Due to forces beyond my control, I have spent most of the past week and a half incapacitated (really more like subcapacitated, but that’s not a thing) by a flare-up of my old friend interstitial cystitis. For those of you who have not retained the finer details of my medical history (whatevs, jerks), this is an inflammatory condition that causes intense burning pain in my lady parts and can’t be treated with pain medications. I’ve had it my whole life and it comes and goes, normally causing no more than a minor, familiar annoyance, but once in a great while it comes on especially strong and knocks me flat on my ass.
And not to be a dick, but it’s at this point that I need to remind my gentle reader of my gangsta cred when it comes to dealing with pain: I’ve delivered an eight-plus pound baby without anesthesia, I’ve gotten numerous large tattoos, I’ve heard John Mayer on the radio, etc. Takeaway: Am not a pussy; this is legit unbearable. Luckily, I’ve found a few methods for coping:
1) Sobbing on the toilet at four a.m. while chugging three liters of water and watching Netflix on my phone
2) Actively wishing there was a devil so I could make a deal with him
3) Devising a list of things I would be willing to do to take the pain away, including
3.1) Cutting off one of my fingers with a meat cleaver
3.2) That’s as far as I got. And this list didn’t indent the way I wanted it to.
4) Attempting to numb myself with an ice-filled condom, which is actually a treatment prescribed to me by multiple medical specialists
5) Taking minor solace in my son’s hugs, in vanilla ice cream (one of the only things I can eat without exacerbating the flare-up), and in my boyfriend’s assertion that I have this condition because I’m “so pretty that the universe had to do something to take you down a notch”, which is PROBABLY TRUE, GUYS
6) Frantically purchasing supplements from the internet because they might help! You never know!
7) Taking muscle relaxants to calm down my body’s response to the pain, which is to clench up in a constant spasm that only makes the pain worse (and by “taking” I mean “inserting”, oh god, the indignity)
8) Crying on the phone to my doctor, who is incidentally the doctor who treated me for an unrelated problem five days after my son was born, who watched me break down into uncontrollable sobbing shortly after we met
9) Entering an existential abyss of sorrow and fury over the experiences I miss and the people I let down when the pain gets this bad
10) Fucking waiting it out, because sometimes that’s all you can do.