I went home, slept. It was no better. I called an ambulance. They came and told me that I need to eat carbs in order for the pain killers to work.
The thing about pain is that it can either make you more disagreeable, but never up for an actual argument. Nevermind, that I called the ambulance for a reason. Something was wrong. But they were the professionals with the keys to the ambulance. It was nothing, they said. Sign this release saying that we don’t have to take you anywhere.
I was still catching up in graduate school. I remember clearly that I was reading Ingrid Monsoon and some book on Latina adolecent identity when this happened. I tried to focus on reading, but the pills and the pain made it increasingly difficult. The pain got worse. At this point, I was moaning out loud. I called an ambulance.
The ambulance took me to a hospital that was even closer. This one, connected to a large church. Though the EMTs wheeled me in, the nurse who called my name could barely keep the door open for me. I hobbled, doubled over into the triage area and climbed onto the stretcher. Again, the same questions. How much does it hurt on a scale from one to ten? Could I be pregnant? When was I last sexually active?
I always say that I am not sexually active. Which isn’t smart and isn’t true, but it is easier than going through the processes of trying to explain that thier question is loaded with assumptions about who I would be having sex with. They could be concerned about an STI, but most likely they want to know if I could be prengant. I can’t be, I explain to them. Then a nurse gives me a sex ed talk. You see? Just tell ‘em no. The kind of sex I have isn’t sex to them anyway.
After a few hours and more blood tests, a nurse came into my room and put something in my IV. I asked her what it was. “Antibiotics,” she said, “You have a urinary tract infection.” I’d never had a UTI before. I knew people who did and they were in pain, yes, but not doubled over and moaning out loud like I was. Perhaps I wasn’t as tolerant to pain as I thought. Fair enough. I have a UTI.
They sent me home with more pain killers and those antibiotics that make you pee orange.