Peeing your pants.

On the whole, quarterly department meetings are a chore. To make things worse, I work in accounting, meaning the power points are filled with charts and graphs and numbers and dollar signs and jargon that makes me sleepy.On Wednesday afternoon, I sat around a long, conference table with the rest of the accounting department. My coworker Punky sat next to me. Her real name isn’t Punky, but when Meredith first met her, she said,

“That girl looks like Punky Brewster.” And the name stuck.

Punky and I have to sit next to each other during these meetings so that she can kick my leg under the table during the excruciating moments of accountant math humor. It’s not the fault of any member of our accounting team. They are all lovely people and some with excellent humor. But accounting humor is always lame, no matter the source. Punky and I probably shouldn’t ever sit next to each other because I often feel like I’m 15, trying not to get kicked out of Mrs. Irish’s English class. Anyway, the meeting was scheduled to last for two hours. Around the halfway point, I realized I had to pee. Sometimes when I have to pee, I keep drinking whatever beverage is in front of me like I can handle it. Like I’m better than my bladder. When we hit the 90 minute marker, I looked over at Punky with a sort of panicked look.

“I really have to pee.” I mouthed to her.

Her look said something like, “Grow up.”

I didn’t think it would have been a huge deal to quietly excuse myself from the meeting, shuffle down the hall and relieve my bladder. But after receiving Punky’s look I started to think, ‘Maybe I am acting like I’m 15 and maybe I should grow up.’ After all, controlling your bladder for 30 minutes, no matter how urgent, shouldn’t be that big of a deal. But my bladder waits for no one. When it’s full, it’s urgent. And I had passed the point of no return. It was the kind of pee urgency that starts to send shooting pains into your abdomen. On road trips when I’ve challenged my bladder with too much fountain soda, I go stoic. I cannot speak or move. I start to take short breaths.

Meredith is like a camel. To my one, medium, $0.79 fountain soda, she will have finished a super-mega-64-ounce Diet Coke plus an iced coffee and maybe a can of seltzer before feeling the slightest urge to pee.

Meredith, Ogunquit Maine, over-sized soda

Time was winding down in the quarterly department meeting, but I had frantically removed my jacket and sat up straight, trying to relieve pressure. I was starting to sweat. To distract myself from watching the second hand laze around the clock face, I started wondering how much worse this could be if I were pregnant. With an already weak bladder, how soon is too soon when it comes to adult diapers?

WebMD – the hypochondriac’s wet dream – says that “the kind of incontinence experienced during pregnancy is usually stress incontinence. Stress incontinence is the loss of urine caused by increased pressure on the bladder. In stress incontinence, the bladder sphincter does not function well enough to hold in urine.”

Sometimes I have to pull the lap part of my seatbelt away from my bladder because that minute amount of pressure is too much. How am I going to handle a 6 or 7 pound fetus?

I did not pee myself during that meeting. And I did not waddle my way to the restroom after the meeting ended, they way I might have done as a kid. But, I did walk. Briskly.

After getting pregnant, I’ll probably seek out some helpful tips on bladder control and just hope for the best. From the Baby Center website, I’m loving this bit of advice:

“You can reduce your number of bathroom trips by avoiding beverages that have a mild diuretic effect, such as coffee, tea, and alcohol. (Of course, you shouldn’t be drinking alcohol now anyway.)”

This framed photo hangs in my kitchen. Thanks, Buddy.

5 comments

  1. Arlisa · · Reply

    love that photo tie in, funny buddy.

    1. Love when a Buddy loves my blogging.

  2. Sisserwrobel · · Reply

    The thing that freaks me out about stress incontinence is that it seems like it just surprises you. Instead of holding your pee too long you just pee if you bend the wrong way or if you laugh or sneeze- that isn’t fair. There should be pee warnings.

  3. suzanne · · Reply

    Fyi – after babies, ur bladder still doesn’t go back to normal. I can’t even do a jumping jack without peeing my pants.

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