Why bladder infection pain is a good thing

To say that bladder infection pain is a good thing seems to strange to stay when I think about the hours of agony sitting on the toilet as red hot acidic wee trickled slowly out of me, busting for the bathroom even as I was just finished.

But if I had not had the painful symptoms of a bladder infection I would never have known that I had an infection.

Pain is the body's way of letting us know that there is a problem. If it didn't hurt a toddler when it put its hand on a hot plate, it wouldn't know not to do it.

Bladder infection pain, is a clear way of the body letting us know that there is something not going right inside. In some cases of kidney infection, there are none of the usual painful symptoms like painful urination or needing to go to the bathroom frequently. In these cases, it is easy for the kidney infection to get really bad before it is discovered and treated. The longer the body is in a sick state, the more effort it needs to put in to heal itself and the more susceptible it becomes to other illnesses.

So while bladder infection pain is definitely something you don't want, it is also a lucky thing to have because it prompts us to get treated and our bodies to heal.

While I never for a moment enjoyed all the bladder infections I had while I was at my worst, looking back I can be grateful for how they have changed my life around. Without the push the bladder infection pain gave me, I don't know if I ever would have made the decision to take my health into my own hands.

The constant pain and stress of the recurrent bladder infections I used to experience were a large part of the shove I needed to change a large part of my life around.

People often talk about a "rock bottom" moment, when they decided that enough was enough and they need to change. For me there was never one moment that I can pinpoint but if bawling your eyes out, sitting on the toilet bowl in agony from bladder infection pain isn't a rock bottom moment, well I don't know what is.

The choice I made to take my health into my own hands seems a strange one if you have never thought about it, but it was a crucial part of me feeling better, living better and taking responsibility for my own life.

Through most of my teenage years and into my 20's, I went to the doctor every time I felt sick. Every time they gave me a diagnosis, or a medication, I took it as gospel and believed everything they told me.

This was despite the fact that often I felt worse, instead of better once I had finished their medication. That often I felt as if they were not really listening to me but instead trying to rush through their appointments to get through the massive waiting line outside. Or even that often I felt as though I was wasting their time with problems that weren't significant enough for them to bother with.

I respected them because they were doctors, and surely they must know what they are talking about. The profession of doctors is revered in a funny kind of way. When people talk about someone studying for a long time they compare it to how long a doctor studies to become qualified, there seemed to be more medical dramas on TV than almost anything else for a long time. It is not the done thing to doubt a doctor.

But what I have come to realise, is that doctors are people too. Not only do they make mistakes, it is also impossible for them to know more about me than... me. They cannot feel what I am feeling, they can't intuit what I am doing in my everyday life that can cause me to have problems.

On the whole, doctors have spent years training and learning and practising to become people who treat disease. But I realised I didn't want to be treated for a disease. I wanted to be preventing disease, I wanted to aiming for optimal health, not desperately trying to stave off disease at the end.

Once I realised I didn't want to rely on doctors for being in charge of my health any more, I had to decide who was going to be in charge. It turns out there is no one who benefits more from me being healthy than ...me.

By making a choice to be in charge of my own life, my own health, I suddenly had no one to blame but myself if anything went wrong.

I still take advice from doctors, and also from chiropractors, naturopath, nutritionists and other people who have spent a long time training in their fields. But now all advice is tempered with what I feel is right for me. I have decided to have faith in myself and trust my own instincts.

At the end of the day I have the most to lose and the most to gain from making the right choices.

This means I do a lot more research, a lot more testing to see if things are working or not and have to put in a whole lot more effort than simply showing up to the doctors and taking a pill. But the interesting thing is I enjoy this effort. I know I am creating a better future for myself, I find it interesting and I have discovered a wondrous appreciation for how the human body works.

So while bladder infection pain was an awful thing to deal with at the time, in the long term it has been the catalyst for a much more healthful and enjoyable life all round.

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