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In which I venture far into the TMI category

In which I venture far into the TMI category

July 2, 2007

For the past week I have been dealing with a UTI that has left me feeling like an 85 yr old man with prostate trouble.

To back up the story a bit, when I was a kid and young adult I had UTIs chronically, often progressing into kidney infections. So at the first sign of them I get myself to the doctor. Slight pain when I pee, pain in the general area where my bladder should be, wind blowing in a slightly strange direction? Off to the doctor I go.

So when all those thing happened on Monday, along with this heat wave that made me dehydrated and thirsty, I began chugging the water. Propel water to be exact. Propel is gatorade’s version of Vitamin water and my newest drink of choice having given up the diet coke.

Chug chug chug and it wasn’t getting better. In fact I was feeling worse.

First thing Tuesday morning I went to my obgyn. I pee in the cup, they test it, and find no infection. But because of the amount of water I admit to chugging the obgyn thinks the urine is too diluted to pick up the early stages of a UTI. But to be on the safe side she wants to do an exam. Oh FUN! I love those so much and am always thrilled to have one more than once a year.

We are chatting and I am lying there on the table practicing my deep breathing. When she asks, “Are you allergic to anything?”

I started laughing and said, “I am allergic to lots of things. How much time do you have?”

She froze and said, “Like what?”

“Oh nothing you probably need to worry about unless you are going to be pulling some shellfish out of that little drawer down there.”

She laughed. And then proceeded to hand me a mirror so I could have a look at things down there. I felt like I was in an Our Bodies, Ourselves love your vagina sit-in or something.

Anyway, given all the symptoms she prescribed the antibiotic since nothing else was amiss. And I went home and took it and chugged water and cranberry juice until I felt all better. Then I went back to drinking the Propel water with a vengeance, to stay hydrated you know.

And my symptoms came back. Holy hell. Dr Google said I could have bladder cancer, or bladder prolapse, or a host of other things I would rather not have. My eyes were involuntarily welling with tears as I composed goodbye letter to my kids in my head.

Then Rob said, “I bet it is that stupid Propel water.”

And I laughed, pausing long enough from composing my obituary, to tell him how stupid of an idea that was.

But since I didn’t have any better ideas, I figured why not.

You know what happens next right?

In an effort to not waste the “stupid” water and to get it out of the house so I won’t drink it, Rob began drinking it all.

He woke up Sunday morning saying he felt like he had been kicked in the bladder. And I was feeling as good as new.

Posted by Chris @ 10:06 am  

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  1. Amy says:

    OUCH! Have you figured out what is in the Propel that you’re allergic to?

  2. thordora says:

    uhg. I had an UTI a few weeks back while travelling. NOT FUN. Sadly, I had nothing to blame aside from a large ass and small seats on the airplane.

  3. JustRandi says:

    Yikes! I’d be interested to know if that’s common for Propel drinkers.

  4. Woman with Kids says:

    I wonder what’s in it? Good thing you were able to figure it…

  5. julie says:

    Wait a minute…you gave up diet coke? But how? Were you blogging from your detox rehab facility?

  6. Daisy says:

    Ouch. Propel = pain? I hadn’t heard that before.

  7. girlymama says:

    really?? propel?

    maybe i should cut back…..

    have you tried the new lipton white tea? in single servings to put in your water bottle? that’s my new substitute for the diet coke.

  8. Mommymommy says:

    yep, I got the same thing from using to much splenda, then I found out it was common. Glad your better, sorry about the hubs.

  9. Cassie says:

    BTDT. I can’t drink anything with nutrasweet in it because I get exactly the same symptoms.

  10. Deputy's Wife says:

    That’s weird that it was the Propel. I guess better to figure out it was that now, rather than later.

    My ob has never offered me a mirror. Not that I think I want one. I mean, really, aren’t they supposed to know more about that stuff than we do? Sorry, I laughed pretty hard at that paragraph!

  11. Regina says:

    I’ve heard bad things about Propel, so I don’t drink it. Glad you figured out what the problem was!

  12. Kelly says:

    I drink Propel pretty regularly. And that’s never happened to me.

    That makes me wonder if you got a bad case or two since you and your husband are obviously not blood related.

    Seems like a case for House, MD. :)

  13. Jackie says:

    Still giggling . . . Why do I enjoy the TMI stuff so much?

  14. Mary Groves says:

    I have had terrible reactions to both nutrasweet and slenda - it took me a year to get off of the diet coke but after that year so many of my allergies difficulty getting a deep breath and panic attacks left completely. After a friend of mine was diagnosed with a brain tumor and the doctor was horrified that she drank at least a 2liter bottle every day I gave it up completely. It’s linked to bone cancer in children so I bet it’s not too good for adults either. Good luck.

  15. Chandra says:

    I just bought some propel (never drink it but thought I’d change it up). Maybe I’ll return it….
    That’s really weird. Off to read the ingredient list.

  16. JanB says:

    I have always had bad reactions to spenda, which is not splendid in my opinion. Once when I was first drinking a lot of it, I got so dizzy that I nearly passed out while giving my son a bath and had to crawl down the hall on my hands and knees. I literally could not stand. A couple weeks later I tried the splenda because I couldn’t believe it could have been that and after several days the same thing happened but not quite as bad. I had not been drinking as much.

    I use packets of stevia now and don’t have any problems with it. I hope that your hubby feels better now. Scary that they are giving those things to our kiddos.

  17. Jen says:

    Splenda and other fake sweetners make me have bladder issues as well, so much so, that while pregnant with my second child, I was hospitalized for my bladder SHUTTING DOWN from it. Ever needed to pee but couldn’t for almost 3 days? That, my friend, is pain. No matter how much I tried, I couldn’t pee. It was horrible. And having a 6 month old fetus sitting on my bladder only added to the agony.

  18. dcrmom says:

    So is it the Splenda? Seriously, that stuff should be illegal. Anyway, I’m glad you figured it out and that there is no need for you to write your own obituary any time soon!

  19. Rachel May says:

    A MIRROR??? I didn’t even want one during the birth of my son. In fact, I made them drape a sheet over the TV screen that was at the other end of the room.

    This from a biology and human anatomy teacher. It’s just different when it’s my own body.

  20. Jenn says:

    Mirror!!!!! I didn’t want a mirror when giving birth and that’s supposed to be special. I did look once a few days after giving birth. In my delirious state I thought it would be neat to see the stitched. Not a good idea - trust me!!! Water, water, water - it’s such a love-hate relationship!

  21. qtpies7 says:

    Splenda is nasty stuff! I get nauseated after only a few sips. Except with 7-ups new flavored water made with Splenda, I don’t know why that doesn’t bother me. (I didn’t read the ingredients when I bought it or I would never have tried it!)
    My dd drinks Propel, but not every day, and she did not have reactions to it. I’ll steer my kids away from that.

  22. SarahD says:

    Artificial sweeteners (especially nutrasweet) give me headaches and make me feel weird generally. I sometimes drink Propel waters, but I usually drink about 1/2 bottle per day, because the funky artifical-sweet taste gets to be too much for me after about half a bottle. I think my tongue must be unusually sensitive to some of the chemicals involved. My husband, on the other hand, consumes Nutrasweet and Splenda in vast quantities with no apparent difficulties (not that I’m happy about that, mind you).

  23. Megan says:

    Have you been drinking just one flavor of Propel? Maybe it just the kind and you could go on to guzzle the other flavors. But make sure to offer it to your husband before you try it yourself.

  24. elizabeth says:

    I don’t do splenda, as it has given me all sorts of gastrol distress. I also recently gave up all sodas, diet and not. I have gotten hooked on home made ice tea (good green or black tea brewed) then poured over a glass full of crushed ice, and a touch of lemon. Oh, how I miss carbonation though.

  25. Marybeth says:

    Hi! Delurking to say that I gave up Diet Coke/Splenda due to severe dizziness problems. I suppose it’s possible that the dizziness was caused by something else, but it went away completely as soon as I stopped. I replaced the Splenda in my morning tea with stevia and I always have a few stevia packets in my purse. I still use Splenda every once in a while but never more than one a day.
    The mirror…now that’s priceless!!
    Love your blog, Chris. Never fails to brighten my day!

  26. Kathy says:

    One of my favorite bloggers recommends a nalgene bottle and tap water. Cheap, plentiful & easy.

  27. Phoenix says:

    I’ll have to remember that, as I love Propel.

    If my OB handed me a mirror, I think I’d throw it at her head.

  28. Jenn says:

    It is the universe’s way of telling you that you never should have given up the nectar of the gods, Diet Coke. I am just saying.

    Seriously considering what is in Propel to do that. Things to ponder today.

  29. Another Chris says:

    I’m a big Propel drinker and Diet Coke addict. I didn’t think Propel had Splenda or artificial sweetener in it - rather, I thought it was regular sugar. The second ingredient behind water is sucrose syrup. FWIW.

    I’m glad you found the culprit though!

  30. Chris says:

    Jenn, I thought of that. Clearly I need to resume drinking the diet coke.

    The tap water is for the kids ;-) In all honesty I would never have been drinking that many except for a) the heat wave, and b) I was trying to flush out the old system. As I type this I have tap water (in a glass since I don’t spill) sitting next to me.

  31. Chris says:

    Another Chris,

    It has sucralose, which is another name for Splenda I believe.
    Right behind the sucrose syrup.

  32. Tricia says:

    Real sugar, real butter, real sour cream! Just say No to artificial anything! You gotta wonder, other than referring to the list of chemical ingredients, what is that stuff, really??? What’s that healthy stuff they put in baked chips a few years back?? Gave everyone diarrhea?? mmmm… Just eat the Dorritos I say! :)

  33. Sadie says:

    “What’s that healthy stuff they put in baked chips a few years back?? Gave everyone diarrhea?? mmmm…”

    Olestra - the same key ingredient in that new Alli weight loss drug… eat too much fat, better hope you’re wearing dark pants and have a change of clothes with you.

  34. Danielle says:

    I’m allergic to Splenda as well. That stuff is in everything now. It drives me crazy.

    Just when you thought it was safe to eat food again.

  35. Mishel says:

    I too have had chronic UTI’s since I was like 4 or 5 and have actually had two surgeries to do something about it. I won’t say what they did b/c then you and your other readers will think a newbie-commenter-person was giving you TMI BUT it sucked! Now w/the onset of ANY symptoms I do the water/cranberry/lack of any drink that is not water thing and usually start to feel better too. And as for a mirror from the OB/GYN….never had that happen to me ALTHOUGH when I was in labor the Dr. who delivered my son, not my regular OB, was sure to tell me to check out the mirror that was angled across from me so I could see “things” and let me tell you: don’t think I’ll be doing that again:)

  36. Karen says:

    Aspertame gives me migraines something horrible. And I’ve had intermittant bladder trouble but never thought to associate it with times I’ve had artificial sweeteners. Hmmmm. Haven’t had any fake stuff in awhile and haven’t had any bladder issues.

    Maybe the two are related in me too. Although I’d rather not test my theory!!! Too painful!

  37. Gloria says:

    GOOD TIP! Yikes, stay away from Propel. If both you AND hubby felt sucker punched in the kidneys, there’s gotta be something wrong with it!

  38. Amy says:

    But, seriously. A mirror? She just handed it to you? And you looked around at things? Is this common? I thought by the way the story was going and she ‘froze’ when asking about your allergies, maybe she was going to show you something wacky, but nope, didnt happen like that, so here I am…..baffled.

  39. Mary Tsao says:

    I knew there was something weird about that stuff. But hey, I’m glad it no longer burns when you pee! UTIs are yucky, horrible things.

  40. meritt says:

    I’m not interested in making a huge fuss about my views on artificial sweetners or anything else - I just want to say I enjoyed reading it. LOL.

    (And I’m now wary of Propel water….)

  41. elasticwaistbandlady says:

    There’s a local trade school here called UTI-Universal Technical Institute. This made your post very confusing to me. I mean, I’ve heard of satellite campuses and all, but somehow revising their ad to read, “UTI now has more easy and convenient locations to serve you with our newest UTI opening up in Chris’s hoo-hoo July of 2007!” just didn’t seem right.

    I’m not insinuating in any way, shape, or form that you’re actually easy or convenient.

  42. Karen says:

    It’s writing like this that “Propelled” (pun intended) me to give you an award….
    check it out:

  43. Holli Smith says:

    Oh my gosh! You know what, I have never had a UTI and have been wondering if I had one… or maybe a mild yeast infection. But I have been drinking Propel now for about 4 wks about 2 bottles a day…
    I’m going to stop drinking it and see if I feel any changes!

  44. Heather B. says:

    Hmm, interesting.

    Now let me get back to my second cup of coffee and fourth packet of splenda while googling “splenda propel bladder death”.

  45. Susan says:

    What was the mirror for? I was waiting to hear you had some weird allergic reaction ‘down there’ from the Propel or something! Does she think you’re 13 and just getting to know your body? I am sooooo confused!

    Hope you feel better soon!

  46. CathyG says:

    Hmmm… I’ve never had UTIs or the like until about 6 months ago when I had a kidney stone followed by months of bladder infections (and the required antibiotics). Just got back from doc today after having (TMI ALERT) a catheter to retreive the pee (to ensure no cross contamination).

    Hadn’t thought about splenda/nutrasweet as culprit. Diet Coke fan here… I think I’ll (try) to give it up for two weeks. See what happens.

    Thanks for the info all.


  47. Gift of Gren says:

    Propel water: ““It is not for refreshing yourself”!!

  48. Darren McLikeshimself says:

    Gah! How do they get away with selling this stuff?!