Well, I guess it is time to write a post about being old.

I would have liked to credit myself as original.  And I have tried to color outside the line of blogging.  I didn’t even want to blog.  It still makes me a little nuts that blogging is a verb.  Alas, here is where I have come undone and found myself peace-filled.  Who knew?  

What I haven’t done is gripe about my life.  Really what good does that do anyone?  I guess we can all chime in with our similarities.  But I really do like my kids, all six of them.  And I could take a jab or two at my semi-millennial babies – those observations are hilarious in my head, clique on paper, and a low blow to their individualism.  Hard pass.  

And I have stolen away in my closet and cried. 

But I took no wine and you don’t need a play by play of the hows or whys, that has been done.  My husband cooks, cleans, loves, nurtures, and homeschools our two youngest sons.  I love him and I like him.  I have not a complaint that would rally the troops in a rage against the male species.  

All is well, and then, I turned 49.  Which got me in trouble with my dad.  He really was incensed by the number of candles on my cake.  I don’t think his rage was actually toward me.  Because if it hadn’t been my 49th birthday, I would be dead.  I really do feel like that would have bothered him more.  

This passage of time doesn’t perturb me for the wrinkles, the encroachment of time, or my father’s indignation.

As I said, things are pretty good.  What bothers me is that I may have to cross the line from original author/blogger to a banal writer of bodily breakdown issues for women over 45.  

What has happened to me? 

Don’t answer that.  It is just a weird phenomenon to wake up one day and be, just nearly legally blind.  This you can answer, am I too young to have given up on washing my hair?  When is it okay for a woman to cross the threshold of caring for her own hair? Because I looked in the mirror today and said, “I am not my mother… but I am going to start getting my hair washed and styled once a week.  I can’t do it anymore.”  

Barely able to make out the reflection staring back at me, I had to grab my readers.  I was shocked to see my reflection nodding back at me, “you should totally do that.”  

Old isn’t really old anymore. 

I think my Grandma was my age at my wedding.  But stuff is changing and I am not liking some of these changes one bit.  

I drive a red convertible bug. Yes, I earned this privilege.  For years I drove a 12 passenger van that smelled like corn nuts and athlete’s foot.  But I did not do buy the convertible to prove anything or to cling to some semblance of my youth.  It is fun to drive and super adorable.  So imagine my upset when the little tart at the smoothie shop drive-thru said, “Oh!  I love your car!  And I love that you are enjoying being old.”  

Oh, my stars, you just did not.  

And the look on her face was, “oh dear, she is not going to tip me.”  But to prove her wrong, to bolster my confidence, and lead her to believe I didn’t care, I said, “Keep the change!”  Honked my horn and peeled out, slurping on my turbo-charged tropical green smoothie. Which, by the way, sent a surge of shocking pain to my jaw, as my teeth are getting more and more sensitive to temperature with each passing day.  When I was far from her line of vision, I pulled over and put the convertible top up. The smoothie and 73-degree autumn breeze were leaving me a little chilled.  And I forgot my shawl.  

It was only hours later I realized, I had given her a $20… not a $10.  I gave a fifteen-year-old car hop a thirteen-dollar tip so I would feel better about myself because she called me old.    

If that is not some form of senility, I am not sure what is.  

Then there are the bladder debacles.  I find it most ironic that one of my greatest parenting challenges was potty training my children only to launch them as adults and find myself wetting my pants on the regular.  

This is a grave injustice.  

And I may be adjusting our monthly budget to incorporate weekly trips to the salon.  I might have to give up coffee for the heartburn.  Yes, I need trifocals, and no, I am not smart enough to wear them and walk down the stairs.  While I did not break my hip the first time I tried this, I did twist my ankle and chip my fingernail.  

I decided that I was willing to take my glasses off before maneuvering the stairs but I am wholly opposed to not being able to fall down a flight of stairs and stay dry.  A girl has to draw the line somewhere, even if she can’t see it.  

One of the issues I struggled with for years was chronic bladder infections.  My “old” doctor, actually I think he was younger than me, and I switched to a “new” doctor, said that this chronic condition would only increase with time.  

That didn’t sit well with me.

I get that things wear over time, but infections are indicative of inflammation.  A direct signal to the body that something isn’t just worn out from birthing 9-pound humans, but something is not healthy. 

In the course of my search for a new doctor, someone told me about Goodbye-UTI and I ordered some.

If you know me you know I do not do paid blog posts.  I rarely, if ever use this space to talk about anything but Jesus, Grace, and my life as wife/mom/author/artist/grocery store nudist.  (Sorry you have to read my book, Stolen Jesus, for that juicy tidbit.)  

But after years of bladder issues from endometriosis, monthly reoccurring infections, and finally not being able to fall down the stairs without wetting my pants, (did I mention that?) I am so thrilled with the results from using Goodbye-UTI, I told them, I will tell the world about this product!

They were quick to send me tons of research and I am forever sold on putting a scoop of this stuff in my coffee first thing every morning.  I am going on a few months of no bladder infections, urgency, or pain after years of misery.  

Grab your readers and learn more about this easy to use miracle that I cannot say enough about.  When you’re done, if you don’t have to get to the salon or take a quick nap – sitting upright in a recliner, use coupon code JAMISENTME to get 20% off your order.  

We can grow old together and continue to enjoy the camaraderie that is our womanhood, but let us do it without the nuisance of bladder infections.  Read on… 

 Is It A Chronic UTI or Something Else?

Many women are frustrated that they can’t get relief from ongoing urinary tract infection symptoms.  Getting to the root cause of the symptoms is the first step.

A research study in May 2020 among over 800 women showed that almost half (46%) had a UTI in the past year and that one out of every three of them had 3 or more UTI’s (this is the official the definition of a chronic UTI).

This research also revealed that are actually two categories of chronic sufferers:

1) Women with a diagnosed UTI: bacteria were present in the urine sample

2) Women with similar symptoms, but no UTI: there were no bacteria in the urine sample

Here’s a brief overview of these two groups and the possible causes of their symptoms. 

Women with a diagnosed UTI 

There are several reasons why you are getting a UTI over and over again.  Some of the causes may be easily addressed, but many others are impossible to diagnose and treat accurately.  

1) Lack of hydration: a urologist will explain that the bladder should be constantly replenished with water in order to remain healthy and that if old urine remains in the bladder too long, it can develop bacteria, and a UTI sets in.  The rule of thumb is to drink 6-8 glasses of water each day.  Many women just don’t like drinking water, especially as they age, because it requires more frequent urination.  

2) Inaccurate testing: the testing done at an OB/GYN office has been shown to be highly inaccurate, as the equipment that they use to diagnose your UTI in the office is very basic.

 The urine cultures done at a urologist’s office will be more sophisticated, but remain limited to looking for the standard types of bacteria.  New tests are now available which use genetic sequencing (DNA) to analyze not only bacteria, but fungi, parasites and viruses which may be affecting your health both within and outside of the urinary tract.

3) The wrong antibiotic: as we all know, the typical response to discovering that you have a UTI (again) is to prescribe an antibiotic.  First, it’s really important to ask your doctor whether the new infection is caused by the same bacteria as the old one, or whether it’s a different type of bacteria.  Second, find out the name of the bacteria.  It’s possible that the antibiotic that is being prescribed is not the correct one. Recent medical research shows that only certain antibiotics will destroy specific types of bacteria.

4) Antibiotic resistance: this is the most common cause of chronic UTI’s. 

Over the years, many women have probably taken most of the popular antibiotics. This over-prescribing has led to “antibiotic resistance”, which means that the bacteria have learned how to hide and mutate in your system.  So as soon as the course of antibiotics has been completed, they begin to grow all over again. This problem has caused scientists to work on new types of antibiotics, but they’re having a hard time getting the funding they need. The medical community is already sending out warning signals that this may be the next worldwide health crisis.  The data shows that simple infections have begun to turn into life-threatening illnesses.  In fact, over 23,000 people have died from UTI’s in the past year.

5) ESBL’s: the two bacteria which are most often the cause of UTIs are Escherichia coli (E. coli) and Klebsiella pneumoniae.  Both are part of a family of germs known as Enterobacteriaceae.  These germs can produce enzymes called extended-spectrum beta-lactamases (ESBLs). ESBL enzymes break down and destroy some commonly used antibiotics and make these drugs ineffective for treating infections.  

6) Biofilms: these are slimy “sacs” that the bacteria surround themselves with after burrowing into the lining of the bladder.  This protects them against the threat of antibiotics.  It is very difficult to diagnose the presence of biofilms today, but researchers are working on this aggressively, because they have identified that this is a significant cause of recurring UTIs.  

Women with similar symptoms, but no UTI 

The women with ongoing symptoms but no proven UTI is the group that baffles gynecologists and urologists most. This is in part due to the fact that women have a difficult time explaining exactly what they are experiencing; most will start by saying that they have pain “down there”.  This then requires a series of investigations and tests to find out exactly what’s causing these symptoms.  

Other medical problems that mimic the signs of a UTI are:

1) Vaginal Infection: in addition to the typical yeast infection, other types of bacteria may cause a more serious and difficult to treat vaginal infection known as bacterial vaginosis (BV). 

This is typically seen in older women who are experiencing menopause.  The lack of hormones leaves the vaginal canal open to an infection that can cause a similar burning sensation to that of a UTI.  

2) Vulvodynia: this is defined as chronic, unexplained pain in the area around the opening of the vagina. It is usually described as a sensation of burning, stinging, itching or rawness. It is also defined as pain that lasts more than three months and doesn’t have a clear identifiable cause.  

3) Interstitial cystitis (IC): is a chronic bladder health issue. It is a feeling of pain and pressure in the bladder area. Along with this pain are lower urinary tract symptoms which have lasted for more than 6 weeks, without having an infection or other clear causes. 

4) Bladder Cancer: the symptoms of bladder cancer are almost exactly the same as those of a UTI, as shown below.  But the one which should cause you concern is blood in the urine.  If you have this symptom, make an appointment with a urologist right away so that you can quickly eliminate this condition from your list of possible problems.

  • Presence of blood in the urine

  • Pain or burning sensation during urination

  • Frequent urination

  • Feeling the need to urinate many times throughout the night

  • Feeling the need to urinate, but not being able to pass urine

  • Lower back pain on 1 side of the body

Chronic UTI Treatment Tip: It’s pretty apparent that many of the possible causes of chronic UTI’s are related to antibiotics that are not working.  Fortunately, there’s an alternative.  Over the past decade, medical doctors have been recommending that their chronic patients try a natural supplement known as D-Mannose for symptom relief.  It’s a well-kept secret, though, because the research shows that only about 6% of women are even aware of D-Mannose.  Here are the features to look for when purchasing this supplement:

1) Only buy 100% pure D-Mannose.  You don’t want to dilute the effectiveness of this product with additives such as cranberry or hibiscus.

2) Buy it in powder form.  When mixed with water, the powder dissolves completely and has no taste.  But most important, it goes right to the bladder where it is needed, unlike capsules which need to first be digested in your stomach.

3) Buy it from a trusted source.  Many D-Mannose products are produced outside the US by companies that are not certified here, so the quality may not be up to our standards.

Goodbye UTI is 100% pure D-Mannose powder, formulated by a Doctor of Pharmacy by a well-known FDA-certified manufacturer known as Catalyst Nutraceuticals, located in Georgia.

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