Oh so many years ago I was working as a part time waitress and part time bartendress at a bowling alley, yes I say, a bowling alley. The scent of bowling alley wax an underlying and mysterious scent one doesn't really identify unless you've been there for extended periods of time. Generally you just muster enough sniff of stale socks, beer soaked polyester carpets, cigarette stained concrete walls and dashed hopes of washed up high school jocks that didn't decide on a career and kept the same dead-end summer job their uncle Dave hooked them up with.
I really enjoyed working there myself because I liked the fast pace and the smiling faces plus when people drink and league bowlers drink heavily they tip heavily. These were the days when I was still cute, had a great figure and could talk anyone out of their last dollar for the evening.
One particular night however, I'd gotten up and pretty much felt like this was a day I should just stay home. Yes the job needed me but I needed me too. For some strange reason my back hurt more than usual but it was a strange hurt, not the FMS ache but this was a sharp nasty pain and it was in my lower back like someone had done some World Wrestling Federation Hulkamaniac kicks to my kidneys. Added to that, there was a twisting in my lower tummy, wringing me out like a wet dishrag - cramping and I wasn't due to have Aunt Flo come to visit any time soon let alone be pregnant since I practiced the safest of sex (wasn't getting any in part due to my ex husband being a cheating bastard).
The day progressed and I kept thinking to myself that something wasn't right, maybe I might be getting a little bit of a bladder infection so I'd stop at the market for a bottle of cranberry juice that should help out some. Oceanspray to the rescue! 16 ounces of the tart treat with a Dasani chaser, that should do it - flush the stuff out and I'll be right as rain.
Getting ready I put on my finest, consisting of the standard uniform of black slacks and bowling alley provided logo shirt (which I kept unbuttoned rather low to expose
It was a chilly night, late October - really not far from this time of the year so the memories are really so very similar to now. Cold enough that when I'd return home close to midnight that I'd need to wear a medium weight coat.
When I usually clocked out, I would go running out to the car (ohh how I loved this car a 1972 Ford Maverick), praying for the heater to kick up, start to hum and sputter. The initial breeze blowing its chill air and rattling the vents and whispering in the dark.
My butt would go numb on the icy black leather seats, and I would listen to all of the sounds of the night waiting for my Mav ready herself for the drive home. Creaks and groans, duct tape crackling as I would lean forward a bit to fiddle with the knobs on the Am/Fm catching the local radio station. Crunching of hoar frost that's starting to collect on the ground, proof that an early snow will be here any moment (aaahh life in the Midwest!)
This night however would be so different, I came in to the alley and was hit with the usual sounds of glee. Laughing and shouts along with the tumble of urethane balls slamming down the lanes and crashing into pins. A wave and greeting from the pair manning the front desk, each with a can of disinfectant and spraying out the dozens of shoes as they ready for the groups of league bowlers that evening. Each bi-color shoe always reminding me of Bozo the Clown
I wander past, head to the bar to find out which section of the lanes I would be assigned and get my apron plus I ask for a glass of cranberry juice because I'm really feeling this cramping hard core now. But wait, I haven't gone to the bathroom all day - now mind you, this hasn't crossed my mind yet but it will before too long. This is odd simply because I have always been a frequenter of the toilet. I like going in there, a nice little break, sit down and take a moment to think...relax...let it all flow so to speak. I indulge with a few drinks now and then and the boys on the lanes are wont to buy an extra shot or two for their waitress. No one is any smarter if she leans back and tips one down, she's a jolly sort and if she giggles louder or tells a dirtier joke so what. Happy customers spend more money.
Up and down I'm marching the lanes, bobbing here and there taking orders for burgers and fries, Budweisers and Boilermakers all the while taking dollar bills and making change. However, some of my regulars are noticing that I'm not my cheery self and I'm spending less and less time on the floor and going into the bar for extended periods of time before coming back out to deliver their orders.
What am I doing in the dark room, where the big screen tvs are blaring football games to empty tables and a few lone drinkers at the bar? I am standing, nay, I am being held up barely with a hand gripping the rail and gasping with sweat beading on my brow as I pray for the pain tearing through my lower body to just go away.
I have the desire to bear down and wet myself, but I've made a half dozen unsuccessful trips so far. Now its gone too far, some of my food orders have been sitting and the other wait staff have had to pick them up for me and I've lost tips and starting to raise concern plus quite frankly beginning to scare myself. Not sure what I need to do really, I decide that the best bet is to just go home and try to rest. Maybe this is a bug and despite how bad of a position this puts the other 2 women for the night I know they can manage and they'll love the extra money for the night even though they are lazy cows.
Passing the information on to the boss, I scramble out to the car. Well when I say scramble what I really mean is that I crab walk out, clutching my stomach while bending my knees slightly in a hobble all the while still certain I need to whiz and as I sit on the cold seats I feel a moment of instant pain and gratification. The sensation of fullness in my pelvis is overwhelming and it fills me straight up through my spine yet the ice cold also numbs it immediately afterward and gives me enough comfort to begin the drive home which is only 7 or 8 miles away.
Those miles disappear in a blur and I do the crab walk again into the house where I collapse immediately onto the sofa, not even making it into bed. I'm shivering, quaking with pain and fear and misery. Pulling the throw from the rear of the sofa over my shoulders and trying to roll into the fetal position to possibly get all 5'8" into the 50"x70" of woven fabric covered and warmed while my teeth chatter and I pray for death as well as whine pitifully for my then bastard husband to 'help'.
He pulled himself away from God only knows what, at this point I don't even give a rats ass simply because my story is far too terrific and all about ME (oh yes my narcissism consumes) and asked if I needed a doctor. It took me a while to commit to the idea because I really detest going. Sometimes I ask myself to classify my reasoning for hating going, its not as if I'm afraid of them, actually I'm fascinated by doctors but what it boils down to is that I hate to pay or have the obligation of paying when medical care should be free for all.
After a little bit of crying and coming to terms with my indecisiveness including his commentary about my stupid reasoning I caved because the pain was consuming me. I'd also determined at one of the lavatory visits at the alley that a little thing called hematuria had happened (for the medical terminology challenged, simple translation = blood in urine) when I did manage a trickle.
There's nothing scarier than seeing that when you know you are not on your period!
We drove in to the newest hospital in town, I'm definitely not a fan of these damn hospitals going up all over that are influenced by the Churches - first thing they want to know is your faith. Shut UP, I am not going to die because I can't PISS! I am agnostic ( THE HORROR) and I am about to get medieval on your ass.
The put me behind a curtain,"please remove your clothes" ...I am ready lickity split; the sooner the better though I don't think the top needs to come off because my tits don't pee and it's colder than necessary on an already freezing night somewhere near Lake Michigan.
Thankfully I was there for only a short time before a kind doctor came in and asked me what was wrong, to which she was concerned and understanding and explained exactly what was going to happen..and then the word CATHETER and Foley and URETHRA...and and and..well I said, WOW okay well if that's all gonna happen I wanna watch. She and her assisting nurse just stared at me with wide open eyes and said, "Really?" and I said, "really, so bring a mirror"
To which they did and I was fascinated . I mean come on, if someone's gonna be all up in your junk, and your miserable and its already a horror why not at least watch the story unfold so to speak?
Last night I went through the same feelings of misery all over again however I refused to go to the ER again, well not really refused. I went through almost all of the motions. I went a few extra steps but never walked into the building...I took a shower so I was fresh and smelling pretty, did my hair and didn't smell like bowling alley (wait, I didn't go bowling yesterday), dressed in comfortable loose fitting clothes that would slip right off, packed my bag with fully charged phone and my netbook so I could surf the net and/or blog the fun, put in a couple of bottled waters and lastly packed a power bar for a munchie.
Right before I left though I remembered the last 3 times I got one of these damn infections the type of prescription it was (the name) and it clicked that not so long ago I'd purchased a HUGE bottled of that very type of medicine for my cats to keep on hand in case of who knows what.
Cats and people oftentimes can share the same types of prescription medications and even diseases - Wow, who knew pussies had so much in common?