The Ballad Of a Walnut Bladder
I was born with a troubling affliction*. It’s been so difficult to manage my whole life, and it’s so difficult to discuss. Today I feel is the time to make public my ailment.
I am affected by a disorder known colloquially as walnut bladder. Yes, it’s true. I so much as look at a glass of water and I feel the need to pee.
In such times as walnut bladder-itis affects the life of The Good Man, he calls me his little tree frog. “You know, you pick up the frog and it tinkles in your hand?”
As a child I presented quite a challenge to my folks who liked to take road trips. The average child has to pee frequently but I was even more prone than normal. I always had to pee and I had the kind of dad who refused to stop. It was always a problem.
We used to spend summers at our place at Ute Lake. The drive from Albuquerque to Logan, New Mexico is about three hours, plus or minus. Even as an adult, three hours is just too long for me to go without a trip to the potty.
I vexed my mother terribly with my affliction. Once she threatened to use a clothespin to clamp off my leaky plumbing.
Well that got my attention.
From then on I planned well ahead for an upcoming road trip. I would cease intake of liquids at least a day in advance of the trip and would steadfastly refuse to drink any liquid until we arrived.
In hindsight, not having much liquid while living in the high desert wasn’t probably the best idea, but it worked and it avoided clothespins in delicate places.
In daily life I manage my ailment by working a path between my desk at work and the restroom. At home I get up at least twice a night to pee. The Good Man and The Feline have learned to adapt.
But I had occasion last week to really realize again the utter torture of a completely full bladder and no good plan to empty it out.
It was a typical afternoon at work and I was, as usual, drinking lots of good fresh water. Staying hydrated is still important. And that means ol’ Walnutta here has to go at a minimum once an hour. Sometimes more.
Usually before heading into a meeting, I will go right before so I can get through the hour stretch.
On this day, I was so busy with work and in other meetings and I bumped right up to the top of the hour when my next meeting was due to start. I did an internal gut check and then a clock check and thought, “Yeah, I’m ok.”
Silly, silly me.
At about twenty minutes into the hour and a half long meeting, a job interview with a prospective candidate no less, I had that first twinge of “oh…hmm, I’m going to need to pee here pretty soon.”
As the seconds on the clock ticked by with molasses speed, and the candidate droned on and on and on, things started to get bad.
One goes through most of the stages of grief when it comes to an overfull bladder.
First, denial: “Pfft! I’m fine. No big deal. I can make it.”
Then bargaining: “Ok, well, if I can make it just ten more minutes, maybe I can excuse myself and take care of this. Please please bladder don’t let me pee my pants.”
Anger: “Dangblamit why did I drink so much water today! And why is my bladder so tiny? And why can’t I just distract myself and make this feeling go away!?!”
Depression: “Dude, you are such a loser. Look at everyone else at the table, they can hold their liquids. What is *wrong* with you?”
Acceptance: “It’s going to be ok. I’m going to make it. I’m not going to pee my pants. And if I do, it will be fine, right?”
Over the course of an hour and a half I moved up and down and back and forth through all of those stages and I squirmed mightily in my chair.
Look, my attention span isn’t that long to begin with. Add in a full to bursting bladder and I don’t hear what anybody has to say about any topic.
It was horrible. At one point I thought I might even cry, I had to pee so badly.
And finally! Finally at the hour and forty five minute mark that damn candidate stopped talking and I was free to go use the restroom all the way over on the other side of the building.
Then it becomes like that question of walking or running in the rain. As in: In which method do you get wetter? (I think Mythbusters proved it’s a toss up)
The question became: do I walk to the bathroom thus taking longer and upping my odds for peeing my pants? Or do I run thus jangling my stuff and making it more likely I’ll pee my pants?
I chose a sort of tight-legged shuffle and finally made it safely into the bathroom stall.
And once I made it to the safe zone and did my business, my whole world looked a little brighter. A little happier. A little more at peace.
I know everyone has gone through the ballad of the full bladder at one point or another. When you have a walnut bladder it happens a little more often than I’d like.
You better betcher sweet life I’m doing a much better job of meeting and bladder management. No one likes the full bladder squirms.
Ok, not *really* an affliction. The word just sounded good to add the right amount of drama.
Image found here.