Newspaper article The Florida Times Union

Bladder Infection Became Nightmare

Newspaper article The Florida Times Union

Bladder Infection Became Nightmare

Article excerpt

Byline: Charlie Patton

About four years ago, Lisa Mitchell, now 46, first noticed there was blood in her urine.

"It appeared I had a urinary tract infection," Mitchell said.

So her primary care physician started her on an antibiotic. At first that seemed to work.

But the problem kept returning and began getting worse. She came under the care of Charles Cobb, a urologist with the McIver Clinic. He thought bladder cancer might be the cause of her problems but biopsies showed no cancer.

By then she was beginning to suffer truly debilitating symptoms. Those included severe pain in her pelvis and back caused by a poorly functioning bladder.

She would go to the bathroom as many as 60 times a day. That led to sleepless nights and made her job, selling tactical gear for the military, difficult since it involved traveling to trade shows. She basically skipped two Christmases because she couldn't do any shopping. Often forced to rely on a catheter to help empty her bladder, she had to wear loose clothes and long dresses to conceal the bag that was filling with urine.

"You don't have control of your life," said Mitchell, a Mandarin resident. "You can't sit through a movie or go to a mall ... It controls you."

By last August she had to be hospitalized because urine was backing up into her kidneys.

Eventually Cobb referred Mitchell to Seth Strope, a surgeon who is head of urological oncology at Baptist MD Anderson Cancer Center.

"I was happy with him because when everything else failed, he knew who to send me to," Mitchell said about Cobb.

Strope's diagnosis: Mitchell had follicular cystitis, a rare inflammatory disease of the bladder, and an inflammatory pseudotumor.

"Inflammatory pseudotumor looks like sarcoma, but it's not malignant," Strope said. "It's also not normal and she wasn't recovering. We tried to treat conservatively to see if we could preserve her renal function. But despite efforts to relax her bladder and help her bladder function, it was progressively getting worse. …

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