What did I think of if someone mentioned a Urinary Tract Infection? I thought of burning urination and lots of cranberry juice. And a trip to the doctor for an antibiotic if the cranberry juice didn't work. More of an inconvenience than anything.
I arrived at my mom's house one night after work to just say "hi". When I got there, though, she was upset because she couldn't get her lights to work, and her washing machine was broken, too. I told her to turn the lights on so that I could see what was going on, and she couldn't remember how. I flipped the light switch and was surprised that the lights seemed to work fine. Becoming alarmed now, because this was the house she had lived in for over 30 years, I checked the washing machine. Nothing wrong.
We headed for the hospital. All I could think of was that she was having a stroke or something, because her thinking was so confused. I was shocked to learn that a "simple little" UTI could, in fact, cause this kind of confusion in an elderly person. Yet, I was relieved, because I still thought that a UTI was not a big deal.
They did hospitalize my mom for the UTI. The antibiotics worked, though, and my mom slowly returned to "normal".
UTI's will be revisited throughout this blog. One thing people should remember is that UTI's in the elderly are rarely a one-time thing. And they can be extremely serious.