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.”
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.