The Other I

June 23, 2011

Mother Nature’s mothering

I doubt there are many women on this planet who are not acquainted with cystitis and its capacity for creating sheer panic.  Whether it is caused by a mild bladder infection, the results of pregnancy, or simply the aging process, the need to get to a bathroom within the next two minutes is an experience most of us share at one time or another.

Most of us,I suspect, have developed some kind of strategy or other to deal with this most human of conditions.  My grandmother drank barley water laced with lemon.  I learned what we Americans call Kegels and what here in England are called simply pelvic exercises.  Sheer survival instinct keeps me performing them for two minutes on a daily basis along with my morning and evening teeth-brushing routine.

About six weeks ago, however, I began to notice a worrying decrease in the effectiveness of these exercises.  Last week I barely escaped – without putting too fine a point on it – what felt like imminent catastrophe.

Cranberry Double Strength

That was when I finally put two and two back together.  Several months ago, I ran out of the cranberry supplements I usually take every day and did not bother replacing them.  I’ve taken them as a precaution for years against cystitis but didn’t take their effect too seriously.

Three days ago, I picked up a couple of bottles and started to take a tablet again with breakfast and another with dinner.

What is astonishing is the complete and almost immediate transformation.  For the first time in months I am not getting up in the night.  I am worry free for 4-5 hours during the day, and even then I have been saved the mad hysteria which I have personally begun to call “incontinence panic.”

I’m not a great believer in alternative medicine.  I’m one of those people who say what we call alternative medicines that work “medicine.”

But I will admit that I would view a global failure of cranberry crops on par with a blight of coffee beans.

Now that I think of it, I think I will put cranberries on my happiness list.

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