It's two o'clock in the morning and I've been racing to the loo about every three to five minutes for the past three hours.
I'm wearing those Therma Care heat wraps. One in front and one against my lower back, but the chills won't stop.
My husband is snoring comfortably in the next room.
Part of me wants to wake him up. "Hey! I'm miserable!" But any human interaction right now would make me more miserable.
Back. I went nine minutes that time. Between the breaks I mean.
It's not the non-stop peeing deal in the middle of the night that gets you. It's the pain. Liquid fire.
Did I mention that I'm in the Canadian wilderness? No electricity. No flush toilet. Yep. I'm doing this with a compost toilet. That wouldn't be so bad if it wasn't having a problem that makes the bathroom smell like that scene in Slum Dog Millionaire.
It's to be fixed tomorrow. Meanwhile I'm going non-stop tonight and fighting dry heaves from the problematic compost toilet smell.
I do not feel sorry for me.
I just spent the past few weeks at a writer workshop on an idyllic island in Greece.
I know, right?
Suffer, bitch. (I hear you.)
I am. I promise.
Why is it that when something great comes my way I feel I deserve suffering? Things have to even out, I suppose.
If we count these spasms like labor, they're nine minutes apart. Unlike labor pains all I'll birth from this is a very tired morning. Also, the goal here is to have them further apart, unlike the baby-producing kind.
The heat pads aren't just for the chills. They're to relax the pelvic floor and hopefully help the spasms slow.
Nine minutes still.
Lucky for me I don't get this very often.
Over the years I've accumulated an arsenal of tricks to prevent bladder spasms. I've had this for years during most of which I had no clue what I had or why.
The symptoms are about identical to a UTI (Urinary Tract Infection). So the first year or two it happened I'd end up at the doctor for testing.
About nine minutes still.
Damn. It hurts.
Anyway, when I went to the doctor it was usually after the spasms had stopped and nothing showed in an exam or urinalysis. Or worse, white blood cells showed and treatment for a UTI was usually broached.
I knew it wasn't a UTI. I'd had enough episodes and enough past experience with UTI's to recognize this as different. That's fortunate for me because UTI treatments can make my bladder spasms (caused by Interstitial Cystitis) worse. Especially if I got rote recommendations like drink cranberry juice. OUCH.
If it's I.C. you have, raising the acidity of your urine will cause more discomfort. More spasms. More pain. Keeping it alkaline is what helps. That can mean eating less acidic foods and more alkaline foods.
In a pinch some baking soda dissolved into some water really helps Interstitial Cystitis. (1/4 tsp in about 1/4 cup of water.) Yuck. But it usually works.
- Drinking a lot of water.
- Eating a high-alkaline diet (ask google).
- Avoiding acidic foods.
- Figuring out which high-alkaline foods bother you just the same (supposedly lemon is alkaline. So I made lemon tea with lemons tonight. Because I don't have any safe tea here. I used the entire lemon and the rind. About seconds after I drank it my bladder set itself on fire in protest).
- Get some Prelief. It's like Prevacid, only instead of for heartburn, it's for bladder spasms. It's tough to find because I buy it all. But Amazon. It allows you to get away with eating more acidic foods. Woman cannot live on radishes alone.
- My doctor recommends Marshmallow Root Tea twice a day. It helps to line the bladder and protect it. I know that makes her sound total California, and there are meds for this, but I don't tolerate meds well and the tea actually seems to work.