1) Feeling a burning pit of hell take hold in your lower abdomen and rage on for several hours before mysteriously retreating and leaving you scared, confused and quietly awaiting it’s return.
2) Talking to your bladder. “I’ll never take not being aware of you for granted again I swear. I love you. You’re really important, just please stop making me weep on the floor in a pile.”
3) Relying on a hot water bottle for ultimate survival. Not much else can soothe that horrifying, painful discomfort like a hot water bottle and a duvet. At 3am. Because cystitis doesn’t need sleep.
4) Standing up. Sitting down. Standing up. Laying down. Waking to the bathroom. Laying down. Crying. Going back to bed. Sitting up. Walking to the bathroom. Repeat 576455 times.
5) Wondering what you did to deserve this and how on earth it’s happened again when you take every precaution known to exist and are now obsessed with your urethra.
6) Throwing out any underwear that’s tight, has lace sewn on or looks vaguely interesting and grown up.
7) Adopting a big fat litre-water bottle as your new boyfriend and holding it to your chest in bed.
8) Having to take a moment to crouch on the floor in public because you need a wee so bad and have a fever and feel faint and wonder if life should just end now. Down here. On the pavement. Against this wall.
9) Thinking about how incredible it will be when you can drink a coffee again. Or a fizzy drink. Or just absolutely anything that isn’t water from your boyfriend water bottle.
10) Running a bath and sitting in it. Holding your lower stomach and staring silently into space while you pray for relief or the end. (The end of the cystitis, not life. Let’s not get OTT)
11) Swearing in your mind you will never ever have sex again. Or even think about it.
12) Googling ‘kidney infection’ because HOW DO YOU KNOW WHEN SHIT IS GETTING REAL? Should you be dizzy? Is that back pain high enough? Is there blood? Is it ever gonna end?
13) Becoming wide eyed and staying very still when you feel the first pangs. Here we go again. It’s time for war.