At 1:30am last Monday, a searing pain in the sides of my body woke me up. I didn’t understand what was happening to me but something felt really wrong internally…like it had to be more than a muscular tear. I eventually passed out from sheer exhaustion but when my alarm for work went off, the pain was still there. I hobbled off to work fearing that my appendix was about to burst, I needed my gallbladder removed or I was filled with kidney stones. I highly recommend not self-diagnosing through Google as the results are always extreme and quite terrifying. When I got to work, I spoke to my boss and asked her if I could duck out and see a doctor just for peace of mind. My doctor was lovely and thorough but he told me he wasn’t too concerned so he sent off a sample to be tested and advised I come back if the pain worsened.
As I continued to work, the pain became worse and worse and by the time I came home for dinner, I was sobbing and unable to move. Francis helped me into the car and rushed me to Sandringham Emergency Hospital. I was so unbelievably scared as the only other time I had ever gone to hospital for myself was my own birth…which doesn’t count! The doctors were so kind and caring. I gave them another sample and this time they found traces of blood. I was hooked up to an IV and Heart Rate Monitor. I’ve never been good at swallowing pills so they injected my leg with a strong painkiller and the next hour or so was a blissful blur. Francis told me I sang to him and asked lots of strange, random questions. All I remember was feeling happy that for the first time in hours I was no longer in pain. The doctor returned with the results, saying that I had a kidney bacterial infection. He told me it was completely random and can be contracted just by sitting on a public toilet.
Through my IV, 2 bags full of antibiotics entered my bloodstream and I was wheeled through the hospital to the Short Stay Ward. I was set up in a comfortable room with doctors taking my blood pressure and fluffing my pillows. It felt nice to be taken care of. Francis never left my side, holding my hand the entire time and asking the doctors all the important questions. My Mum who wanted to be there told me later that he was wonderful and updated her every couple of minutes with how I was doing. Finally, my doctor hooked me up to a 500ml bag of Sodium Chloride which was injected into my arm and slowly released into my bloodstream. By the time the bag was nearly empty, I felt so refreshed, hydrated and clear. That was when I decided to make a change.
I consider myself to be quite a healthy person but my one major downfall is I never drink enough water to balance out the amount of time I spend in a heated environment. When I drive to and from work, I crank the heater (mainly in winter obviously). I take scalding hot baths & showers. I love my electric blanket a little too much and I practice hot yoga several times a week. All of this would be reasonable if I hydrated myself consistently…which I don’t. I fill up my water bottle and drink about a quarter, if that! I never questioned this bad habit however as I figured the amount of tea I consume in a day was making up for it. What I did learn recently was that tea & coffee is fine provided we all drink one cool glass of water afterwards as the heat can still dry the body out. The next morning, my doctor discharged me and told me to drink bottles and bottles of water to flush out the toxins in my system. He laughed and said he should take his own advice as he never drinks enough water either.
I spent last week and this weekend recovering by drinking litres and litres of water every day. I felt so much better and my skin cleared up even more! It is no longer something I have to tell myself to do, I just drink because I crave it and love how refreshed I feel all day long as I replenish my bodily fluids. We are all made up of 60% water and it’s important to remain hydrated so we can aid digestion, absorption, circulation, creation of saliva, transportation of nutrients, and maintenance of body temperature. Despite being told that I had a random bacterial infection, it is common knowledge that dehydration can lead to kidney issues and I believe the amount of artificial heat I’ve been under lately without the fluids to balance me out contributed to my infection. I am now easing up on the intensity of the heat which means less heaters, warmer clothes & more blankets on the bed.
I also discovered to my delight that kidney super foods are blueberries & raspberries which I already consume every morning for breakfast. I’ve been indulging in an abundance of fresh berries since and cutting down on hot tea which is not harmful in any way but I want to ensure cool water is the primary fluid that enters my body. I wanted to share my story with you because after speaking to my doctor and several other people, the consensus seems to be that a lot of us do neglect drinking pure, fresh water every single day. I can’t explain how something that seems so obvious has brought me so much wellness & clarity.
We can’t all be hooked up to bags of Sodium Chloride every day so bringing a drink bottle with us everywhere can serve to keep us hydrated. We can drink mindfully and really pay attention to the sensation of cool fluids entering the system. Every meal that we eat should be accompanied by a glass of water as should every hot drink we consume. Every task that needs to be done at work can be checked off with a refreshing gulp of H20. We can even set ourselves a daily challenge of drinking several glasses a day or 2-3 bottles full. Whichever method works, as the saying goes ‘we never know the value of water until the well runs dry!’
Hydration is healthy and we all deserve to feel our very best!
Peace and Love Xoxoxo