February 12, 2007
As anyone who has spent time with me will attest to, I can and I have relieved myself just about anywhere. I do have limits, however. I will not, I learned this week, squat over a gushing open sewer in broad daylight with my skirt hiked up around my waist.
My limits were put to the test at LUV FM. The plumbing at my workplace has been clogged and this means the door leading to the toilet has been locked. And quite simply, a woman without a regular means to relieve herself means a woman with a festering bladder infection.
I won’t go into the details except to say that a wise friend of mine, who is now a doctor, once gave me great urinary tract advice. She said to take cranberry pills, a lot of them, when the first hints of a bladder infection surface. It is with this thought that I brought sixty tablets with me to Ghana. In one week I’ve consumed all of the tablets.
Last night I lamented not having my doctor friend in Kumasi. Instead, she’s in India and I’m suffering in the heat of a Sunday morning hunt for precious cranberry pills. I must insert here that a trip to the one hospital in Kumasi (one hospital to serve a million people!) for an antibiotic prescription is frankly not an option.
So into the market I went. And after eliciting the help of two girls who were begging for money (nothing in this world is free) I was taken to the pharmacy district of the Kejetia market. One pharmacist refused to even speak with me until I presented a slip from a doctor, another, after a confusing game of charades and a written conversation, tried to sell me a tonic for my blood.
Not deterred by the professionals, I sought out an herbalist instead. The sign looked promising: Herbs for low sperm count, for hernias and goiters, menstrual difficulties, bilharzias, erectile dysfunctions. The shop was closed (I intend to return tomorrow). Unfortunately my bladder doesn’t close on Sundays.
Sensing defeat was imminent I became desperate, scouring gas stations (many which boast a large collection of fruit juices) and inquiring at “drinking spots” or bars.
Some of the owners lamented the fact it was Sunday, where upon I would comment it was supposed to be a day of rest and then quietly lament the fact that my bladder was not really willing to take a rest.
Unfortunately my bladder must be content with water, and lots of it. Today, I will flush it thoroughly and hope that my limits aren’t put to the test again this week. T.