Question about kidney infections, help please!

Discussion in 'The Watercooler' started by hearts and roses, Oct 19, 2008.

  1. hearts and roses

    hearts and roses Mind Reader

    easy child spent two days in the hospital this past week - her DR thought she had viral meningitis. Scared the heck out of us. She had back pain, which we thought was due to a fall she took on our brick patio and her neck was stiff. She had a 203 fever, wicked bad chills, followed by sweating, was dizzy, had a debilitating headache and she puked...thus the suspicion of meningitis. I am glad they were cautious.

    Turns out her spinal fluid showed to be clear and free of any infections. Her urinalysis, however, showed trace amounts of bacteria. They had her on an IV drip of antibiotics, the first of which caused a horrible allergic reaction, but she's okay with that. She's now on Cipro and they sent her home. Her back is killing her on the right side between the bottom of her shoulder blade and the middle of her hip area. The headache is back - I think it's from the spinal tap; I had them after delivering difficult child (I had a spinal then). So, we're controlling the headache and pain with a heating pad on her back and tylenol and advil. She's drinking a lot of water and some diluted pure cranberry juice unsweetend, which if you've had it, you know how horrible it is.

    So, I am surprised they didn't do an ultrasound on her kidneys...and they also didn't tell her after the spinal that she should be lying flat and drinking lots of water -

    What is the protocol for such a serious kidney infection? I have had UTIs that required similar treatment, but this is way more serious in regards to pain and severity it seems. Anyone?
  2. everywoman

    everywoman Active Member

    I have had two debilitating kidney infections in my life. Once when I was 18, right before I went to college. The other was after the birth of difficult child. Both times I ended up hospitalized for almost a week. The pain in the back in unrelenting.

    PCdaughter has also had several---hers are due to her statute---she is short so bladder doesn't empty properly. She had her urethra stretched once already. She has not had an infection since. It used to take several rounds of antibiotics to clear up hers.

    I would see a kidney specialist if she is not better tomorrow.
  3. Wiped Out

    Wiped Out Well-Known Member Staff Member

    I've had one really bad kidney infection. It was because I stopped taking my medications for a Urinary Tract Infection (UTI) I had (forgot them when I went out of town). The pain was horrible and I couldn't stop vomiting (not a good thing with my Addison's Disease). I was totally dehydrated. I ended up in the hospital two weeks before my wedding. It was a long time ago but from what I remember it cleared up with more anti-biotics.

    I think I would be concerned that she was still feeling the pain. From what I remember my pain was gone before I left the hospital.
  4. hearts and roses

    hearts and roses Mind Reader

    Is a kidney specialist a nephrologist? I will look one up in my insurance plan. Thanks~
  5. Hound dog

    Hound dog Nana's are Beautiful

    1. Get the heating pad OFF. If there is an infection, you're helping the bacteria reproduce. (yeah, I know it makes it feel better)

    2. Push water. I mean as much as you can get her to drink. Not just liquids....water.

    I'm worried about her being so sick with just trace amts of bacteria showing up. She should've been checked for a stone before leaving the hospital. At the very least my easy child says she should've had a ct scan.

    Does she have pain in her side or her abdomen? Is this on the right or left side?
  6. hearts and roses

    hearts and roses Mind Reader

    Hi Lisa,

    The pain is on her right side, in the back between her shoulder blade and hip. Nowhere else. No pain in the front abdomen. I agree, she should have had at the very least an ultrasound of her kidney. I'm calling in tomorrow.

    All the self help says a heating pad or heat for a kidney infection and that's what the final diagnosis was when we left the hospital. She said the back pain is better this evening - what's bothering her more is the spinal headaches. They are the worst, I have had those and they feel like a machete is ripping through your head every second. Ugh.

    Interesting about the stones- I hadn't though of that. I will bring it up with her dr tomorrow. Thanks.

    ps: She had a catscan of her head but that was when they thought she had meningitis.
  7. flutterbee

    flutterbee Guest

    My kidney infections always brought pain in my sciatica - couldn't lift my leg. That was so severe that I didn't notice the flank pain until the ER doctor felt around.

    I would nix the heating pad and try ice instead. Also try ice on the back of the neck for the headaches. An IVP is the test to check for stones. It didn't show anything on me and 6 months to the day after the test I passed a stone and stopped getting kidney infections.

    For what it's worth, I almost never showed bacteria with a dipstick test. They always had to culture it and I had kidney infections about once a month for 2 years. The first one almost went septic because I thought I just had the flu.
  8. hearts and roses

    hearts and roses Mind Reader

    You know what I just remembered? When easy child was little and she'd pee, a little bit would leak out afterwards. It drover her nuts. Her DR recommended she sit backwards on the toilet so that it would force any residual urine out of the urethra. They said hers was on too much of a slant and that's why there was always a little bit of pee left over. I wonder if that is related to this at all.

    Also, she waits until the very last possible moment to "go" when she's like she can't make the time to just go and get it over with. I have lectured her about this for years. I know it's contributed to my own Urinary Tract Infection (UTI)'s. And lastly, she doesn't drink enough fluids. Niether of my girls do. They both had Urinary Tract Infection (UTI)'s about a week and half ago and I gave them both a lecture about peeing after sex and drinking plenty of fluids. Urgh. Some people have to learn the very hard way.

    I went to and printed off the info on kidney infections in the hopes that easy child will take this seriously. I hate worrying more than they do.
  9. flutterbee

    flutterbee Guest

    If she just had a Urinary Tract Infection (UTI) a week and a half ago, probably the medications weren't effective or she didn't take them all. Untreated Urinary Tract Infection (UTI)'s can lead to kidney infections.
  10. Hound dog

    Hound dog Nana's are Beautiful

    Very very true. And many people don't continue to take the antibiotics until they're gone, they think because they feel better they don't need it. And the antibiotic might not have been strong enough to knock out the infection.

    If you and the girls are having repeated infections, you need to see a urologist. You need to be checked out to make sure there isn't a physical reason behind them. A fam doctor treating one or two infections is ok. More than that needs to be checked into by a specialist. A urologist. A nephrologist treats people with known kidney disease.

    I hope she feels better soon.

  11. susiestar

    susiestar Roll With It

    It truly IS important to get her in to a urologist. I know when Jessie had her 3rd experience of pain when she peed and the dipstick showed nada, but a culture several days later (when things were much worse) had them calling in some super-strong antibiotics, we had to see a pediatrician urologist. They told us that she needed to go to the bathroom when she FIRST felt the need to pee, and needed to go at least every 2 hours until she got her bladder retrained. We actually scheduled when she would pee, she had to take her panties OFF or at the least drop them to her ankles, no higher, and spread her legs as wide as they would go. Then she had to sit there until she peed or for 15 minutes. We had the water running just a little to help her go. I also let her have a book to read because she was 6 and it was the ONLY way to keep her still.

    The doctor said that they often have moms come in with their daus, and the moms mention having the same problem. They said teh same routine works well for adult women, to retrain the bladder. They also said that 64 oz water is a MINIMUM, and they recommend twice that if possible.

    This is to help prevent Urinary Tract Infection (UTI)'s and to keep any Urinary Tract Infection (UTI)'s from becoming kidney infections. Is there any way to get your daughter to try to follow this routine? maybe with a timer for the 2 hours, or you to remind her (nag if you must?) for a few days.

    We found that 5 days of that routine and Jess was fine. The pediatrician urologist ALSO recommends doing whatever is necessary (they said senekot and miralax) to clear the bowel. IF the bowel is blocked, or there is constipation, it will keep the bladder from emptying fully. It is one more reason why they wokred so hard with us when they figured out what was wrong with Jessie at Christmas.

    I HATE the headache after anything spinal. IF the headache does not get better, have them check for a wet tap. That is when the spinal fluid leaks into the blood after an epidural or spinal. It can be easily fixed by drawing a few ounces of YOUR blood and then injecting it into the area that they did the spinal. It goes in and clots over the hole, stopping the problem. If the headache continues, MAKE them look at this. Google "wet tap" and print out info on how to fix this. Take it to the doctor if the headache doesn't stop by tomorrow.

    I am sorry she is hurting and you are worrying. I hope she is better soon. Hugs and prayers sent.

  12. Marguerite

    Marguerite Active Member

    I also was thinking of the possibility of a kidney stone. If she's had recurring problems, especially if undiagnosed, this can cause problems. I'm also surprised no U/S was done.

    Does she take vitamin C? In quantity? Depending on what form of C, that can contribute. I had a friend with two staghorn renal calculi from taking mega-C as calcium ascorbate, for several years. It all precipitated out into the renal pelvis. Ouch! IN the days before the lithotripter, too, so the poor lady had to have her kidneys sliced open to get the stones out. These days it's a soak in a bathtub being pelted with sound waves. Then a few days' painful urination as you pass the gravel.

    The headache may not be from the lumbar puncture by now - it's probably the fever. All that happens with lumbar puncture is you get a low-CSF headache which should pass in a day or so at most. They only take a couple of mls, it only takes a few hours (if you drink lots of fluid) to get the CSF volume back to where it should be. Things that would delay this - coffee (ie caffeine) and alcohol. At the moment she shouldn't be having any of either. So no cola, either. Keep the fluids up (agree - preferably water, but if she really can't stand too much water then use low-cal cordial or low-salt broth).

    Is she sexually active? Has she been in the last few months? If so, does she know to make sure she empties her bladder within fifteen minutes of sex? If she is not sexually active, and has not been for many months, then I would want this checked out thoroughly. This shouldn't happen; if it does, it could indicate a problem that needs to be quickly identified before it gets so bad that kidney damage results (speaking form personal experience).

  13. hearts and roses

    hearts and roses Mind Reader

    Thanks for all the great information.

    I've put a call into our DR to get in to see a urologist. Keeping fingers crossed we can get her in today for an ultrasound. Very curious about the stones.

    She's a sugar fiend and she doesn't always eat right or take vitamins and drinks almost nothing all day. She says she pees after sex.

    I do have to say, as one who has experienced the spinal headaches, they are no small temporary passing matter of slight discomfort. Mine lasted for 2 weeks following difficult child's birth and I drank almost 2 gallons of water a day, took tylenol non-stop and laid flat most of the days. I had to two wet patches and neither worked. easy child hasn't had a fever since Friday, so I do not think the headaches are related to the kidney infection or a fever. I definitely think they are related to the spinal tap. Her Dr thinks so also. She's thinking of prescribing a migraine medication to help, if approved by the urologist. Ouch.

    Thanks again.
  14. susiestar

    susiestar Roll With It

    I hope she feels better soon, and that if prescribed, the migraine medication helps. I know my doctor says she is seeing astounding things from the new treximet (imitrex and naproxen sodium).

    Here is hoping for pain-free days soon!
  15. hearts and roses

    hearts and roses Mind Reader

    They gave her percocet for the headaches and we just returned from a renal ultrasound, which shows no stones or ruptures - thank God. They regular DR office does not believe she had a kidney infection, but clearly the hospital DR believed she had SOME kind of infection and they were the ones who said it was likely a kidney infection. Since the pain in her back is pretty much tolerable, it appears that the antibiotics have been doing their job. Now all she has to deal with are the headaches, poor thing. They are so debilitating, she can barely sit up. At least she's still drinking lots of water. I hope the percs help....that's street talk for percocet ;).

    Meanwhile, difficult child gave notice at her job BEFORE finding a new one...two steps forward, one step back. "God grant me the serenity..."
  16. Shari

    Shari IsItFridayYet?

    No advice, Jo, just wanted to send a hug to you and easy child. Hope she's feeling better.
  17. Marguerite

    Marguerite Active Member

    I didn't mean to seem to belittle the intensity of a low CSF headache - just that it should be transient.

    I had a myelogram in hospital about 22 years ago, it was horrendous. The headache it left me with was alleged to be a low CSF one, but it lasted for several weeks. Plus, I felt it coming on as the dye worked its way up my spine, I could feel it. I'm sure that one was a reaction to the contrast medium.

    I also don't want to belittle just how bad a headache can be, with a fever. Especially a fever related to a kidney infection - you have toxins in the bloodstream, you feel awful, it's just ghastly. With a kidney infection, you feel more achey than usual, with a fever. It's a kind of "I have to keep stretching" kind of fever, you keep wanting to move, to stretch yourself and ease the feeling of tiredness and stiffness, but it won't go away. And the feeling of heaviness in your back - it's the only time I've ever felt it, it's classic for kidney problems, I found. The combination of these sensations and yuk feelings - I learned to recognise kidney infection even before the fever really hit.
    My mother also saw the signs of me beginning to want to keep stretching - she's the one who pointed it out to me, I don't think it's in the textbooks. So she had it too, when she had her own kidney infections. I had a congenital kidney problem which we think was hereditary, we think my mother had it too but never needed the surgery I had.