I was going to ease you into my little world and the way my mind operates when it's left unsupervised. But then I didn't. So here's a blog about urine.
I am currently a home care nurse, traveling from home to home caring for people that need help. When your vehicle is your office, you learn where the best bathrooms are pretty quickly. My top 3 favorite places to relieve my bladder, based on convenience and cleanliness, are Stewarts, Rite Aid and that sturdy maple tree I found along Route 313.
Fact. What goes in generally likes to come out. Staying hydrated throughout the day is an extremely difficult task for everyone. The Mayo Clinic recommends about 13 cups a day for men and 9 cups for women. But the majority of us aren't drinking enough. Drinking an appropriate amount of water is a rule I try live by. I personally feel more energized throughout the day from drinking water rather than guzzling coffee. Every cell in your body needs it to function. It’s important for healthy nails, skin, hair, body temperature regulation and blood pressure to name a few. If I had to pick ONE piece of advice to give people from my nursing knowledge it would be...drink more water.
Of course, there are often many downsides to the advice I give. Not too long ago, I was driving around for work, feeling quite proud of myself. I was well on my way to the required cups of water by noon. When IT happened. Suddenly I felt like some jerk kid cranked up a faucet and filled my bladder recklessly like a water balloon about to burst. Unfortunately, I was 15 minutes away from one of my pit stops. Can I hold it? I stepped on the gas like I was late for happy hour.
As I reached the outskirts of town, the need to relieve myself increased. My bladder could somehow sense we were close and gave one last twang of pain, an attempt to cripple me I have to assume. With pressure building, I painfully hobbled into the store looking like I had just rode a horse for 12 hours. I couldn’t quite stand up straight and I was afraid that if my thighs rubbed together it would trigger a surge. Once inside, the relief I felt at reaching my destination with dry trousers came to a staggering halt. Much to my horror, a barricade stood between me and the ladies room.
Three people, one bathroom. I started sizing up my competition immediately. An older gentleman, probably retired. He stood relaxed with no sign of urgency on his face. If I looked pathetic enough and asked to cut him in line he probably would have gladly stepped aside. But ahead of him, a fierce opponent. A middle-aged woman, her face twisted into a look of pure torture. Her body was contorted and positioned sternly in front of the door. Oh it was clear, no one was getting past her. She looked like she’d been in line for years. I was nervous about making eye contact for fear that she could hear my thoughts.
People think the strongest organs of the body are the heart, brain, lungs, liver, etc. I agree, they are pretty important. But the power of a full bladder? Undeniably intense and just plain inconsiderate. I find it to be a rather rude organ with poor timing and embarrassing social skills.
Although to give it credit, it has its uses. The muscle lining allows it to stretch and accommodate an impressive amount of liquid. However, holding your bladder frequently and waiting “to go” is really harmful to the tissue. People who don't have a lot of time to stop and take a bathroom break could end up with a big floppy bladder that can't control when urine comes out at all. Holding your urine can also lead to frequent urinary tract and bladder infections as well. So that’s fun. Now drink up your water and take care of yourself and your dear bladder, before it takes care of you.
Oh and I did in fact make it to the bathroom that day. The repercussions of “The Great Hold”, as it is marked in my history, have yet to show themselves.
Good luck and Godspeed.
Feel free to comment and share your stories about your angry bladder.
Author: Katie Ranalletta aka the Naked Nurse