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Kidney Infection

OK, I have been ill for almost 2 weeks. 3 weeks ago my family returned from vacation, my husband,  daughter and I ended up on z-pack for Laryngitis, sore throat and chest congestion. My son was treated for strep throat(his rapid strep test was negative but he had pus on his tonsils, fever, and very bad sore throat). I also had twinges of nausea. About a week later I got up to go to work(I am an RN) and although I was OK the day before I was very dizzy, short of breath  and hypotensive. I stayed home the next day as well. I went to MY GP who was concerned about the abrupt onset of symptoms and the possibility of a PE associted with the long car drive home from vacation and ordered a chemistry panel, d-dimer and chest xray . I went to the ER of the hospital where I work and was so short of breath and hypotensive I had to sit. My blood values showed an increased Creatinine and BUN with a decreased(35)GFR. My sodium was just slightly low and all other values except my TSH were normal. TSH was slightly elevated(5.90)I was dehydrated which I hope accounts for those values. My d-dimer was slightly elevated so additional tests were ordered. I could not have a ct with contrast because of the renal labs so I had a VQ scan. I sat with the radiologist as he looked at the scans which like the chest x ray were all normal and ruled out PE. They sent me home(I also was sating 100% on room air even when walking despite the SOB). i kept feeling awful and ended up in another ER 2 days later(thought I would give another hospital a chance to figure it out). BTW, 2 EKG's and a 12 lead EKG were normal. I was breathing very fast and shallow and was having trouble remembering things like what med's I take. I let my husband answer. I kept telling the Doc's this wasn't me. The second ER did an arterial stick(that was fun) and my ph was 7.66. I also had a horrible taste in my mouth and when I inhaled. Looking back I realize my respiratory system was trying to compensate for what my renal system wasn't doing. And neither Hospital bothered to ask for a urine specimen. How stupid was that. I did not have any urinary symptoms at that time. It was the dizziness, nausea and orthostatic hypotension that was bad. I went to work 2 days later still feeling very bad and started having right flank pain. So I urinated several times on a Chem stick and all the tests were negative. When I got home I urinated on a stick again and it was + for trace blood in urine. I went to urgent care where they got a urine specimen(I was beginning to have symptoms of UTI then). They did a fast strep and mono test, both negative. A urine culture came back several days later negative as well. The urgent care doc treated me for a Kidney infection with Cipro. 72 hours after starting Cipro it was like I had an epiphany, I thought Oh my gosh, I feel OK. Now 4 days later, 3 days from completing my Cipro treatment I am getting dizzy again and have right flank pain again. No urinary symptoms. What on earth is going on? I have not had a UTI or Kidney infection in prob 10 years. Except for the flu in my family I have not been sick in I can't remember when. I have never had heart problems...my blood pressure is controlled with an Ace and usually runs a bit low. I had a 64 slice CT of my heart 2 years ago and have 0% blockage. My coronary arteries are clean as a whistle. I don't have a-fib or racing heart. No cardiac problems. Does anyone have a clue what's going on? Also, I do not believe I have Kidney stones as the flank pain is the only pain I have. My kingdom for anyone who can figure out what 2 ER's could not.
1 Responses
Avatar universal
Wow, lots of medical terminology there. I have worked in the medical field before, so I understand most of what you're saying here. BUT I have no idea what could be wrong! I get UTI's and kidney infections a lot myself, since I have bilateral duplex kidneys and ureters with a right ureterocele. But anytime I have an infection, I haven't had a problem with SOB or hypotension.
I had some periventricular tachycardia when I was pregnant, that spontaneously resolved after I delivered. Other than that, no heart problems myself.
Actually, earlier this week I had some feelings of weakness and heart palpitations, and feeling SOB with exertion. It felt a lot like when I was tachycardic, feeling winded and tired and out of energy all the time. My guess was it was because I had been lax on taking my iron supplement. I am nursing so I think baby is taking some of my reserves. I tend towards slight anemia and the symptoms went away after I restarted the iron. So I concluded that that must have been the problem. I would have called the doc and asked, but it was Memorial weekend, and the sx went away by the time they reopened. I don't know if you had your iron looked at, but, heck, who knows, maybe it might help. I'm sure they did a CBC and all that, but I'm just throwing out ideas...
With the memory problems you mentioned, that makes me think "migraine." My husband gets migraines/cluster HA's, and sometimes he will have them with no pain at all, but will have the neurologic sx's, such as memory problems (he couldn't remember my name), visual disturbances, and such. I have heard people talk about pre-migraine symptoms such as smelling unusual smells or being sensitive to smells, and food tasting funny. It's a stretch, but I wonder if what you're talking about is related at all? Maybe con-comitant with the kidney infection? I'm not sure.
Perhaps the Cipro didn't completely wipe out the infection, and that's why you are getting flank pain again. Maybe check another UA and have them see if it grows any organisms.
My best advice: second opinion! Maybe see a urologist/nephrologist or just a your GP. Pursue an answer, if you feel like you're still not OK!
My mom had paroxysmal atrial fibrillation that came and went throughout her life from her 20's on up, and they just figured it out last year. She's 53. She would have these wierd symptoms and feel like she might black out, and then be ok again for awhile. Her GP kept telling her she was probably just having a panick attack. Finally, finally, it got bad enough that they caught it on a 12-lead in the ER. I say all that to say, the symptoms may be unexplainable at first, but that doesn't mean there's nothing going on! Pursue answers until you are satisfied.
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