True story. Whenever I go to the doctor and have to pee in a cup I pride myself on having the clearest urine in the lab. I don't consider myself seriously competitive--just slightly--but when I became pregnant the first time, after 10 years of road races and triathlons, I had to find small ways to compete. You can't go from finishing an Ironman Triathlon to becoming pregnant with twins in the same year without, um how shall I put it... filling the void.
And so with my first pregnancy, and the next, and this one, each time I provide a urine sample and place it in the little door for the lab technician to retrieve and scrutinize--for things like bacteria and protein, not clarity I realize--I take a certain amount of pride when there are other samples waiting, that mine is always the clearest of the crop. (And I can't help but get a little self-righteous about it too: Do these people drink water? What kind of sludge makes urine that color?)
Friday ended my streak. First let me explain (this is what athletes do when they've not had the stellar outcome they expected; they start with all the reasons their race could not have ended the way they hoped).
I came face to porcelain with a stomach bug last week (in the process I discovered that you cannot barf a baby). I spent several days eating nothing to very little, and tried desperately to keep down liquids. By Friday morning, I was onto my second real meal and thought it might be wise to start taking a multi-vitamin again. In the chaos of trying to pack up three kids to join me at my midwife appointment (no sitter, one slammed finger in the bathroom door and a minor battle over appropriate shoes) I forgot to bring a water bottle along for the road. Come to think of it, after walking the dog that morning, a partial yoga tape, making pancakes for the girls (and me, who am I kidding, I was ravenous by then)... I don't recall drinking anything but a cup of hot tea.
But I thought nothing of it. Until my midwife reminded me to leave a "sample" before I left. (Cue music from shower scene in "Psycho.")
I lifted the clear plastic vial to my face for closer inspection. I was horrified. To make matters worse, I had an audience. Three sets of eyeballs were huddled around me transfixed on the little cup.
"Ewwwww gwoss!" Said my little one.
"Momma, why is yo pee pee ownge?" Asked K.
(Translation: Mother dear, why is your urine the color of canned pumpkin?)
Then Mc added somewhat haughtily, down-right self-righteous: "Our pee pee is yellow!"
I wanted a do-over. I wanted to find the nearest water fountain and guzzle for 20 minutes. I thought we could hang in the waiting room for another hour and then I could provide a new sample, something that looked more like diluted lemonade.
Instead I had to admit defeat. I capped the vial and attached my sticker, which I could only do after drying off the outside of the cup. I don't know which is more humiliating: my viscous urine or the fact I can't follow the instructions to stop my urine midstream before capturing it in the vial. Can any woman with the equivalent of a pineapple sitting on her bladder stop her urine midstream?What can an athlete do but try harder next time? I'll be sure to stay hydrated. And now I have a new contest: not only provide the clearest sample, but to do it without peeing all over the cup. All in the spirit of competition. Humor me. I need a finish line.
Copyright © 2008 - 2014 Kara Douglass Thom. All rights are reserved.