• Erin Griffith

To pee or not to pee...

At work, there are many health initiatives being put forward and the big one is that we should "drink more water" and a spiffy new water cooler and seemingly endless jugs of bottled water have been made available to us.

Some of my co-workers and students have taken on the "Gallon" challenge where they have to drink an entire gallon of water in one day.

This is healthy. And admirable. However, we are not allowed to leave our classes so that we can run to the bathroom. But, more water = more pee. People keep saying...your body will "adapt to it." After taking the initiative to consume more water over the summer and at the beginning of the year, I can emphatically say as both a water consumer and a science-type person, that this is only true, in a sense.

Once the human body becomes hydrated, then the rest of the fluids will continue to travel the long and winding road through the kidneys, take a jog to the left into the bladder and then out the main interstate. This does not change just because we consume more water.

And, not to be crude, but my bladder, left weak after birthing my daughter (who was a normal sized infant at 6 lbs 13 oz, but had a head the size of the blue ribbon pumpkin at the state fair) just does not function the way it used to. The second she was born, I stated emphatically, that nothing in that particular area was ever going to "be right" again. And true to form, I have to pee CONSTANTLY because my entire urinary tract somehow got ravaged as Abby squeezed her award winning pumpkin sized noggin into the world. **footnote about Abby's giant head

Increasing my water intake only leads to a total sense of panic (yeah, like I need that), discomfort, and me having to keep extra pants and underwear in my desk drawer because, more than once, I have not quite made it to the toilet. I literally have to run to the bathroom. And, if you know me, the only reason I would be running anywhere would be if I was being chased by a hoard of psychopathic clowns or I REALLY have to pee.

What can make the problem worse, are any diuretics that we (me) consume. Pop, coffee, tea, citrus fruits, pineapple, and some vegies are also diuretics. Diuretics are substances that help stimulate the kidneys to produce more urine and, therefore, use more water. If you don't know me, I am a pop and tea drinker.

So, on top of having to pee all the time because of my healthy water intake; a sense of urgency is added because my kidneys are being told "We need more product dammit! Get to work!"

My doctor has suggested that I go on a medication to help strengthen my bladder muscles. But the possible side effects of these medications seem worse than the actual problem and a few of them seem pretty vague, like they are not really certain. Some side effects include...

increasing blood pressure -sounds, let's make this a chronic problem that requires medication, then that medication can have side effects that requires medication, and so on and so on...I'm totally on to you big pharma!

nasopharyngitis (common cold symptoms)- You mean I could feel like I have a cold all year instead of just the nine months I teach school! Yayness!

Urine retention- so rather than all of the urine coming out in a deluge, some of it might just "hang out" for a while, causing problems... like the friends that used to crash in my apartment at college after the party was over and everyone else left, and they were just like, "I'll just fall asleep here on the floor...maybe she won't notice." Well, I did notice Rochelle! I noticed.

urinary tract infections - WHAT?! So Rochelle (urine), is just going to go and decide that she is moving into my apartment and leave her stuff there?!

constipation - Are you even serious?

diarrhea-Which is it, asshats, constipation or diarrhea? It can't be both

dizziness- Make driving an adventure again!!

headache-I already get these on a regular basis, so can we just not.

So I am not taking this option.

So, to pee or not to pee that is the question. To hydrate or not to hydrate...also the question.


**footnote about Abby's giant head. From the day she was born, Abby's head was in the 96th - 98th percentile for size. That means that only 2-4% of kids had a head bigger than hers. When we took her to the doctor after she was born, he measured her head and showed us where she fell on the growth curve. He said "And as you can see, her head is in the 98th percentile," then he started to laugh a little as he said "But this is normal, perfectly normal." I said ok. I couldn't help but wonder, if it's normal, then why was he laughing.

Anyway, there were no cute little headbands or baby hats for Abby; because, when we put them on her, she looked like her head was being strangled. We had to buy her toddler sized hats and headbands when she was an infant.

She is 6 now and, as far as we know, her head is "normal" sized because they quit measuring head size at like, one or two years old.

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