That time when I couldn’t do it

I had a fairytale wedding. I took super duper care of my skin (at one point, I was having carrot juice in the mornings), I stopped biting my nails, I started doing hair spas. I even spent months picking out my outfit - well, actually, outfits. By that, I mean not just the beautiful red saree I was going to wear at the wedding, but the sexy satin and lace negligee I was going to wear on my honeymoon. I mean, it had to be special, right? Hundreds of movies had prepared me about what to wear, and friends prepared me about what to do - you know, to look and act seductive and all. And god, I went prepared. 

What I wasn’t prepared for was the thing that happened after, supersexy...honeymoon. Right after I got back, I was burning up down below. And god, was I itchy! I had to find newer ways to scratch myself just so my new husband wouldn’t see me scratching my groin. Plus, I was going to the washroom every five minutes. Once I was there, it was difficult to come out because every time I was done, it felt like there was more where that came from. 

Was I pregnant? I peed on a stick and it came back negative. I didn’t know what was happening. I was changing my underwear every few hours but the itching wouldn’t go away. I was barely spending any time with my hot new husband because I had to keep running away to scratch myself or pee again and it was hell! So I got myself an appointment with a doctor. 

The doctor asked me if I have had sex recently. Duh! I was on my honeymoon! Then she told me to get a urine sample. I was supposed to pee first, catch the middle sample, and bring it back. I did it there itself - there was no way I was going to go home with a cup that I was supposed to pee in! Dear god, the embarrassment! 

Next, she suggested an ultrasonography. And that, not anything that happened before, was the hell I thought I was in. Why? Here:

So when they asked me to get a USG, I freaked out a little, and spoke to my husband. He offered to come along with me, and so, on a fine Saturday morning, we went and registered for the USG. I was told to wait in the lounge. It was fairly full. 

We had barely settled into the sofa and the husband had turned the first page of the newspaper lying by when the woman in the reception hollered, “Sunayana Sharma?” I rose, thanking my stars this was going to be over soon. But no, she was in no mood to make my life easy, “Bladder is full? You want to pass urine?” My husband’s eyes widened. The entire lounge turned to look at me. I said I didn’t. She yelled at me to drink water to fill that bladder. 

The husband got me a bottle of water and I started sipping. Do you know how difficult it is to drink water under pressure? I had a litre and then some, and still nothing. Then she raised her head from her computer screen again, “Sunayana Sharma? Pressure came?” What?? 

No, my ‘pressure’ didn’t come. I slinked back into my seat wondering what the rest of the lounge was thinking. I didn’t even want to think what my brand new husband was thinking. I started wondering if the honeymoon damaged my bladder. Oh, I was so much better off before I married this man! 

Then again, “Sunayana Sharma, do not urinate. Drink water. Bladder will be full, you will feel pressure. Tell me when you have to pass urine.” I walked up to her and smiled, “Ma’am could you, you know, be a little discreet? People are looking.” She dismissed me with a wave of her hand, “No no, I need to know when you have to see the radiologist. Go drink water. Fill your bladder till you think it will burst.”

I sat red-faced beside my husband. The women who had come after me seemed to fare better. At least two had functional bladders that filled up without being yelled at. And here, mine was refusing to cooperate. And my groin itched. Hell? Oh yes! 

The woman screamed at someone else this time, “Megha Kapadia, bladder full?” This Megha Kapadia woman, with perfectly manicured nails replied, “Give me 10 minutes.” I looked at her incredulously. I mean, seriously, woman, you were that confident about your bladder? And yes, sure enough, in about eight minutes, she rose and declared she was full. And she walked triumphantly in front of me. I sunk back, now on my third litre of water. Still, nothing. 

This went on for a while. My husband had dozed off. The lounge was thinning out. And then it came! I sprang on my feet, ready for a celebratory dance, but, mother, I needed to pee! And guess what? That terrible woman at the reception? She had gone for lunch! So I rushed to the washroom and peed. If you have ever held it in before, you probably know just how good it feels to let go! Ah, let go! I don’t think I can ever listen to that song from Frozen without thinking of that moment! And then it dawned, I let go! Oh god, I let go and now I have to fill that bladder again! Oh god, why did I let go?

I had to go back the next day. I went alone this time. And the whole cycle repeated. This time, it was with pointed reminders not to pee again. Loudly, and without any mincing of words. But then, the bladder decided it has had its fun at my expense and decided to cooperate. I went for that USG. 

Turns out, there was no underlying infection or stone or anatomical obstruction anywhere. I just had honeymoon cystitis. It is apparently a very common urinary tract infection for women who had, you know, suddenly become very active. As embarrassed as I was, I hung on to every word the doctor said - it is extremely, extremely common. It goes away with simple antibiotics too. Mine did. Simple antibiotics and a lot of water (don’t even start!) was all it took. 

So there. If your privates are burning and the urge to pee seems all-consuming right after your honeymoon, go see a doctor. Honeymoon cystitis can happen to any woman. Only, save yourself the embarrassment and drink enough water so that bladder fills up. 

*author name changed for privacy

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