Monday, January 2, 2012

Coming up Roses

And good riddance!
At 5 a.m. on New Year’s Eve, I jolted awake and made a mad dash to the bathroom. 

“Not today,” I groaned. 

Not that any day is a good day for a urinary tract infection.  The extreme discomfort of a UTI is immediately identifiable, with the obvious burning in the “nether regions,” and an electrifying, strangely metallic pain that glides simultaneously up from my finger and toes to my arms and legs.  Then there’s the urge to go again and again and again when I’ve just gone.

“Awwww, maaaaaaaan ….” I slammed my head against the wall.

I drank all the water in my glass upstairs, then went downstairs to fill another monster-sized cup and drank as much of that as I could handle.  I refilled it and took it back upstairs with me, already thinking of any larger containers I might have stowed away some place.  I emptied out again, and sat for a while with my head against the wall.  I picture the pain chart with the smiley faces and not so smiley faces and try to think where my expression falls.  Is a 10 the worst pain I’ve ever experienced, or the worst pain I can imagine?  I put a nail through my foot once, and that didn’t really hurt, but then when I used to get stuff caught under my hard contact lenses, that was pretty unpleasant, and a UTI is pretty close to that, but not like being burned alive.  And then there’s different kinds of pain, so how does that figure?  I crawl back into bed.

I’m very familiar with UTIs.  It’s an unfortunate circumstance that with each infection it becomes almost exponentially more likely to get another infection.  To make matters more complicated, I’m allergic to penicillin and over several UTI bouts, I’ve become allergic to sulfa as well, taking the two most common antibiotics off my list of solutions. However, I’ve discovered that drinking copious amounts of water and sugar free cranberry juice can clear up a UTI, verified by the swabs taken once I’ve seen the doctor.  So, that’s the route I’ve adopted, saving my $25 deductible and telling myself I’m also preventing the rise of super-bacteria.  Then again, if the current infection doesn’t run its course in 24 hours, because it’s the beginning of a three day holiday, I’ll have to wait two more days before I can even call my doctor, let alone get an appointment.

Drink, drink, drink.

At 8 am I forced myself into the planned routine, feeding the dogs, hoping that if I pretended all was normal, it would be.  It was New Year’s Eve, dammit.  I have a house to clean.  I can’t start the New Year in a dirty house.  And then I’ve got dinner to make.  My husband was running errands to prepare for his New Year honey-dos.

I gave it the old college try, cycling among cleaning, chugging water, and running to the bathroom.  My legs and fingers swelled.  I felt woozy.  I couldn’t do it. I crapped, or rather peed out.  Water drunk, at 3 pm, I popped a couple aspirin, guzzled a half gallon of water, and literally threw in the (dusting) towel.  I changed into my pity party pjs and crawled into bed, doubling up the comforters, a dog curled up at my side and my feet, the t.v. mumbling in the background.

I don’t think it would have bothered me as much if it were another holiday.  My husband and I go out for our birthdays on the weekend.  We do Valentine’s dinner the weekend after to avoid restaurant hassles.  “Christmas” is scattered among visits with friends and family.  Most of our “holidays” revolve around friendships and family, so it doesn’t matter what actual day it falls upon, as it’s the time we spend with company that counts. 

Except for New Year’s Eve.

New Year’s Eve is a day of closure, an actual chronological cusp.  Whole calendars are changed, not just a page (yes, I do still use an actual paper calendar - with cute dog pictures, I might add.  Like a prisoner, I need something concrete to mark my days).  New Year’s Eve is an event in which I’m forced to participate, whether I’m cleaning house or sick in bed.

I watched Anderson Cooper and Kathy Griffin ring in the New Year as I lay shivering under the blankets.  Firecrackers blasted outside as one dog ran through the house barking and the other, somewhat stoned, stared at me pleadingly.  I got up to go to the bathroom and drank another giant glass of water.

The Rose Parade on any other day is STILL The  Rose Parade.
I woke up on New Year’s Day feeling considerably better.  I went downstairs, chugged more water, and started the coffee.  Following New Year’s tradition, I turned on the t.v. to watch the Rose Parade.

It wasn’t on.


I flipped to all the channels that usually run it, then caught an ad.  It would run on Monday. 


Well, as far as I’m concerned, it’s not New Year’s Day without the Rose Parade.  So, I cleaned the house and prepared dinner as planned and felt much better.  I got a reprieve, a mulligan, if you will.

Happy New Year, everyone. 

2012’s going to be a good year after all.

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