prevention magazine article
readers letters

First person stories of self-help

  There are two copies of the PREVENTION article under this link: the second is a scanned copy of the original article, and the first version is the same text, but has been re-typed to provide clearer, easier type for reading. The scanned version is a bit "fuzzy," because the paper of the original magazine is similar to newsprint. I left his office and in the hallway, before I could reach the bathroom, the solution poured down my leg. Sitting on a stool my bladder continued to convulse. It burned as if acid were pouring out. At last I got up, left the medical building and drove home. My husband came home to find me on the toilet, sobbing and overwhelmed with the pain. He called the doctor, who insisted that dilation was not painful and that I should take a hot bath.
    As miserable as this event was, it was only the beginning of a 10-year ordeal with cystitis (bladder infection) and with dilation, the popular "treatment."
I did not go back to that doctor again. Instead, a year later, when I had another bladder infection and severe intestinal cramping and gas as well, I went to the student health service at the university where I was attending graduate school. The infection was diagnosed and another dilation done. The intestinal problem was attributed to "nerves" and over the next four years various tranquilizers were prescribed.
      In 1972, when the bladder symptoms recurred, I wanted another opinion regarding dilation and was referred to a private urologist. When he offered the same diagnosis and suggested the same treatment, I accepted it and underwent six more dilations from 1972 to 1975, once with each episode of urgency. I was told that I might have to have these treatments for the rest of my life. I took two aspirin and two codeine before each visit and thought little more about it.
  Cystitis: Getting Off The Treatment Treadmill

Kay Zakariasen
     When I had my first bladder infection in 1970 I had no idea what I was in for. I was referred by my gynecologist to a urologist. He took x-rays of my bladder and diagnosed the problem as chronic urethral trigonitis, a fancy term which means that the urethra and base of the bladder were inflamed. Then he put me in stirrups (and after numbing the area with an anesthetic) inserted a special instrument into my urethra to measure its diameter. After the examination he told me that my urethra was "too narrow." He said it would not permit complete voiding and that infection was the result.
     On the second visit, I was put in the stirrups again and an "otis bulb" was inserted to stretch the urethra. This was followed by silver nitrate and cauterization of the tiny rips. The doctor told me to hold this in the bladder for 15 to 20 minutes, if possible, before voiding.

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