Not real tortures, not like ending up in a Turkish prison and having all that shit happening to you, whilst your president whistles the tune of the ECHR and shows the press your grave-to-be. Not that kind of torture.
Just mild psychological torture.
I got an infection, a couple of years ago. Nothing serious, it was trapped in a closed system, where it couldn’t get out and do any serious damage. Y’know, the urinary tract. What a blessed God we have, who sealed that tract up so nicely.
But boy, did that infection drive me mad. It went on for a year. On bad days, it felt like I was urinating all day long. Literally, it felt like while I was standing there and talking to you, staring deep into your wise but empathetic eyes, that I was pissing my pants.
I’d be out with friends, playing boardgames, or walking, and I’d be almost crying inside. I couldn’t focus on what people were saying, just being constantly aware that I really should be running to the toilet because it felt like was pissing then and there. And when I did go, it wouldn’t come out. Infuriating.
Weirdly, beer was one of the few things to calm it – after a few pints, the numbing effect would wash through and I’d have temporary relief. For a time. But alcohol is never a good solution (except, yes as an actual solution.)
The only thing that actually killed it was a long, long course of antibiotics, and then another one. That killed it stone dead. They stuck up a camera up my urethra to show me how pristine the inside of my bladder was. That camera hurt a damn too, but it was quick.
Ironically, my current ailment is a product of antibiotics. I have a terrible cough, which won’t go away, so they gave me some antibiotics to blast it out.
Didn’t work. Cough’s still there. But what has happened is that my whole body has come up in hives. Y’know, red itchy lumps. Reminds me of having eczema as a kid.
The worst part is on my hands though. My hands, wherein lies all my work because dictation software thinks my soft southern Mancunian drawl is actually a Ouija board babbling nonsense, are itchy inside. Deep beneath the skin.
They’ve been like this before. When Ari first went to nursery, she caught hand, foot and mouth, mildly. It’s a disease where sores appear all over your body. We nursed her back to health, though she never complained, but then I got it. It’s not so kind to adults.
By ‘eck, it stung. I lost all the skin on my nose and under my beard, and – let’s not talk about where else… worse, though, on my hands, it couldn’t make it through the type-toughened skin. So it just contented itself with burning away under there, itching like my brother’s bottom when I put ground rosehips down his pants. (Homemade itching powder to those not in the know. Yes, I was a cruel sibling, and yes, you can read this as karma, if you must.)
This is like that again. But I have to work, because I have work to do. So I must type. And there’s nothing to get you typing fast like itchy, itchy ITCHY hands. Ahhhh. It only doesn’t itch when I type….! So type type type type type…