This is probably the first blog post you’ve ever read about pee. It is definitely the first blog post that I have ever written about it. But this blog is about Finding Funny and collecting a 24 hour urine sample is funny.
I should go ahead and warn you, that this post is going to say the word “pee” a lot. I do know other words for it. I know a lot of other verbs for peeing, such as urinating, micturating, passing water. But I work in pediatrics. The three P’s of pediatrics are: peein’, poopin’, and pukin’. These are words we use in a professional setting. So if that makes you uncomfortable, you might want to stop reading now.
I was having some mystery pain. The multiple tests involved in trying to find the source of the pain was like starring in an episode of House M.D. One of those tests is called a 24 hour urine. The name pretty much says it all. You collect every drop of your urine for 24 hours. I’ve heard of this test and know it’s purpose, but I had never had to collect one as patient or nurse. So I listened as the nurse explained what I would do.
She handed me a bucket and told me to collect all of my urine for 24 hours and bring it to the office the next morning. I was thinking to myself that I would have to keep this bucket under my desk at work. I would probably have to keep it in a bag of some sort since I would be toting it back-and-forth to the bathroom all day at work.
The nurse continued to explain when to start and stop the test, I’m waiting for her to hand me what we call a “nun’s hat.” This is basically a big measuring cup with winged edges that hangs on the toilet seat. It looks like the hat that Sally Field wore in The Flying Nun. If you’re under 50, you’ve probably never seen The Flying Nun. I remember in college once, a boy stopped me when I was walking across campus, to tell me that I look like Sally Field. And I was fine with that because Sally Field was cute. She still is.
The nurse did not hand me a nun’s hat. So I asked her how am I supposed to get it in that bucket? I’m not going to tell you about her suggestions but let’s just say peeing in a cup at the doctors office usually results in a small sample in the cup and a large sample on my hand. So her suggestion was not going to work. I don’t know what kind of relationship other people have with their urine stream, but I don’t have a relationship with mine. It does not obey commands. It is its own separate entity with its own agenda, which apparently does not involve straight lines into buckets or cups.
Then came the last part of the instructions… “And you keep this in the refrigerator.” [Sound of screeching brakes.] “Wait, what? I keep it where?” I get a visual image of my big bucket of pee in the refrigerator at work with all of my coworkers’ lunches. This is when it occurs to me that I can’t do this test at work. I check my calendar for the best date possible to spend 24 hours collecting urine and turning it into the doctor the next morning. This means it has to be done on a Sunday.
I spent all week knowing that this test will be coming up on Sunday. My mantra for the week was “don’t pee at church, don’t pee at church, don’t pee at church.” I don’t know what happens if one accidentally goes while out in public and does not put it in the bucket in the fridge. I assume an alarm sounds at the doctors office.
I go to church with my grandmother. She often asks if we like to come over for lunch after church. I told her that I couldn’t and explained why. And she laughed at me. Because it’s funny.
Since I had no nun’s hat, I went to the dollar store and bought a large measuring cup with a handle. This was as close as I could get to a nun’s hat and it serve me well for 24 hours. Then I threw it away, in case you were wondering.
The bucket was gallon sized, or 4 liters to be more specific. Mine was less than half full after 24 hours. Generally, the amount of fluids that we take in is exactly the amount we put out, and I didn’t take in or put out much that day. Since I was at church all morning, I didn’t drink anything. So, it turned out that not peeing at church wasn’t an issue after all. I avoided the temptation to collect more than 24 hours’ worth or add water to make it look better. I turned in my piddly puddle of piddle with pride.