Thursday, January 10, 2008

I'm Pee-Shy Shy...Hush,Hush, Eye To Eye...*

*With apologies to Kajagoogoo

This morning I went to our local Labcorp facility so that they could collect some of my blood. My attempts to collect my own blood at home have been fairly unsuccessful and rather messy, so I chose to go with the professionals this time around. A wise decision, I believe.

I woke up this morning, skipped breakfast(I need to fast for 10 hours before the blood draw) and went on my merry way.

Luckily, the place was empty, so I only had to wait a few minutes(in the past, I have waited for over an hour), which was nice.

I sat down in seat 3(a fine seat...It's no seat 2, but you can't have everything, you know ?), and waited for a technician to help me.

A nice gentleman in a shirt and tie came up to me and said that he was going to draw some blood.

Now, I don't know about you, but I kinda like it when medical folks have lab coats and smocks and things on. I am a little uneasy when someone dressed like me(but far more stylish, I will admit-this gut knew how to wear a tie, if you know what I mean) is going to perform any sort of medical procedure. I tend to fear that he's going to say, "Oh, I'm not a phlebotomist, but I did stay at a Holiday Inn Express last night."

Fortunately, he did a fine job of taking my blood(he even gave me a helpful hint that if I put a wet paper towel over the tape that was holding the cotton ball in place on the draw site it would keep the tape from removing all of the hair on my arm) and I was all ready to leave when he said "Now we just need to get a urine sample from you."

He gave me a label to put on the specimen cup and sent me to the bathroom. Now, I had already peed when I woke up, and I had not had anything to drink. So, I went into the bathroom, already pretty sure that I was not gonna fill that cup. and, of course, I did not. I ran the water and everything, but there was just nothing there.

Now, on top of the fact that I don't think I had much urine to share with these nice folks, I also have a tendency towards "pee-shyness" as it is. The Wikipedia page I linked to there is a little more extreme, but I definitely don't have an easy time taking a whiz in a crowded bathroom. And I don't know if you have ever been to Dodger Stadium(or are they at Wrigley ?), but those trough urinals they have in the men's room ? Fuck that shit.

This was not a crowded men's room, of course, but it might as well have been. I knew that there were people out there waiting for me to pee. That is A LOT of pee-pressure, my friends, and I am sad to say I was not up to the task.

I slowly opened the door and exited the bathroom, hanging my head in shame, and I told my well dressed phlebotomist that it was a no go. He then(unfortunately) gave me a choice. he told me that he could make a copy of my paperwork, and I could back and give the sample later, OR, i could go out and drink some water and then try again.

Now, being an idiot male, I took the latter as a challenge. This is where things went horribly wrong, much time was wasted, and some very unpleasant water fountain water was imbibed by yours truly. But I felt as though i had been slapped with a leather glove, and I was NOT going to leave there without having pissed in that damn cup !!!

I went out to the waiting room and found the water fountain. The water was lukewarm, and kinda tasted like it was being filtered through a cup full of loose change, but I kept drinking. After what felt like a suitable wait, I went back in to the room, ready to pee. The door to the bathroom was closed, so I waited, figuring there was someone using the bathroom. After a few minutes, another patient walked up, opened the door to the bathroom and went inside. After he came out a few minutes later(also, by the way, announcing that he could not pee-I was not alone, my friends), I went back in.

I turned on the faucet(inspiration), unzipped, and proceeded to not be able to pee in the cup. I closed my eyes, but by then it was too late, I was now THINKING ABOUT PEEING, and nothing is surer to keep you from peeing than thinking about the fact that you have to pee. THEN, I had a brainstorm...I remembered back to my younger days, what did you do to a sleeping person to make them piss themselves ? PUT THEIR HAND IN WARM WATER !!!! I was a fucking genius. I filled the sink with warm water and put my hand in there...Sure enough...I didn't pee.

I had to accept failure again.I exited the bathroom, and told them it was a no go. They gave me a plastic cup(as the paper one I was going to use in the bathroom was not acceptable for longer term pee storage) and a copy of my paperwork, and I left, dejected.

I still have yet to pee this morning...But as GOD is my witness, I SHALL PEE AGAIN !!!! And that plastic cup with know my urine's wrath !!!


sh said...

That lab must use the same training program as the hospital where I had knee surgey many years ago.

My surgery was scheduled for early morning on a Wednesday. I had some tests done in advance on Monday or Tuesday. Blood samples were required. A urine sample was not.

On Tuesday, late in the day, the hospital called to confirm that the tests were OK and that my surgery would proceed as scheduled. Part of the call went something like this:

Nurse: To confirm, you want general anesthesia, correct?

Me: Yes.

Nurse: It is very important that you not eat or drink after midnight.

Me: Not even water.

Nurse: Nothing. Not even water.

Me: OK. Got it.

Nurse: So, do you have any other questions?

Me: No. I just need to go to outpatient to check in at the crack of dawn, right? I'm done with all of the lab stuff, right?

Nurse: That's right.

So, at the crack of dawn I got out of bed, took the last shower I'd get to take for about a week, brushed my teeth, urinated, and went to the hospital. Where I was promptly asked to provide a urine sample!

This conversation, not aided by the fact that I am not a morning person, went like this:

Nurse: We need a urine sample.

Me: Why? Yesterday I was told that we'd done all of the pre-op tests.

Nurse: We have to confirm that you're not pregnant. It's required by insurance.

Me: Can't I just sign a waiver? I just went to the bathroom and I won't be able to go now. I haven’t had anything to drink for over six hours.

Nurse: We'll cancel the surgery if you refuse to give us a sample [I was willing to give one, and if only they had friggin' told me about this the night before I would have been physically capable of complying, dammit]

Me: We'll, it's gonna be a while.

I then retreat to my outpatient bed and bitch about this to my mom. Less than 30 minutes later the nurse comes to ask if I'm ready to comply. My response was curt: "uh, no, not unless I can have something to drink." The nurse replies said that I could not have liquids because of the anesthesia. I informed her: "YOU will just have to wait. This is YOUR fault. I specifically asked about tests and YOU said there would be none."

The nurse then went to fetch a sedative (with a glass of water) that I was forced to take, on the premise that I was hysterical and uncooperative. I could not have just the water, no I could not. So I swalled both, took a short nap, and finally produced the required sample.

But in the end, victory was mine. Yes, I was forced to take medication that I did not need or want (my parents, whose insurance I was under, wouldn't let me file a complaint). But that sedative more so than the water was what reacted poorly with the anesthesia and permitted me in my first semi-cognizant post-op moments to vomit on that nurse. My mother tells me that I also called the nurse a bitch, and pretend that I don't remember doing that.

I also totally sympathize with the shy thing. One of the nurses in my general practitioners office in my home town is the mother of someone I dated in 10th grade. I had to drink about a gallon of tea and use the running water trick to give the urine samples required for varsity physicals each year.

Paticus said...

sh- YIKES !! That is nuts !! And a far more harrowing tale than i ahd to tell.
but why do they always feel the need to spring the pee test on us ? Just let me know I'll need to pee, and I can prepare !!!