Normally, the first item of clothing I remove when I get to the house is the brassiere. If I come to your place and you see me busy unfastening the hooks, help me, don’t stare and label me weird. Yes, I won’t stop saying that we women do not need to wear bras. We need some air, we need to get a break from these “holders”. Do we really need something to clasp our boobs? Yes you do, our male counterparts would say, otherwise we will be collecting your boobs from the floor. They are blatantly saying they do not want drooping boobs, keep them perky. Beats me who we are carrying them for but that is a story for another day.
Recently, I get into the house and my underwear is the first thing to go off (I am off sleepovers if you are calculating my coming over) I can now breath, two minutes later I am in the bathroom. I need to hit the shower. As cold as it is, both the water and the outside, I need to wash. This is the only way to feel fresh. I dry myself and a t-shirt later, I am now comfortable, the days are horrid. Underneath, I ignore the tradition to wear the pant, lace or my various colours cotton collection although the itch is gone (this is how it started). The nights are my best times. I know if I chose not to wear underwear during the day, mouths will blubber,
Ameanza kuvaa thong or
Anataka kudondosa haga wavulana waone.
It is not a yeast infection that I do have, I have suffered from that once and I clearly know its symptoms. Besides, that is a bacterial infection. I can promise you the itching was bad. I hope nobody saw me attempting to reduce the itchiness. It would have been a horrible picture of a ‘masturbating’ primary school girl. I had to itch, it was the ultimate relief. I was afraid. I told no one. I was convinced I had an STD. I must have contracted it from the many boys in my class, or in my school. They looked too much. I didn’t seek help, I would be judged. The first question the doctor might have asked would be,
Are you engaging in sexual intercourse?
What I am suffering from is a Sexually Transmitted Infection, an STI, I can feel it. Is she having Chlamydia? Worse even Gonorrhea?.. I will stop your train of thoughts right there. I could be suffering from Trichomoniasis. Such a complicated name, I bet you can’t read it. I am yet to be diagnosed but I know it is it. Trichomoniasis together with Bacterial vaginosis tend to cause symptoms similar to a yeast infection. No I am not torn between a rock and a hard place. As for my yeast infection years ago, I know it will go away by itself. One way or the other. It has to, because like years back, I refuse to see a doctor. And no, I don’t attend those churches that forbid trained medical assistance, in case you are wondering. Maumivu yakizidi nitamwona daktari.
Trichomoniasis is caused by a parasite usually from a dirty bath towel and could be spread through unsafe sexual practices or having multiple sex partners. The symptoms are vaginal itching, burning feeling when urinating and smelly vaginal discharge. As for Bacterial Vaginosis (BV), it is caused by an imbalance between the naturally occurring bacteria and the bad bacteria, a new or multiple sex partners, douching (cleaning out the inside of the vagina with water or other mixtures of fluids) or smoking. Its symptoms include a smelly grayish, white or yellow discharge and a ‘fishy’ smell that worsens after copulating. Should I get laid to rule out BV?
I am not badly off, I hope this isn’t the denial that comes with sickness. Just a passing Trichomoniasis attack. I will survive, won’t I? Wait, could it be Bacterial vaginosis? This one sounds more applicable. This self-diagnosis is tough, I cannot tell what is ailing me clearly, there is a thin line between the two. Do you decide you are suffering from a disease if you are only experiencing one of the symptoms associated with the same? The way to treat either of these STIs is through administration of antibiotics. My dilemma is, should I take the antibiotics and risk contracting a yeast infection?
The first time I thought my periods had started without notice. The vaginal discharge, I feel it everytime it comes from within. I feel it travelling down and settling on my pants. You are not sick, the ‘knowledgeable’ will say. You are just wet. I agree, I am moist but sick. In the bathroom, I look at the deposit, white, sometimes just watery. It has a certain abnormal smell to it. I change my underwear with the extra I am forced to carry around. I make a mental note to remember to buy panty liners the next time I am shopping, I have ignored them for too long.
I have began saving money to purchase a new towel. I remember a female teacher in high school telling us she had several towels for her various body parts. We were awed first then disregarded her. This woman anaringa, we added during our breaks. But now I’m going to have to do the same thing. My privates will definitely need to have a separate towel. My two-three week or mpaka iwe chafu sana routine of washing the towel will have to change. Weekly, my towel should be washed and aired after every use.
As for my underwear, oh you are going outside. You are going to dry from the sun. I will not listen to those who say you should not advertise chupi zako. Daily, they will come in colours and fabric, a single peg or two holding them down. In the evening you will see me nikizianua. If you decide to whisper to each other about yenye imeraruka katikati ama iliyopauka, I will argue it is the adverse effects of the hot sun. Don’t gossip, I have the comebacks handy.
At night, I will sleep bare. Covered on the top but nude beneath. If you can’t allow me to get air down there during the day then give me some freedom at night. Allow me a bit of privacy, don’t come knocking at my door at 10pm to ask for salt. We can’t chill either after the sun sets. You might find it disturbing when you are talking and I am busy folding my underwear, the black, the pink then the gray. I don’t want you to start guessing what colour I am wearing. Or if I have already showered and I’m undie-free.
The Infected Lady.