I know this is a family column so I’m going to put this in as delicate terms as possible.
This morning I woke up and I knew, as sure as the sun shines over Bora Bora, that something was very, very wrong in that place in my body where the Bora Bora sun doesn’t shine.
It’s that place I used to refer to my daughter as her hoo-hoo. But it certainly wasn’t a happy hoo-hoo this morning.
At first I thought it was just a little grumpy, as sometimes hoo-hoos are prone to be for a variety of reasons. But soon, I had little doubt that it wasn’t merely grumpy. It was mad as hell. Like, Mt. Kilauea mad. Like, evacuate the island mad. Like, pack your bug-out bag because the apocalypse is here mad.
I recalled the time I burned a roast in the oven and smoke poured out from door which set off the smoke alarm until the fire trucks arrived and sprayed foam all over my kitchen, my kids, and the dog.
It was like that.
I made a quick appointment to see a doctor, but I already knew what he would say.
“There is a problem down under,” I said.
“In Australia?” He wondered.
“No! Down under THERE,” I said pointing to my offending lower region. “In the Netherlands.”
“Amsterdam?” He wondered.
I realized this was going great ... If we were playing Pictionary.
I sighed and crossed my legs and wriggled awkwardly, hoping my body language might send a clearer signal. He ignored my table top tribal dance and took a look at my labs. Then he smiled.
“Oh! Okay. Not a big deal,” said fancy pants doc with an Ivy League diploma who did not have a hoo-hoo of his own. “It’s just a UTI.”
JUST a UTI? This was not JUST an anything. This was “how can you stand there so calmly when the one thing my body does fairly easily is now a war zone with hand grenades being lobbed at my petulant lady parts every time I have to pee?” This was like the Hindenburg burning, and then crashing into a burning building, that was being swallowed into the fiery pits of hell.
Did I mention it burned?
Now I’m a big girl. I’ve had my share of childbirths and surgeries and really mean paper cuts. But nothing in my life actually prepared me for the trauma of a urinary tract infection. It was so bad I realized that the only thing that would bring me comfort was to blame somebody. So, I called my husband.
“I have a rip roaring Urinary Tract Infection and it’s your fault,” I said.
“My fault? How could it be my fault?” he protested. “I’m on a business trip across the country!”
“You must have failed to change the toilet paper roll or left the seat up or left the cap off the toothpaste.” I said.
“How could any of those cause you to get a UTI?” he demanded.
“I don’t know. But those are your bathroom infractions so it must be related.”
He wished me well with my problem in the Netherlands and hung up, presumably so he could go leave the toilet seat up in the hotel bathroom.
Since blaming someone clearly wasn’t going to help my immediate problem, I realized I had one of two options. I could sit on a bag of ice for the rest of my life, or I could get some drugs.
A half hour later I was sitting at the pharmacy waiting for my prescriptions to be filled when my pharmacist called my name.
She looked at the prescriptions and shook her head.
“UTI?” She asked.
“Yup.” I said miserably.
“Ugh. Those are the worst,” she said sympathetically. “I’ve had bunches of them. Any idea what caused it?
“Yeah,” I replied. “It’s my husband’s fault.”
“How so?” She whispered.
He left the cap off the toothpaste.”
She nodded. “Makes sense to me.”
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