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A Discussion of P

Public 'Ablution' (toilet)

“I never have to piss.” – exclaimed Judd, shocked to hear that I get up at night to pee

(Originally published Jan 2012) Hey y’all, I need some help. A coworker and I are in a spirited discussion about what constitutes normal. Yeah, it’s what you probably think – this one’s about urine. I wish I had a clever title to disguise the topic, but I want to just throw it out there. Somehow Judd and I got onto a discussion concerning nocturnal emissions, and by that I mean peeing.

Judd is a good guy with bursts of energy, a wild smile, and a crazy awesome work ethic who has had a job of one kind or another since he started working for his Dad at the age of 5. Oh, and he looks like the main character from the show Dexter. Growing up, he drove a tractor on Dad’s farm and therefore, learned how to either hold his bladder for long periods of time (something that would kill me) OR stand in the tractor cab, dick aimed out the door, other hand on the steering wheel, simultaneously watering the seedlings while trying to maintain a uniform row with the tractor. Oh the dumb things we do as teenagers. Anyway – Judd thinks it’s natural to either not have to pee or to be able to hold it for hours. I think that’s something you train a circus animal to do. Who wants to take their kid to the circus only to see an elephant crap under the big top, right? Those things have to be trained, and so must have been Judd.

So, we got on the subject of sleep and how often one’s bladder should normally force you to wake up to “drain the vein.” Judd says rarely if ever, I think he’s abnormal. Getting rid of body waste thru urine is normal isn’t it?

Here’s some back-story – as long as I can remember, I’ve had to use the bathroom at least once per night. The worst is seven times – and it wasn’t on a bender. That’s my life. I distinctly remember 6th grade – the year I moved in with my dad’s family. I had to sleep in the basement, about as far away from the pisser as you could get in that house. I was forced to drag my half-asleep 11 yr old body in a zombie like trance up the stairs to use the pisser, that is until I learned another use for the plastic Slurpee cups from 7-11 we kept in the bottom cupboard of the kitchen. Oh Thank Heaven!

Well, you get the picture. Back to now, the bladder says it’s time to go and I have a couple options: either go right there in bed (in a bottle – something I did all last year), lay uncomfortably in bed unable to sleep, or get up and go. Thus, the reason for this exchange.

Judd doesn’t like to be wrong so he went online to research nightly bladder dysfunction. Unfortunately, a medical website he found, something from a urology center, backed up his argument. It stated a person shouldn’t wake up more than once per night if at all. Argh! How does one convince a 30 yr old guy certain of his knowledge in something he’s never experienced – that he’s wrong? The other night the bastard taunted me by drinking a couple bottles of water less than an hour before he went to bed – then claimed he slept a full 9 restful hours without having any nocturnal challenges. I hate him. My entire family gets up at night.

In elementary school I remember waiting by the ladies room for my mom to come out when she took us shopping. Mom had to strictly limit her morning coffee intake if she wanted to run errands – or strategically plan stops at places with semi-decent bathrooms. Well, she isn’t the only one. I think it’s genetic. But to Judd that’s an unimaginable burden on one’s existence for which drugs were created. For me, it’s life.

Judd & Zeke (my boss)

He’s trying to convince me to take a diuretic in the early evening so I don’t have to get up at night. But I already know the outcome – I’ll wake up with a headache, dehydrated, feeling like I was hit by a truck. Been there before, so No Thanks! I limit my liquid intake at dinner and beyond. I still go at least once, usually about 3 hrs into slumber. During my first deployment to Afghanistan in 2001, I’d stop drinking around 2pm and still have to get up in the middle of the night to piss. That really sucked. I incorporated the bottle regimen then.

The last military deployment to Afghanistan in 2010, I kept a couple of 32oz Gatorade-type bottles I’d regularly fill each night. I’d sometimes have to use my 20oz-er as well. That was my emergency go-to bottle (I like the Gatorade bottles for their wide opening – guys, have you ever tried to use a regular water bottle – way too tight an opening). In the morning, it was an easy trek to the bathroom, pee-filled bottles discreetly in a plastic bag, to empty and rinse for the next night’s use. Sure beat walking outside to the latrine at night in the cold. Here, I sleep in a room with 5 other guys and I’m on the top bunk. There’s no way I could get away with re-creating the bottle trick. Besides it’d be gross if I was on the bottom bunk and heard the dude above me going.

Honestly folks – doesn’t the body get rid of waste and poisons via liquid? Doesn’t each cell in our body need liquid to rid itself of waste products – and isn’t the byproduct of that process ultimately urine? If a body doesn’t pee a lot doesn’t that imply dehydration? Couldn’t it mean trillions of bits of cellular waste are kept in the body because of a lack of liquid? By extension wouldn’t it imply the body might become toxic from harboring that waste? I think so. Therefore my nickname for Judd is Toxic Avenger. It’s more catchy than the Camel – they go for extended periods of time without drinking don’t they? From now on, I’ll refer to him as Toxic Judd, or TJ.

So, help me out with this discussion. If you drink a couple cups of coffee in the morning, maybe a bottle or two of water throughout the day, then some tea with lunch and dinner – does draining the vein approx. 3 times every 2 hours seem normal to you? What about at night? Once or twice a night: normal or not? I’ll let you decide. I already promised TJ (and myself) that I’d annotate my liquid (and food) intake/output for the first week of 2012. I want to compare mine to his and ultimately get him off my back.

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