Pyelonephritis or Kidney Infection

For the last week I’ve had a terrible back pain. On Monday night we’ve been to the out-of-hours GP after the pain just wouldn’t go away. I had a sharp pain behind the bottom part of my right lung. I’ve been diagnosed with pulmonary embolism in the past, so when I call I need to come in so they can check me over.

I was very glad to hear it wasn’t a pulmonary embolism this time around. The GP did some tests, including hitting me in the kidneys to see if that made the pain worse. It didn’t feel great, but it didn’t hurt all that much. I also had to provide a urine sample so they could rule out any urinary tract infection or kidney infection. The test came back negative (which is positive, as it means there’s no indication of an infection).

I provided another urine sample to my GP on Tuesday, but the results were the same. He thought I might have strained a muscle inside my ribcage, so he sent me home with painkillers.
Those didn’t work good enough or long enough. So on friday I called my GP again asking for better painkillers. He didn’t want to prescribe me any, but asked to bring him another urine sample. I did, but didn’t think it would bring out a positive result.

I was very surprised when the test came back positive. I did have a kidney infection. Just not with the normal symptoms. I don’t have vomiting, high fever, pain on passing urine, and abdominal pain that radiates along the flank towards the back. Only a bad case of back pain.

My GP prescribed me antibiotics to kill the bacteria and kept me going on the painkillers. hopefully they will kick in within the next few hours, as my back still hurts. Just not as much as last week.

Why am I sharing this? To make sure people understand you don’t have to have all the symptoms described normally with a kidney infection. You can have one without knowing it. Even I didn’t see it. I’m a nurse, I should know the symptoms, but I didn’t see it coming. You can have a kidney infection without the vomiting or the fever. You can have a bladder infection without the pain when you pee. Keep that in mind. A urine test is a very simple way of finding out. Ask for it if you are unsure!

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