VIDEO Maci Bookout’s mystery illness diagnosis revealed on The Doctors

Maci Bookout - The Doctors - Kidney Infection

On Thursday’s episode of The Doctors, Teen Mom‘s Maci Bookout revealed the mystery illness she suffered last summer was actually an advanced kidney infection. The infection, which is also called an upper urinary tract infection or upper UTI, was so agonizing that Maci would have preferred birthing octuplets.

“I didn’t even want to get up to go to the doctor,” Maci told Drs. Travis Stork and Rachael Ross. “That’s how painful it was.”

Maci explained she realized something was wrong when she began having pain in her stomach and back.

“Like everyone else, whenever I feel like I’m getting sick, I got straight to the Internet and check symptoms,” Maci explained. “At this point, I thought that it might be the flu. I went to the doctor and they ended up giving me an antibiotic shot and a steroid shot. And, actually that night when I got home, things took a turn for the worse. My fever was higher than it had been the whole time. I wasn’t even able to eat an ice-cube without vomiting and that was brutal.”

Teen Mom Maci Bookout Mystery Illness

At that point, Maci began tweeting about her “mystery illness” — which quickly made news.

“i really need to not be sick anymore… back to the doctor tomorrow! i should be on #mysterydiagnosis,” she tweeted in August.

Fortunately, after a few more tests and a CT scan, Maci’s doctors diagnosed her with an extremely advanced kidney infection. Weighing in, Dr. Travis explained Maci’s pain was “interesting” because of its severity.

“(My pain) was directly in my back and it was so bad on the inside,” Maci added. “One of the worst things was with my shirt touching my skin, hurt. And, also, I had a really high fever… All of it together was terrible. It was creating joint and muscle pain.”

As Dr. Travis then explained upper UTIs generally begin with lower UTIs. These are both more common among women because females’ urethras are shorter.

“As long as it stays in the bladder down, it’s called a lower UTI,” Dr. Travis said. “But if that bacteria travels up the ureter and gets itself into the kidney, then it becomes a full-on kidney infection. The reason that that’s a big deal, as Maci can attest to, is at that point in time that infection can get into your blood steam… Literally, you can feel like you’re on death’s doorstep.”

With the help of antibiotics, Maci recovered completely. She even went on to participate in the Dare to Dance charity event, which coincidentally benefitted the The Kidney Foundation of the Greater Chattanooga Area.

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  • Pat Brown

    boy all of these girls will just do whatever they have to do to extend their 15 minutes! They have no shame, anything for a little change, really kind of pathetic! She got paid to go on, or she wouldn’t be on! Got a free trip to LA too!

    • Cheermom_1975

      Wow, you really dislike these TM girls, don’t you?

  • Courtney

    She’s lucky the Dr.’s diagnosed her! I went undiagnosed for 8 years because of uneducated and ignorant doctors and now I’m suffering every minute of every day and resistant to all the meds at this point. If the doctors would have been educated, thought outside the box and did the proper tests with in the 2 weeks I was in and out of the ER every day then I would be 100% fine today! Never trust that your Dr. knows best or knows all. YOU have to be your own doctor & researcher when they don’t give you a diagnosis. I had to be the one to do the research of my symptoms and find the labs that do the rare tests. What do you know…. I was the one who found out what was wrong with me when 8 years of Dr.’s tried to say it was all in my head because THEY couldn’t figure it out!

    • SammyG

      Same here girl, I eventually self diagnosed myself with (unfortunately) cushings disease. But after many doctors has no idea once I presented the idea I was properly tested and diagnosed. So you are right that you gotta do your own research etc because most drs are clueless.

      • Doctor’s kid

        Not if you go to a respected doctor. Doctors go to school for so long for a reason. While it is good for a patient to do some reading, you need a ton of experience to actually understand something in the proper context. My dad said because of the brutal hours he spent in the hospital during his residency, he developed an intuition for understanding patients. He is a surgeon specializing in urologic cancers (mostly bladder) and has literally done thousands of cases. So the take home is that it is very important to research doctors and choose the right one, which for more complicated things is a specialist

        • Courtney

          Unfortunately there are very few “well educated” doctors like your Dad. I was given the name of the best UCLA specialist and I was so hopefull that he would help figure out what was going on with me. After spending one hour with him he basically told me that there’s no reason to schedule another appt. with him because he had no suggestions of where to go from here. EVERY one kept telling me, “just go see this amazing specialist!” He did NOTHING. Turns out I have chronic Lyme. Seriously I went 8 years having seen almost 50 different doctors and the NEVER thought Lyme! There were times that I even suggested that I thought I had Lyme and ALL those doctors would either talk me out of it or tell me it didn’t exist, there was no test for it, it was all in my head, and that because I live in CA and haven’t been to the East coast there was no way I had it! 50 doctors that were either ignorant or uneducated about Lyme!

        • SammyG

          Well thanks for the annoying lecture but I’m sticking with my opinion due to years of experience with doctors who are generally rather clueless.

    • me

      If you are having constant infections that never go away, please get someone to give you a CT scan of your bladder. I had UTIs that never went away with antibiotics and other treatments for nearly 5 years. Turns out it was cancer in my bladder. I was 28. I had surgery in July to remove my bladder and they also gave me a hysterectomy (turned out the be unnecessary because my uterus was cancer free). More women die of bladder cancer than men because doctors will keep telling you it’s just a UTI and never check to see if there is a more serious problem. I fell through the cracks and I have had to pay dearly for it. This is a an issue that definitely needs more awareness. You hear all year long constantly about breast cancer, but bladder cancer is the 4th most deadly cancer in America and many women might have a better chance at survival if doctors would be more thorough with a patient whose infections never seem to get better.

      • Courtney

        Wow. I’m so sorry you had to go through all that but I hope the surgery and everything worked and you’re doing better! I’m so sorry they did an unnecessary hysterectomy! I had a laparoscopy done to “remove” the endometriosis that I had (which was unrelated to my main health problem) and the Dr. gave me Lupron (sp?) which is suppose to shut down the pelvic area to stop periods for about 3months to give it a rest after the surgery. My Dr. NEVER discussed it with me or told me he was going to use it and I wish he had because I later read that you don’t have to get Lupron and there were many side affects and cons. If I had the chance to research it for even just 5 mins I would have asked not to receive the Lupron shot. To this day 4 years later I have only gotten my period 2x in 4 years because it really messed me up. I was suppose to get my period back after 3 months. I’ve learned my lesson and now BEFORE they do ANYTHING I ask about EVERY little thing and what they will give me and then I go research it to make sure it’s ok. Sad that we can’t even trust what the professional does anymore.

        • Demona

          I see you’ve already had endo removed – I had the same issue with “chronic UTI” and when they did lap I have it on my bladder so lightbulb moment they say to me they don’t want to remove it given the location (which I can’t understand everything I read says remove it before it gets worse) but it causes all the UTI symptoms, even causing your UTI screens to be positive for UTI. I basically live with UTI symptoms everyday to an extent. They’ve tried what the Dr called a med “cocktail” to ease the symptoms but I didn’t notice a difference to be honest.

  • SammyG

    UTI’s can be brutal, I’ve had several & I always take them serious for this reason so they don’t turn into kidney infections. It’s good Maci brought a little attention to this because a UTI can turn into a serious situation. So go get antibiotics peeps!

  • Tamtam

    Kidney infections HURT, and they get really bad, really fast. I’m glad they figured it out, I hope her kidneys don’t have any lasting damage.

  • Ace

    I’m surprised it’s that hard for people to get a kidney infection diagnosed! I had a kidney infection while pregnant, and the pain was only around the affected kidney so it was pretty obvious to doctors what it was. I get heaps of UTI’s too, always go straight to the doctors for antibiotics now. They really do hurt so bad! But I gotta say, my last labour was worse.

  • anjealka

    Was it a UTI or Pyelonephritis? always thought if the infection left the urinary tract and went into the kidneys it was referred to as Pyelonephritis. I was born with only one odd shaped kidney and would get UTI’s. My insurance changed and they stopped preventative care. My simple UTI turned to Pyelonephritis and I spent 3 weeks in the hospital fighting it. Now wouldn’t it have saved me some extreme pain( The worst part was the high fevers105+, body shaking for hours everyday) and the insurance company 75k+ if they had just done regular preventive $8 tests every week?

  • Natalie

    I hate UTIs luckily I don’t get them often but when I do I always treat one problem and get slapped with another one like yeast infections it’s a pain in the ass if you ever felt it

  • Teresa B

    I wanted to know if many of the people below are from the USA. I don’t want to give the impression that this is an issue or a problem as I love my sisters & brothers to the south, I’m just curious as it relates to the difference in health care in Canada. So many of you seemed to have really suffered and I’m so sorry for you as I can certainly relate to a certain extent. I just don’t understand why you seem to get really short changed when it comes to your primary care physician primarily. It is just so different here. I know we certainly have our problems with socialized medicine, but I find it absolutely unthinkable to not receive the medical care that I really need, but I can’t afford it or my insurance only covers certain procedures, illnesses, etc. I really hate that for you all. Take care and I know you are all at the very least putting important info. out there and you are also commiserating with one another.