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Let's Panic: The Book!

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How to Endure and Possibly Triumph Over the Adorable Tyrant
who Will Ruin Your Body, Destroy Your Life, Liquefy Your Brain,
and Finally Turn You
into a Worthwhile
Human Being.

Written by Alice Bradley and Eden Kennedy

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Chicago Review Press

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At LET'S PANIC ABOUT BABIES, Eden Kennedy and I share our hard-won wisdom and tell you exactly what to think and feel and do, whether you're about to have a baby or already did and don't know what to do with it. → 

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It’s the little things.

So Friday my family went to Italy. The whole Italy trip is a complicated and dangerous subject, and I won’t get into it! You can’t make me! The bottom line is they all went and I did not. Which I thought I was totally over because after all I had six months to get used to the idea; they were going on my birthday (well, okay, two days before) and I was a little sad about that, but it’s not like I usually see my family members on my birthday anyway, so whatever. When they originally made these plans I hadn’t known we were going to move, so feeling set apart from them in our New New Jersey-ness didn’t help my feelings about the trip, and on my birthday I found that I was perhaps more upset about it than I had anticipated (read: wept until I thought I might throw up). And yes, I know, we moved two hours away, it’s not like we live in Alaska, OMG GET OVER YOURSELF, but wow, I felt sorry for myself that day.

And that night! I started losing my hearing! And by Monday morning my right ear was throbbing and shooting pains were radiating into my brain and also! Peeing felt like I was being stabbed in the pelvic region, and we all know what that means, don’t we, girls? So I call my nice New Jersey doctor, who calls in antibiotic drops for my poor ear and antibiotics for my poor bladder and I stagger around yesterday feeling like a steaming pile of dung, but as I pointed out to my husband, at least I can’t hear my screams when I’m trying to pee!

I woke up today fully expecting to 1) feel better and 2) there’s no #2, but in fact my bladder feels worse, and I went to see my doctor! And he says! That! I need another antibiotic for my ear because I have a more serious infection than he previously thought, and that it seems my bladder infection might be resistant to these antibiotics, and I really should see a female urologist as I get bladder infections if I look at a cup of coffee or if I even say the word “tampon,” and I’m sitting on the examining table hearkening back in my mind to my bladder surgery when I was ten, and please oh pleeease don’t make me do that again, and I want my mommy! But I don’t tell the doctor that! Because I think he would have climbed on a plane to go get her!

But then I was waiting in the waiting room (where you wait) for the doctor to provide me with yet another passel of prescriptions (does my local pharmacist believe that I have the clap? Oh, yes he does) and while I’m waiting, the man sitting next to me is talking on his cell phone about his medical problem. And he says, “I’m calling about my swollen bone.”

And I started to laugh. And I couldn’t stop. I’m hiding behind More magazine (because I’m not over 40 yet, but it’s only a THREE YEARS AWAY) and he keeps saying it. “I’m just not getting relief with this swollen bone. This swollen bone is really a distraction for me. I’d really appreciate it if you could get your hands on my swollen bone.”

He didn’t really say that last part, but my god—thank you, sir. I’m sure your condition is painful, but it brought me joy.

Reader Comments (81)

Hey, want a totally unproven folk remedy for UTIs? I tried it once and it worked for me, thereby SEALING its validity for all time. Or not. Whatever.Anyhow, what I was told was to take watermelon seeds, boil them, strain the seeds out, and drink the water. Couldn't hurt, right?(God, I hope it couldn't hurt.)Feel better.
May 30, 2006 | Unregistered CommenterKira
For the URI, drink a lot of cranberry juice.For the swollen bones... well, tell him to lay off the viagra.

Feel better.....
May 30, 2006 | Unregistered CommenterJill
Hmmm ... I think the guy with the swollen bone would probably disagree with you on the title of this post. "Little things? My swollen bone is no LITTLE thing. It's a BIG thing ... if you know what I mean." Wink. Wink. You know how guys are.

Cranberry juice. Are you drinking lots of cranberry juice? Works great to help ward off those nasty UTI's. I drink a big glass every single day. Plus, a boat load of water. Hope you feel better soon!
May 30, 2006 | Unregistered CommenterJen3
Oh man, I should be in bed but the swollen fit of giggling made it totally worth it to stay up for a peek at finslippy.

Good luck healing, and I am totally on board with the peeing after sex thing. Helped me tremendously.
May 30, 2006 | Unregistered Commenterclickmom
Happiest of Belated Birthdays! Er, oh yeah. Not even in the running for happiest. Crappiest? Guess I don't know you well enough for that either. Ummmmmmm, OH! I have it! Happiest Belated Mother's Day! (You are my inspiration, you know.) As for the UTI: I TOTALLY agree about the peeing after sex (regardless of the swollen bone). Another thing that has proved helpful is to take a tsp. of baking soda in a glass of water. Neutralizes the urine, I think. Provides some relief for me anyway. Be well soon... XOXOXOXO
May 30, 2006 | Unregistered CommenterValorie
i'm still pissed about the time my family went to Portugal without me. Of course, they were living in Sweden and i was at school in Texas, but still. The best place we ever went and I DIDN'T GET TO GO. and i second the person who said the cranberry pills. LOTS of cranberry pills. and stay the heck away from those swollen bones, lol. hang in there, alice.
May 30, 2006 | Unregistered Commenterkristin
Ohhhhh. I get bladder infections at the drop of a hat- especially the day after giving birth both times- that was special- and it was drug resistent too. It is the WORST feeling. My urologist said drink a ton of water and take cranberry extract and eat blueberries and stuff like that, oh and pee after sex. There is a special sugar D-mannose that is meant to help.

The last time I had an ear infection was in college and I swear people in the doctor's waiting room were moving their kids away from me as I gripped the arms of my chair in pain and a cold sweat. That totally sucks to get both- nice birthday.

Maybe your family will feel guilty and they'll bring you back some lovelies from Italy (leather from Florence is the shit).

At any rate Happy happy birthday!!!
May 30, 2006 | Unregistered CommenterJ
I bet his swollen bone would go really well with brown furry balls.
May 30, 2006 | Unregistered CommenterVida
I have nothing smart, helpful or medical to offer. But I do know accutely all too well how it is to need your mother and she is instead in Italy, really or figuratively. I send useless but heartfelt healing vibes. Happy Birthday!!! It could be so much worse, you could be turning 39. Which I am not this year because I'm just going to skip the next two birthdays. Feel better soon.
May 30, 2006 | Unregistered Commenterkim
They probably pay that guy to hang out in the waiting room and talk about his swollen bone. It made you feel better, right?
May 30, 2006 | Unregistered Commenterkellie
You poor thing, but at least you got to hear the "bone" comment. You just can't make that shit up!

May 30, 2006 | Unregistered CommenterJessica
Re: the Unmentionable place— I'll loan you my jacket if you promise not to pee on it. Or give it to Charlie to pee on. At least until they come back or you feel better.

I have no way of embellishing swollen bones. Give the man two party hats and throw a party, is all I can do with that one.
May 31, 2006 | Unregistered Commenterlis
I think I may have died of laughter at the swollen bone comments. Also, I feel you on the bladder infections - I think I have one right now and I'm set to go on a long car trip tomorrow. Talk about hell. I am so not looking forward to that!
May 31, 2006 | Unregistered CommenterJessie
God, can you say somatoform?
May 31, 2006 | Unregistered CommenterMia
Paging Dr. Cox - We've got a swollen bone ready for intake.
May 31, 2006 | Unregistered CommenterBettie Bookish
Swollen bones? Is that even possible? I'm glad something happened to make you laugh. I hope your infections clear up soon!

Oh, btw, Happy Birthday!
May 31, 2006 | Unregistered CommenterAngela
I can picture my husband yelling from across the house, "Come here and see how swollen my bone is! I can't walk it's so swollen! My bone, that is! Swollen!"
May 31, 2006 | Unregistered Commenterchristy
Happy Birthday Alice!
May 31, 2006 | Unregistered CommenterLassa
You're just getting pummeled with everything, eh? I'm sorry.

Happy belated birthday, Alice. I hope things are looking up.
May 31, 2006 | Unregistered Commenterjonniker
Oh, darling, I'm so sorry you've been feeling all manner of yuckiness. Allow me to offer my heartiest (if belated) birthday good wishes, and my very best (if virtual) chicken soup. I mean, it's like 90 here and probably not much better there, but chicken soup fixes everything.
May 31, 2006 | Unregistered CommenterMir
First, happy (belated) birthday!

Second, because of this post, I now need to figure out how to effectively clean cranberry juice off my laptop screen from laughing my ass off.

May 31, 2006 | Unregistered CommenterPammer
Oh poor sweet Alice! Count me in as a fellow UTI and Ear Infection Getter At the Drop of A Hat (or his pants, for that matter).Leah has the best advice. Except I must tell you in all my hippie Earthmamagoddess-ness about another wonderful remedy for the UTI. A lovely root called Uva Ursi that was the only thing that worked on my resistant persistant UTI's. You buy it at the heatlh food store and make a tea out of it. It tastes like bark, but clears it right up.Also whenever taking antibiotics, ALWAYS take Acidopholoious our however you spell it to replace the good bacteria and prevent me with questions ;)
May 31, 2006 | Unregistered CommenterDeb
Oops forgot the most important part:

Happiest of Birthday Wishes Alice!!
May 31, 2006 | Unregistered CommenterDeb
Happy Belated Birthday! I feel your pain on the alone with the b-day. Most of the people I know forgot my b-day this year. I cried in the bathroom stall at work for half an hour, and then had to face coworkers who couldn't look me in the eyes for a week. Then my sister forgot, and it just wasn't fun. So I'm there with you on the alone on your birthday, because I might as well have been.

I hope you're feeling better. Thanks for the laugh, and if your hubby comes home with a swollen bone, make sure you pee right away.
May 31, 2006 | Unregistered CommenterAndrea
I live in Alaska. My family often forgets my birthday :) Not really, but everyone likes to pretend the postal service doesn't quite make it up this far (they do). It can be a little isolating at times, in different ways. At least in NJ you can drive somewhere. Here, very few roads.

I enjoy your writing. And I hope you feel better.
May 31, 2006 | Unregistered CommenterDonna

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