Marnie Simpson has opened up about what it’s like to live with the severe pain caused from a chronic urinary tract infection.
Speaking on today’s Steph’s Packed Lunch, the reality TV star, 28, revealed the truth about the impact it has on her life.
“When I’ve been at my lowest, I’ve just thought there’s no point in even going on,” she said.
“There’s nothing more scary than being in a situation like this where you’re really ill, it’s restricting every aspect of your life, you’re in so much pain and no doctor can help you. I get anxiety, it affects my work life.”
Speaking to Dr Javid Abdelmoneim on the show’s Celebrity Surgery, Marnie explained even during their chat she was aware of the constant burning feeling.
“I can feel my bladder, yeah. I’ve got bladder awareness. [I have] an irritated burning feeling. It’s like a four out of 10 and when it’s really bad it will go to 10 out of 10 and that’s when I’m bedbound,” she said.
Marnie – who is mum to 11-month-old Rox – even explained it’s made her consider whether she would have any more children.
“I want to have more kids, I don’t know if that will ever happen. I can’t. I think there’s only one thing worse than being in this pain and it’s being in this pain pregnant because the amount of stress you put your body through with a baby, I wouldn’t be able to,” she told Dr Javid.
Marnie has been living with the chronic UTI since 2016. Having always suffered with the infections on and off, four years ago – despite taking antibiotics and going back and forth to her GP – one particular UTI never went away.
“I’ve always suffered on and off with UTIs my whole life and then in 2016 I got one, and I took antibiotics and this time it just didn’t go. I was going to loads of doctors, I was getting loads of checks and they were checking my urine, they were saying there’s nothing there, it’s fine,” she said.
“It’s frustrating because if I’d been treated properly in the beginning, I wouldn’t be in this position now.”
Doctor Cat Anderson, a specialist in women’s health and recurrent UTIs, explained : “Some studies have shown the quality of life impact of having this disease is equivalent to crippling rheumatoid arthritis, terminal cancer or end-stage renal failure. That’s quite a shocker.
“You’ve got to ask yourself, is it something to do with it being women’s health…?”
Earlier this year, Marnie spoke out about her condition on Instagram, explaining she had been wrongly diagnosed with the bladder condition, interstitial cystitis.
On her Stories, she explained: “I went on with my life thinking that I had that which is an incurable disease and it’s also very rare.
“But, anyway I thought, ‘I must have it, they can’t find anything else,’ so I thought I had that for such a long time.
“I was contacted by loads of girls on Twitter who were saying, ‘Have you heard from chronic UTI? I was also diagnosed with interstitial cystitis and it turns out I had a chronic UTI and I was wrongly diagnosed’.
“So I couldn’t believe it. Basically chronic UTI is a very poorly recognised condition by the NHS. There’s only a certain amount of specialists throughout the world who understand it. I think there might be about 10 specialists in the UK who understand it and treat it.
“I went to see one of these specialists, they did really detailed microscope test and they found an infection that was hiding in the bladder wall and it was protected by a bio-film so I didn’t have interstitial cystitis. Chronic UTI is treatable, even though it can take a long time to get rid of it is treatable.”
If you’re worried about a UTI, it’s important to always seek medical help. You can find out more on the NHS website.
Steph’s Packed Lunch airs weekdays at 12.30pm on Channel 4.