Urinary Tract Infection

I woke one morning at the end of May and noticed a slight discomfort and burning upon urination.  Familiar with urinary tract infection (UTI) symptoms I immediately suspected a slight UTI.  However, since I have never had an UTI as an adult, I felt confident that it would soon be gone.  This was simply an illness I did not get. I drank more water and gave myself a couple shots of berberis tincture (an effective broad spectrum herbal antibiotic) thinking all would be well.

After a few days, when the discomfort persisted, I decided to amp up my attack.  I dug out a bottle of Pipsissewa (Chimaphila umbellata) a plant that is used similarly to uva-ursi, but without the harshness on the stomach.  One of the main ingredients is arbutin, which is hydrolyzed to hydroquinone in the urinary tract where it exerts an antiseptic effect.

A week went by; the UTI persisted.  I went online and researched other alternatives.  D-Mannose came up high on the list, outperforming cranberry extracts.  It is specific for UTI’s caused by E. coli and, since this is the most common bacteria implicated in UTIs, it is effective for 90% of infections.  Since the pipsissewa and berberis did not work, I suspected that I had some killer bacteria, not some simple E. coli, but I ordered some mannose just in case.

To cover the 10% of infections caused uti-drugsby other bugs I used monolaurin.  Monolaurin is derived from coconut oil and it disrupts the cell membranes of gram positive bacteria such as Streptococcus, Staphylococcus, Corynebacterium, Listeria, Bacillus, and Clostridium.

Unfortunately, the UTI persisted and at the two week mark I headed to the doctor to get a culture to precisely identify who was wrecking havoc in my urethra.

Indeed I tested positive for UTI, but it would take a couple days to get the culture results back.  In the meantime the doctor prescribed a three day course of trimethoprim sulfamethoxazole as an antibiotic.  I decided to take the drug, since I thought it was worth a try, but by the third day it was clearly ineffective.  I needed the culture results.

There was a delay getting my results back.  On Friday afternoon, four days after I gave the lab my urine sample it became clear that I was going to go the weekend without a bacterial identity.  I eased off on the herbal antibiotics and focused on palliative care.  Two things had helped with the bladder discomfort and urethra burn during the previous weeks:  one was baking soda and the other was watermelon.

Watermelon is specific for easing the pain of burning urine and I had used it with my daughter when she was a child many years earlier.  Fast and effective.  You can use the entire melon – simply put watermelon slices in a blender: rind, seeds and flesh and then drink.  Or you can eat the melon as you normally would.

As for the baking soda I decided to use 1/2 teaspoon twice a day.  This raises the pH of the urine and can be soothing to the tissue.  Although not considered a cure, I had tried using it during the earlier stages of the infection in order to potentiate the hydrolysis of the arbutin in Chimaphila. I found it decreased the discomfort from the infection.

With the plan to get an antibiotic that matched my antibiotic resistant bacteria on Monday, I focused on offering my body relief from symptoms during the weekend.  I was surprised by what happened.  By Sunday night I was completely free of all signs of infection and had lost the five pounds I had gained in the previous week due to inflammation around the infected area.  My energy had returned and I felt great!

Then I was even more surprised by what happened next.  After enjoying sex on Sunday night, I awoke with all my symptoms back on Monday morning.  Within 24 hours I had regained three pounds in water weight also.  Sex can be a common contributing factor for UTIs since foreign bacteria can be introduced during the process.  This is why it is recommended that a woman pee and even wash after sexual activity.  Since I was being careful about UTIs I made sure that I not only urinated, but also washed after sex on Sunday night.  I was baffled.

Monday I got my results back.  I had an antibiotic resistant strain of Proteus mirabilis, a common intestinal bacteria.  The doctor prescribed a seven day course of amoxicillin with clavulanate.  Unfortunately, I arrived at the clinic during pharmacy lunch hours and had to wait.  However, that gave me some time to search on effective alternative treatments for Proteus spp.  I quickly found many research reports using essential oils in the treatment of UTI, especially in UTIs caused by antibiotic resistance bacteria strains.

Then I found a clue to how I had cured the infection over the weekend.  I had been traveling to Mt Shasta that weekend and when I filled up the water bottles for the trip I had added several drops of lime essential oil into each bottle.  In turns out that research by Prabuseenivasan et.al. shows that lime essential oil can effectively inhibit Proteus

I decided to hold off on the pharmaceutical antibiotics, because I sensed they would be more harsh on my body than natural products.  I also knew if I could clear this once, I could clear it again.  The research suggested that essential oils of cinnamon, lime and orange would be the most effective against the bacteria in my urinary tract.  I started using a few drops of these several times a day.

I saw immediate results.  By Wednesday, when my UTI test strips arrived, I showed no signs of bacterial infection, although I still tested positive for leukocytes.  Likewise, my pH was in the healthy acidic range (6.0).  My test results on Thursday also indicated the infection was gone.

Then Thursday night I had sex again.  This time I was even more cautious.  Thinking that perhaps my partner was introducing this Proteus, I allowed no bare skin contact of any of his body parts with my genitals.

This was to no avail.  Friday morning I awoke with obvious UTI symptoms and the UTI test showed off the chart bacterial activity and a high level of leukocytes.  My urine pH had soared to 8.5, indicative of Proteus mirabilis infection.

Enough was enough!  I made an appointment with Dr. Lynne Cockrum-Murphy, a talented ThetaHealer and intuitive consultant.  If physical methods will not cure something then there is an energetic pattern holding it in place.  In my case it was becoming clear that there was some connection between sexual activity and the recurrence of the UTI that extended beyond mere germs.

It is interesting to note that the only other time I have had an UTI was when I was five years old.  That infection was caught during the physical to enter kindergarten, I don’t actually remember having symptoms.  UTIs in children are a common symptom of sexual abuse and this is probably how I had contracted it.  Of course, this cause was overlooked in my case.

When I considered the energetic purposes that a UTI might serve, the obvious one was “The UTI protects me from sex”.  This Dr. Cockrum-Murphy confirmed.  As we explored the reasons I might want protection from sex, we found a lot of trauma responses from the five year old.  Beliefs like:  “sex hurts me”, “sex crushes me”, and “in submission I lose my life”.  None of these beliefs hold true today, but apparently I had triggered a layer of trauma that was ready to be released.  Once we cleared the beliefs regarding sex, the need for protection fell away.  I even tested it with a session of afternoon sex.  That evening I tested for the UTI again.  It was completely gone.  Even the leukocytes were at the lowest level that had been since I got the test strips.  I was amazed. I continued to do follow up with oregano essential oil, just to make sure there was not a physical recurrence.  It has been two week now, and my urinary tract is doing great.





I could feel it on the way to work today.  Resistance.  Not much, but it was an undercurrent playing in the background.  Yesterday morning I looked at my schedule for today and was pleased to find it was completely empty.  I had some things I wanted to do around the house in preparation for my out-of-town guest (arriving that evening) and having no clients would be fine.

Then someone snatched up the first slot of the day.  This would not have been any big deal if I was working at home, but I was on call from 9am to 4pm at the Hawaiian Experience Spa in Scottsdale. If I have to go in for a 9am massage, then it makes the most sense for me to stay at the spa rather than risk driving the half hour home only to be called back in.

As I drove in I acknowledged the resistance.  I had been trying to ignore it.  No sense feeling unhappy about the massage appointment when there was nothing I could do about it.  Still there was that undercurrent of not wanting to go in.  I wanted to have the day go my way.  That is really what it is all about.  I had a plan and I wanted it my way.

Running current through a material with high resistance creates heat. In this picture, a cartridge heater is glowing red hot due to resistance. Similarly, people with resistance tend to heat situations up.

Resistance is the greatest energy sap I can think of.  Resistance takes whatever joy is around and clouds it over.  When I speak of resistance, I am talking about energy that is just being used to fight against something that simply is. Sometimes the thing that “is” is something that cannot be changed, but other times it is possible to change the situation.

For instance, in my case, if I had seen the appointment and decided I didn’t want to do it, I could have called the office and asked for them to give it to someone else.  Instead, I decided I wanted to do it.  At least part of me wanted to do the massage more than I didn’t want to do the massage.  Rarely is any decision made with 100% of my being.  The resistance I was feeling was the drag the minority of me was putting up against the direction the majority of me decided to take.

That’s how it goes with resistance.  Many times I have found that part of me fights against something that “I” have decided to go along with.  Awareness is once again the key to peace.

I confronted the resistor within and affirmed my decision.  Then I turned my back on the rumblings.  The best way to get rid of unwelcome resistance is to focus on what is good and cultivate acceptance.

One trick I use is to “give thanks in all circumstances”. (A nice story about this can be found in my book, The Answers Are Within – Volume 1.)  I decided to believe that this day was being created in a way that really did serve me and all my needs perfectly.  This is an example of Reframing; another great way to get rid of resistance.  I chose to let go of my resistance (and these days it is easy for me – I’ve been practicing this for twenty years) and I resolved to be totally present for the massage.

How did it go?

Went great!  After the massage, I felt ready to leave the spa.  I trusted my intuition.  I decided to get an adjustment at My Chiropractor. When that was over, I decided to get some gas and then get air in my tires.  Before long, I found myself at home – still on call.  I opted to write this post and as I go to publish this I have made it through the day without being called back in.

So, actually a perfect day.  A nice balance of work and taking care of somethings I might not have done if I wasn’t “forced” out of the house.  But the true victory is not the positive outcome.  The true victory is that even if I would have been called back in I would have been peaceful.  Victory over resistance is a gem.

Reflection:  What am I resisting?  What am I saying, “No way” too?  Is it possible to be in faith and resist what is?  How is internal resistance and “drag” different from action directed at change?