Andrew Sternick

July 14th 1997
I am 25 years old. I contracted prostatitis in late December, 7 months ago. It came on as a burning sensation during urination. I went to my doctor, but tests showed no infection. A few days later, the burning was gone but I had an extremely high fever; I spent New Year's eve in bed, delirious. I got amoxicilin from my doctor, who thought it was all a flu. Eventually, the flu went away, and the burning returned. My doctor tested again and found evidence of prostatitis in urine (DRE showed my prostate was inflammed, which I complained about). Unfortunately, the doctor prescribed Cipro for only 2 weeks. This suppressed the symptoms partly but did not knock it out. It recurred, and I went to a urologist. He had me on Sulfa for 6 weeks. I took it for 12, because I thought he meant 6 2-week cycles, and the medicine had 5 refills! In any case, when that was done, he considered me cured.

Unfortunatley, I rapidly got a UTI. The Uro put me back on Cipro, which I have been taking for about a month. I still have soreness in my testicles and thigh (mostly on the left) and occasional sharp pains from the prostate. These are particularly disturbing because I fear the prostatitis is coming back. My urine stream has improved lately from the low point in the midst of the UTI. I have not had pain from ejaculation since the most severe prostatitis symptoms went away months ago, but when I was first on the sulfa and before, it often was.

December 10th 1997
According to the rheumatologist, and many websites I have found since yesterday, there is a decent possibility I have some sort of arthritis, either Reiter's Syndrome, or Ankylosing Spondylitis. They are brought on by a bacteriological infection, which causes the immune system to go into overdrive to fight it off. The problem with some people, most of whom have a telltale gene sequence which can found by a special blood test (taken from me yesterday), the immune system stays "on". It causes joint pain, urethral inflammation, and eye inflammation/conjunctivitis. I am especially nervous since the joints that Reiter's likes to hit (wrists, hips, knees, ankles, one side of the body worse than the other) are giving me trouble. My urethra has been inflammed in a different way than prostatitis used to make it feel. Today, my eyes were irritated. The rheumatologist said the three symptom groups can hit at different times. Maybe the cipro trauma helps it along sometimes, but the genetic propensity to get one of these diseases is the strongest cause. Ankylosing Spondylitis also hits the spine, causing back pain, but is very similar to Reiter's.