I took your advice and went to a doctor. Turns out I have a UTI. They’re not sure what kind, but they’re doing more tests to find out. For now I have antibiotics that should clear up the infection and the pain. I had this before post-surgery and it came back, so I just thought it was the new normal which is why I was feeling so upset about it because an infection is not something you can live with or should ignore.
I also went a long time without doing anything about my structure (15 years), so I know how to grin and bear it (even if it makes me miserable). The problem is I feel embarrassed talking about it so I rarely get the perspective I need to deal with it properly. Thanks for reading and giving me some perspective. I think I’ll have to open up about it to more people so it doesn’t feel so desperate again.