A friend recently confided to me that she’s suffering from a UTI. Any mention of “Urinary Tract Infections,” “Bladder Infection,” (whatever you want to call that horrible experience) is my cue to share my Bladder Infection Story.
I once had a UTI for a long time, a really long time. A fucking year. This condition coincided with my involvement in a relationship. That’s usually how it works. Women aren’t just struck by The Bladder Infection Virus. They usually come as the result of sex with another person (usually, a man). A lot of things come from sex. And they unfortunately come to women.
I now file that relationship under “Life Experiences” (aka, “Never doing THAT again!”). This particular boyfriend suffered from the less-oft diagnosed, though, extremely common disease of Asshole-itis. Why did I date a man with this condition for a year? For the same reason so many women stay in bad relationships. I was “in love.” Blinded by the dangerous cocktail of oxytocin, denial, and fantasy. I related partially to him, but mostly to a version of him that I created in my imagination and whose existence I supported with stories like, “he doesn’t really mean [insert asshole comment],” “we will work through this [insert impossible issue],” “he’ll fix [insert abusive trait] in therapy” (because therapy cures everyone?), and the greatest excuse for staying in a bad relationship, “Nothing is perfect!”
But my body knew differently. My body knew that this man was bad for me. Sort of like what happens when you eat bad sushi or tequila. You puke. You break out in a rash. And my body told me this by a chronic, horrible, antibiotic-immune bladder infection. So, while my mind told me that I could stomach bad milk while my body said, “WTF?! Who is this loser penis?!”
But I was afraid to go deep into myself, face my fear of being alone, feel the pain, and build the courage to say, “I deserve respect and consideration and go fuck yourself. Please!” It seemed easier to hate my body for being sick, than the man who routinely made disparaging remarks to me about it. Clearly, I had the problem. I had, yet, to learn that there is no “we” in “Narcissist,” but there are two “I’s.
So, after months of taking enough rounds of antibiotics to supply a small African village for a year, and drinking enough cranberry juice to fill the Venice canals, I decided that I needed to see a “Specialist.” I went to the urologist of a famous ex-president who told me to cease my intake of coffee, alcohol, and chocolate. Why?! $%&@?! Because it’s the %.05 percent caffeine in that Hershey’s kiss, and not the force of a penis on a uterus that causes bladder infections?! I was desperate so I stopped the intake of my two greatest loves: coffee and chocolate (I wasn’t in love with wine at the time). Nonetheless, the infection persisted.
And then came an act of divine intervention…
I got dumped.
Fucker! $%%$$! I was devastated…and cured. I started drinking coffee like a airliner sucks up jet fuel. But a question persisted…
Why had not one of the three doctors I saw ever suggested that I stop having sex?! Why?! (I think I know).
I always suspected that men of have a secret language. Well, not a language, per se, so much as a sacred contract whose prevading principle is “Thou shalt not keep another man from getting laid…” (Unless, said man seeks to lay said woman himself)…under any circumstances! Why else would this simple, logical cure not be talked about, written about in books, and on the Internet? Meanwhile, everywhere I turn I meet a woman suffering from this ass-kicking condition.
Wise lesson in summary: Ladies, listen up. Pay attention to your body. Not your male doctor. Not your antibiotics. Not your boyfriend.
Just for today, I feel wise.