I have a few questions before I get rolling with the [TMI] story of my most recent doctor’s visit.
1) Have you ever had to give a urine sample?
2) Are you female?
3) Are you plus sized?
If you answered yes to the first two questions but not the third, then you know what a hassle urine samples can be. If you answered yes to all three questions then let’s be real, plus sized ladies: it’s quite a simple task to do what needs to be done in the bathroom on a daily basis. However, throwing in a curve ball like having to hold a plastic cup in just the right spot to catch your wee is the opposite of quite simple.
Let me back up just a bit. I’ve been feeling fairly… well, crappy a lot of the time lately. I’ve been very sluggish in the afternoons, constantly lazy, digestive issues (let’s just leave it at that), etc. So it wasn’t a huge surprise when, after my annual physical, my doctor called (SIX. WEEKS. AFTER. by the way. Six weeks? Don’t get me started.) and said I needed to come in for additional blood work. I did that and scheduled an appointment to discuss the results with my doctor. At that appointment (which explained why I’ve been feeling poorly and may or may not be another blog post [as if anyone enjoys reading blog posts about health issues, ew]), my doctor said she’d like for me to also give a urine sample (UGH, fine).
My clinic is in the same building as the lab so I went downstairs and the very nice blood/urine lady (I’m sure she has a title that is not blood/urine lady) gave me my sealed little cup. Have these gotten smaller in the last few years?? I went into the bathroom and went through the opening drill: put my purse down, took off my fleece so I could have the range of movement needed for the acrobatic feat I was about to perform, took a deep breath, whipped down my skivvies, and sat.
This is where it gets TMI so if you’re pee-pee squeamish, bail out now. (This is also where I switch to present tense, because it’s how I tell stories.)
I place the cup where I think? probably? maybe? the pee is actually going to come out and I wait. Then I wait some more. My urethra has seen the cup and knows my hand is where it should not be during urination, so it’s got stage fright. I take another deep breath and try to relax. It’s just PEE, Kat. I feel something start to happen, but this awareness startles my poor urethra and it stops immediately. More deep breaths. It’s at this point I realize how long I’ve probably already been in here. It feels like 10 minutes and I can picture blood/urine lady rolling her eyes at a colleague because it’s just PEE. I try adjusting my grip on the cup so my arm isn’t pushing so forcefully up against… places and try to visualize my muscles relaxing. This time when it starts, I’m ready for it and I force myself to keep loose, don’t tense up.
Suddenly pee is everywhere – definitely in the toilet, definitely on my hand, and I assume definitely in the cup. It’s warm (like really warm) and weird and now I’m not so sure anything is going into the cup because I haven’t really gone that much and there is A LOT on my hand so how much could be left to go into the cup? So I stop. Have you ever actually tried to stop peeing in the middle? It’s pretty much awful and it tingles, not in a good way.
Then the unthinkable happens: I feel my grip loosening on account of all the pee. I try to pull the cup up quickly but instead it slips from my grip (I’m literally screaming “NOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO” in my head), and I hear a little splash. I sit in horrified silence, hand still between me and the toilet. WHAT NOW FOR THE LOVE OF GOD?! I’m still bad tingling and now I REALLY feel like I need to pee, to the point of almost pain.
I decide I’ll just tell the nice blood/urine lady the truth. She must hear “I dropped the cup. (with an awkward laugh, no doubt) all the time. I stand up and get situated and lift the stupid, tiny, pee-and-water-covered cup out of the toilet. But as I’m washing my hands I have a change of heart. I CANNOT TELL THE NICE BLOOD/URINE LADY THAT I DROPPED THE CUP OH EM GEE! No, no. I’ll just do it again!
So I wipe out the cup best I can (ugh) and try again. Again, pee. goes. everywhere. but I’ve got a grip on this cup so tight, the Jaws of Life couldn’t pry my hands off, so I finish peeing all the way (this gives almost no relief, by the way. If you hold your pee for too long, even the lovely sensation of emptying your bladder is taken from you.) and lift out the cup. I am not exaggerating (which I know I have a tendency to do, along with overuse commas and parentheses) when I say that there were approximately 7 drops of pee in that fucking cup.
At this point I’m so over it I could barf, so I put the lid on that stupid cup that has become the focus of every ounce of rage and hate in my body, slap it into the silver deposit box, and slam the deposit box door.
When I emerge (after God knows how long… probably 6-8 minutes [which is a long time to pee, for real] but it feels more like 6-8 hours), I approach blood/urine lady. I am certain she knows of my failures but I say quietly (too quietly, weirdly quietly), “I really didn’t have to use the bathroom; I didn’t know I was going to have to give a urine sample. So if that’s not enough, will you just call me and have me re-do it?
“Let me find out how much we need,” she says and walks over to her colleague (the one she no doubt rolled her eyes to moments ago, after my 76th minute of being in the bathroom) and asks how much is needed for the test. “One milliliter, you should be fine.” She says this with a comforting smile on her face because she has yet to see that there is no way on this beautiful green Earth I have deposited an entire milliliter into that cursed cup.
I smile and rush out before she can go to the deposit box and see what I’ve given her, which is approximately a sneeze’s worth of pee.
[/end present tense story]
I got my test results a couple of days later and they came back normal. I was relieved until I realized that they probably tested 1 part pee and 2 parts toilet water.