out.

A big learning curve in recent years for me has been the role of vitamin C. I've got Thomas Levy's book on the subject and I've both read widely and experimented with it at home (with good results). I keep both powdered sodium ascorbate and lypospheric vitamin C in the house at all times. So I held her in my arms while she was squealing in pain and I gave her drinks of water and lypospheric vitamin C at regular intervals (several times per hour, 1/3 of a gram at a time) for three hours. At midnight I rang FH to come home from his night out and by 1pm, Fionn had heard us talking, Brighid was mostly happy and everyone was in our bed and awake. By then, I was ready to be asleep, funnily enough.

Today she is still in some pain when she urinates. I've been keeping up the vitamin C at at least a gram per hour. I know that if I don't, the progress we have made will be lost. If we can't get rid of it in the next couple of days, then we will have to go down the antibiotics route. But given her fragile gut flora after her recent vomiting lurgy, antibiotics would spell disaster on her immunity as we go into winter. After my own experience with antibiotics triggering a weird, possibly viral, auto immune problem in the form of rheumatoid arthritis which stopped me from walking, driving, carrying my newborn daughter and doing the most basic household functions almost overnight, I'm always on the lookout for good health strategies which avoid antibiotics.

As I type, she sleeps. She has been very cooperative and very brave.

Next project: painting the study and moving huge amounts of furniture and precious items around the house in the hope that we can make everything fit, including two new (to us) beds which arrive in just four days' time.

2 comments:

Gillybean said...

Hi Sandra, that sounds awful for her. I always use cranberry juice for UTI's and if it's really bad I use the capsules. I hope she recovers naturally and quickly for you! I can't believe you guys haven't got a chemist!

Anonymous said...

Do you use 'Ural' powder or baking soda, to take the pain away?

UTI pain is partly caused by acidic urine, and while baking soda tastes vile, it doesn't cause injury to drink some down, and it does take away a very great deal of the discomfort or pain of a UTI.

Ural powder is less awful tasting baking soda. (Not baking powder, which has acid in it.) Most chemists have it. It's worth just keeping some in the house, because it doesn't go off, and it's handy just in case.

Cranberry juice or tablets can be good for helping to prevent UTIs, because cranberry does have a measurable effect on the bacteria that cause UTIs, although nothing like as much as antibiotics. Sweetened cranberry drinks are counterproductive, though, because sugars make UTIs worse.

Do be careful, if you're chosing to try to avoid antibiotics with a UTI. Kidney infections are really, really dangerous, and untreated UTIs can turn into kidney infections frighteningly fast.