It started on Sunday. I peed and it pinched at the end, like a UTI. I peed again and saw blood, but I was at the end of my period. Could've been my period; wrong color for end of period, but could've been. I didn't see blood again, but peeing still pinched so bad that it made me tear up. Just like a UTI.
I drained a jug of cranberry juice, popped cranberry pills and Cystex, and tested myself twice with AZO's UTI test strips. Both times, I had leukocytes but no nitrites, an inconclusive result. I've had leukocytes in my pee before without having a UTI -- one goose on the way to my original vulvodynia diagnosis. Today, at an appointment I had already made for other girlie things, the doc said I had no leukocytes in my pee at all according to her dipstick. So I almost certainly don't have a UTI. She was willing to do a culture and give me antibiotics, but $83 was enough spent today.
I'm glad I had someone check me out because I'm headed out of town. Traveling with a UTI is a sure way to, well, die. But I still spent what is to me a good chunk of money to find out, again, that I have not anything but vulvodynia. The National Vulvodynia Association conducts a survey of how much vulvodynia costs. Where's the box for how vulvodynia obscures everything else that's going on down there so you don't know what you need to do?
I've had flares that felt like UTIs before, but never one that lasted for 3 days. From now on I'll remember that if I'm not bleeding (and bleeding more and more each time I pee), I don't have a UTI. Still no blood. Still ridiculous pain. Top 5 flares! I don't even want to walk down the stairs, let alone drive to Chicago. I don't even want to walk!
I'm scared that this signals a new status quo. Will this pain pass? Or is this my new day-to-day? It's got to pass. And when it does -- when, when -- I'll be thankful for my baseline.