Curing UTIs without Antibiotics

Go see a doctor if your pee-hole burns. There. Now that that’s out of the way, on with the quack show!

Don’t get me wrong, I love antibiotics. I’d be dead by now without them more than likely. But they’re my solution of last resort because microbiome – good. Scorched earth on microbiome – not so good. It’s the body’s personal pharmacy. Unfortunately I get UTIs sometimes 2 or 3 times a year. For a few years, they went away and I thought I was so superstar! And while I still am so superstar, they’re back. In the past, I’ve always taken antibiotics to clear them up because I thought that was how it was done. And every doctor I’ve asked has told me antibiotics are the solution for UTIs. So that’s why I put that out there first. If you listen to a doctor, they will advise you not to listen to any of this horseshit I’m about to share. And that is fine. For me, this worked. I’m here to share my experiences. Learn from my n=1 experiment so to speak.

Experiment 1:

  • Duration – 1 day.
  • Symptoms – Interrupted sleep – woke early; mild discomfort (pressure) in the area; burning sensation when peeing.
  • Solution –
    • Drank a lot of garlic-ginger tea (hot water over smashed garlic cloves and ginger slices). Drink constantly.
    • Rinse with warm salt water after every pee. Mix salt in warm/hot tap water in a big vessel and pour it over that area to clean it.
  • Result – I felt better that day, and it was gone the next day.

Experiment 2:

  • Duration – UTI discovered day 2. How do I know it was day 2? Well, I remembered which day sex happened – yes sex ->UTI. No secret there. Also I vaguely recalled the prior day having cloudy funky pee, and that can be an early sign as well – I just didn’t realize it at the time since I wasn’t uncomfortable.
  • Symptoms – Since it was day 2, things were already feeling more burny. Also a little blood in the pee. It was Sunday though so the local urgent care center was closed and Monday was a holiday so I was just going to have to tough it out.
  • Trial and Errors –
    • Sunday (day 2): Garlic does not work. I repeat, garlic can ward off vampires only, not UTIs. I ate probably a bulb of raw garlic. Nothing.
    • Monday (day 3): Still burning and pink pee. I kept downing garlic. Garlic and I had a bit of a falling out that day.
    • Tuesday (day 4): I finally got antibiotics because the urgent care was opened. Yay! I didn’t take them though. I just wanted them in case I couldn’t shake it myself. Still bloody pee. I got a bag of frozen cranberries, and blended them with some hot water, a piece of ginger, and some apple cider vinegar. This stuff works.
    • I drank it throughout the day (sometimes in super tart strong smoothies and sometimes super watered down to give my stomach a break. Do this for two weeks to make sure everything is truly cleared.
      After the first smoothie, the relief was immediately noticeable. That kind of instant “feel better” felt almost antibiotic-like.
      • The immediate relief can be misleading. I thought I cleared the infection. But turns out I hadn’t fully cleared it. (I actually switched to bear berry after a day of cranberry smoothie and my UTI returned after a week. Bloody pee. I then did this cranberry smoothie for two weeks and it finally cleared.)

TL;DR – Try drinking blended up whole cranberries with some ACV throughout the day for two weeks. I added ginger but I don’t think the ginger is the magic. It’s the whole blended cranberries.

I cleared this UTI without antibiotics.

Also something I learned from my coworker: after sex, pee, then drink, then pee again. I think for those of us prone to it, it’s important to do that because by my experience, peeing just the once clearly doesn’t work!!

Also I plan to have frozen cranberries in my freezer at all times. And it probably wouldn’t hurt to periodically have a cranberry smoothie.

Things I’ve tried that did not work:

  • Parsley tea (boil a bunch of parsley and drink it down. (I ate all the boiled parsley too.)
  • Baking soda water – I drank a lot. It did nothing and tasted not so good.
  • Cranberry juice – This did not work for me. Blended whole fresh or frozen cranberries worked for me.
  • Garlic/Ginger – Make great stir-fry! Nothing for UTIs.
  • Uvi Ursa (Bear Berry) – I drank lots of it for three days. Maybe I didn’t take it long enough. At any rate, it didn’t clear up bloody pee right away like the cranberry smoothie does.

Supplemental resolution

The other person who inspired me a lot last year (well, maybe for a few years now) was Mr. Money Mustache. So between Marie Kondo with her get-rid-of-your-garbage philosophy, and MMM’s stop-buying-garbage philosophy, I was torn about which I would adopt as my theme for 2019. So I’m taking them both. I’m sure I’ve recycled these two ideas in past resolutions. It’s an uphill battle for me on both fronts and they relate. Stop trading my time and space for garbage.

With MMM in mind, I had originally drafted a post geared towards what I thought was going to be my 2019 project of reducing my annual food cost from 2018. This was in November before the end of the year and my data was incomplete so I waited to finish the post with all the dollars tallied. Lo, the outcome was stupid. Yes, I can lower my food costs. No I’m not as Mustachian as the man himself. But no. See food expenses in 2018 were lower than in 2017. Good enough for me. I apparently made strides without even trying.
My theory is, part way through 2018 I gave up on finding decent plant-based options in the area because they were mostly just mediocre, so we ate out a lot less. I don’t see the dining scene suddenly improving this year. We’ll still try a few places every now and again, but maybe this isn’t the pie slice I need to improve. I will just have to look elsewhere to improve my clutteriffic living situation. Anyway, it’s not like my food takes up that much space. Except maybe the beans and rice – I hoard that as if the next apocalypse were upon us.

The year of flexibility

I wanted to focus 2018 on flexibility. With my limbs. Stretch more. Use the foam roller more. I blame Instagram.  Nothing good ever came out of social media eh?  So that lasted for maaaybee a month?  I mean I kinda’ sorta?  Reality: I probably stretched no more or less than usual. You know how it goes with resolutions and old habits. I was hoping that my physical flexibility would manifest into my day-to-day life. That I could be more flexible physically and mentally. I’m not sure my brain flexed anymore than my limbs though so there ya go.  Old habits are hard to kill. Then again, life is moment to moment so maybe just keeping the thought in mind helped in some way? I don’t know. It’s not something I measured, nor would I know how to. Or maybe not measuring and not tracking was itself a sort of flexibility. Just learning to go with the current moment rather than worrying about how I was in the previous moment. Anyway, I really enjoyed this “resolution” because it’s more flexible. How very meta. So I can’t tell how I did. There is no success or failure. It’s just a word.

Not another haircut

Usually, I like to show my haircuts with a before and after cut comparison.

(See 2017, 2016, 2015)

This time, I’m showing a before and after a year of growth.
1 year of growth

I’m hoping to grow it another year before lopping it off again. The thing I learned about a short cut is, I like them. They require less work to look stylish. Although I won’t go this short again because it gets all bent out of shape when I sleep and trying to fix it takes heat and effort. A bob length is easier because there’s enough weight on the hair to not get too unruly. Also, it can be tied back for the gym.

Fountain penning

The recent review about my fleeting artistic endeavors reminds me of my other “hobby” that I picked up several years ago. Fountain penning. How’s that going you might wonder? Well, it’s sort of stalled. That’s the thing about stuff hobbies. It’s just buying another and another. I don’t plan on getting anymore except eventually a TWSBI.
In the height of my penning, I was using the Pilot Kakuno, Petit1, and Metropolitan at work and regularly journaling with the Pelikan. Now, only the Pelikan and Petit 1 are currently inked and used. The Metropolitan was recently cleaned and the Kakuno is a lost cause. The lid cracked, the nib dries out, it spurts ink sometimes. I don’t know what to do with it. Marie Kondo would probably say, throw it away. I can save the nib and feed which also fits the Metropolitan. It does have a nice extra fine nib. Guess it was a get-what-you-pay-for situation.

So the thing about fountain pens, and pens in general is hand writing things just doesn’t happen much these days anymore. My handwriting is crap because of it. I used to try hard with my notebooks at work to jot notes neatly. You’d see at least some parts of my notes with schoolteacher writing and some notes that are rushed. Now almost all my notes look rushed.

Not my day

Today was mostly okay until I went to go catch a bus for an appointment. (Metro is doing track work and telling everybody to stay home, go on vacay, or find another mode of transportation, which is usually unheard of since they’re hurtin’ for money, but I’m glad they’re finally giving metro’s infrastructure the much needed attention). The first bus came and drove right by me (why do they do that?!!). And in the 10 minutes I stood to wait for the next bus (thankfully it was just 10 or so mins), mosquitoes attacked me. I was bit probably close to 10 times. The saving grace, there was a torrential downpour (the kind that flip umbrellas inside out) just as I hopped onto the next bus, and by the time I got to where I was going, the rain had stopped. So maybe missing that first bus was a blessing in disguise a la that movie, Sliding Doors (where Gwyneth Paltrow misses a train in one universe and catches it in another and her life is totally different because of that train.) Not that my life was so altered. I don’t think anyway. I guess I’ll never know since I didn’t catch that bus. At any rate, I imagine I would have had to get off the bus right in the middle of the pouring rain and I would have waited at the bus shelter until the storm ebbed and not gotten attacked by the hungry mosquitoes. No biggie. Anyway, I came home and had a bowl of rice and miso paste to feel better. It’s my new favorite food lately. I wrap it in nori. It’s like omusubi without the effort of turning it into a triangle. I feel better now.

Spring?

I know, I know, it’s spring already. Days are longer, more sunshine. Etc. Blah blah, whatever. I’m not feeling it. I’m feeling mopey and dopey, unmotivated, unenthusiastic, and generally bleh.

Yesterday at work, I googled “things to do.” Literally (in the correct usage of this term), I feel like I have no ideas to motivate me to do anything. One of the ideas that came out of the search was to engage in a hobby. I went through my head of all the hobbies I picked up and put down and can’t think of anything that excites me. The only thing I still enjoy doing is tending the houseplants. Thank goodness for that little bit of activity.

Lately I’ve been trying to plan a trip to somewhere. I get excited about it for all of a day and then I lose interest. In the place. In traveling. In leaving the house.

There’s a big snow storm outside right now too. The groundhog was right.

Haircut

I donated my hair last year. Here’s what I thought about it before and after.

Short hair

Before:

    • Donating hair is great and for a good cause. I should do it while I can (as in before my hair turns gray.)
    • It’s easy. I only need to find a participating hair salon that will cut it and send it en masse with other peoples’ donated tresses.
    • Not sure how I feel about short hair. I always have it long enough to tie back at least.
    • I will do this again and again!

After:

  • Donating hair is meh, whatevers. They’ll probably just chuck it anyway (I’ve read that it happens a lot.)
  • It’s a pain in the ass I have to mail in my hair. No salons participate because bullet above.
  • Not being able to tie it up is a minor inconvenience and it’s more effort to tame the bedhead. Other than that I LOVE SHORT HAIR! I feel more stylish.
  • I am undecided about doing this again.  Leaning probably not.

A week in the life of me

TGIF! This week was a pretty typical week for me.

Monday – Went to work.  Took my lunch break at my dinky work gym to stretch my legs a bit. I think of it like recess at school –  the highlight of my day.  After work, I ate leftover bean salad. Watched TV – the old BBC Pride and Prejudice.  LOOOVE Jane Austen.  Popcorn.

Tuesday – Same as Monday, only after work, I went to a gym class to get a proper bit of workout.  I like this particular Tuesday instructor who focuses on abs.  Again, once I’m home, I try to get to food as fast as possible, but not before I shower, because I’m gross. Watch TV with a side of iPad.

Wednesday – Same as Monday. I watched Me Before You.  Good, but sad.  The stars are beautiful and likable.

Thursday – Same as Tuesday, just a different class. I watched Mozart in the Jungle.

Friday – Same as Monday only I got to work a bit earlier so I can leave earlier too.  It’s grocery shopping at Mom’s after dinner.  And finally, TV with a side of wine.  Ahhhh….

Saturday – I generally wake up to toast with peanut butter and banana with tea or coffee.  It’s my favorite breakfast of late. I water all the houseplants with shrimp tank water and then refill the tank with aged water.  That’s just about the only maintenance I do for that tank. I watch more TV until I finally drag my butt to the gym.  It’s hard to leave the house to go to the gym, but the instructor is a funny old guy who runs a very non-stop ridiculously spastic session that I find amusing.  “How high/fast can you go?!  Can you go higher/faster?!  Can you go even HIGHER/FASTER!?”  “Rest when you’re tired.  Drink when you’re thirsty.  Eat your vegetables every day!”  “My mom wakes up and does 100 of these in the morning!”  There’s no stopping for a full hour.  After this crazy workout, I like to go out to eat and then do more grocery shopping.

Sunday – Do mostly nothing day!  Watch gobs and gobs of TV.  Also this is cooking day.  I prepare lunches for the week and try to make enough for dinner for the week too.  I prefer to do minimal cooking during the week so for the most part, Sunday is food prep day. This way, I get less wasted produce too.  Cooking just about everything reduces food waste.  That’s one annoying thing about buying produce though – it commits me to cook.  Once purchased I have to cook it that weekend or prep it for freezing.  Once in a blue moon, I might pick up the vacuum cleaner or scrub brush to clean the house.  But not if there’s something even remotely decent on Netflix or YouTube.