When I get a UTI, I get the kind with extra-strong, radioactive strands of bacteria that would likely survive nuclear war. If the Russians or the Koreans or the Martians ever did in fact ever nuke us, I would likely die and the “urinary tract” bacteria would eat my body and then take over the entire desiccated city.

When UTIs come on for me, they usually strikes in phases. At first I think: 

“Well this is a curious feeling. I wonder if I am dehydrated?” 

Then, “Jesus, Mary and Joseph it hurts like a mother!!”

Then: (after taking my naturopath’s herbal remedy) “Oh sweet reprieve!” I become Julie Andrews singing ‘The Hills Are Alive!’

Then, “Oh mother f&@/er it’s back with a vengeance!” 

I then end up curling up like a potato bug in my bed under my covers hoping that the bacteria will go ahead and kill me so that the pain will stop. A good girlfriend will then call asking how I am doing.

I’ll mumble nonsensically that I’m “just trying to focus on breathing,” and she will say, “Nope. I’m coming over!”

She will then show up like Cat-Woman to rescue me from death-by-UTI.

The last time this happened, my friend Sarah showed up (wearing her Cat-Woman unitard) and whisked me off to the Urgent Care Center. She sat in the treatment room with me. 

“I mean, am I supposed to adopt the spread-eagle pose now?” I asked with trepidation. “Is there going to be like a speculum up there or something?”

“No hun, it’s just a urine test,” she assured me.

When the door flung open, none other than Dr. McDreamy – straight off the set of Grey’s Anatomy – sauntered in. Well, it wasn’t actually Patrick Dempsey, but umm, cute doctor alert. He sported the actor’s same chiseled jawline, muscular frame, and salt-and-pepper hair. Sarah and I exchanged telepathic glances. 

“Would it be weird to hit on the cute doctor who’s about to prescribe antibiotics for the most unsexy thing imaginable?” My eyes asked through telepathy.

“Hmm, I mean, it would make a pretty awesome ‘how we first met’ story’ ” her eyes gleefully answered back.

I was frantically debating whether I should change my story to ‘coming in for an ankle sprain,’ when Dr. McDreamy cleared his throat. 

“So, you have a UTI,” he said in a booming, theatrical voice. “When I was doing my medical residency at Stanford, the professor listed all the things that cause UTIs on the chalk board.”

His eyes were twinkling as if he was about to say something uproariously hilarious. 

“She wrote, sex, sex, sex…sex.”

My legs inadvertently crossed and I let out a shrill laugh. “And dehydration!” I frantically chimed in. “I mean, I’m pretty sure that’s what caused mine. I’m not currently…I mean…I haven’t had sex…I mean I have HAD sex…it’s just been…so you did your residency at Stanford, that is so cool…!!!”

Sarah’s mouth was twisted downward and she looked like she was suppressing a mighty snort. 

“Are you pregnant?” Dr. McDreamy asked without missing a beat. 

“Absolutely not,” I said. He cracked open the door. “Wanda, he yelled, let’s do a pregnancy test.” He turned back around, “We’ll check just to be sure,” he said still smiling broadly.

Wanda, a middle-aged nurse with a bright smile shuffled in and handed me a plastic cup. She explained, in front of everyone, the mechanics of peeing into it. My face was now beet red and my head hung downward like a young child who was being scolded for peeing in the bed. 

“Great,” Dr. McDreamy said. “We’ll start you on Cipro. Just don’t do any weight training or heavy lifting, it’s been known to cause ligament damage,” he mumbled, scanning his notes.

“Ligament damage?” I repeated dumbly.

He looked up from his clipboard, “Oh you’re young, you’ll be fine. And no sex for the next week!” he said waggling his finger at me with his eyes crinkling as he adopted his award-winning Patrick Dempsey smile.

“Right,” I mumbled as I slid off the table and sulked down the hall to go pee into a cup.

Well, the Cipro did, finally, effectively wipe out the extra strong radioactive strands of bacteria. I may have sustained ligament damage in the process, but hey, I’ll take the tradeoff. 

And, now that I know Dr. McDreamy’s hours, I can always show up next week at the same time with an ankle sprain or some other non-sex related injury. 

Final musing on UTIs:

I was listening to a Joe Rogan podcast the other day about a “bullet-ant” test used in some tribe in the Amazon. Apparently, warriors-in-training there have to endure the bites of bullet-ants on their hands for an hour in order test their mighty warrior-like fortitude. 

I mean, wow. Impressive, boys. 

Hey Amazonian warriors, try becoming a woman and having a UTI for a week – that would be akin to having bullet-ants biting you on your genitals for ONE SOLID WEEK. If you survive this mighty feat, then you will, in fact, be a REAL warrior. 

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