Tuesday, April 1, 2008

24 hours of pure elegance

One thing that I didn't mention when I was talking about my new endocrinologist is that he was concerned by elevated levels of calcium in my blood and thinks I may have hyperparathyroidism, which essentially means that one of my parathyroid glands (which regulate calcium) is overactive, which can lead to osteoporosis. I'm fairly certain that this is what I have, because it turns out that my dad had the same thing and it can be genetic.

If I do have it, I'll need to have surgery on throat at my some point to remove the offending gland. I am not happy about this at all, because I love my neck and don't want to have a scar on it, and also don't like the idea of surgery under general anesthesia. But I like that idea better than I like the idea of osteoporosis, and also the doctor told me I don't need to have the surgery before my wedding, meaning I won't have a still-healing scar in the photos, so that made me feel better.

Anyway, the next step in figuring out if I do have this condition is a 24-hour urine test, which means that every drop that I pee over a 24-hour period has to be collected in a jug. Charming, right? And yes, the jug does have to be stored in the refrigerator with the food. That we eat.

So, I did the test this past Sunday, and decided to blog the process step by step:

Saturday, 11:00 p.m.: Try to figure out what sort of receptacle would be best to pee in. Jug is way too large to fit below me in the toilet. Need something deep enough to avoid splashing, wide enough to catch everything (as instructions are very firm about not missing anything), small enough to fit below me in toilet, and large enough to hold a first-thing-in-the-morning pee. Among items that are considered: a vase, a mixing bowl, and a pitcher. All are rejected on the grounds that we will never want to use them again after I've peed in them. Finally have stroke of genius and remember large plastic cups purchased for Super Bowl party last month.

11:20 p.m.: Set up big stack of cups in bathroom, along with trash bag for used cups. Practice peeing into cup. Have some aim issues. Figure out where to hold cup so that aiming is not an issue. Feel relieved that I thought to practice before it mattered so that I won't lose any precious drops.

Sunday, 6:56 a.m.: Alarm goes off at the same time that it will go off tomorrow, signaling the start of the 24-hour period. Stumble out of bed and pee into the toilet as per instructions. Collapse back into bed.

11:00 a.m.: Wake up, desperately needing to pee. Discover fiance in bathroom. Try not to pee all over the floor while waiting for him to vacate. Grab plastic cup from pre-prepared stack and collapse gratefully on toilet. Discover that despite intense need to pee, is very difficult to actually force yourself to pee in cup, especially with strict instructions to include every drop of pee hanging over head. Take over five minutes to pee; this must be a new record.

12:40 p.m.: Realize need to pee again. Express said need to fiance. Fiance has visions of another marathon pee session and runs off to use bathroom first.

12:42 p.m.: Go pee. Take only two minutes this time. Feel proud of accomplishment.

1:10 p.m.: Decide to go for a walk with fiance. Develop visions of needing to pee halfway through and not being able to. Spend five minutes in bathroom to force out remaining three drops of pee to prevent that from happening.

3:00 p.m.: Home from walk. Sort of need to pee. Decide to wait until the need feels more urgent to increase the odds of being able to do it quickly.

3:10 p.m.: Need to pee becomes more urgent. Head to bathroom Take only one minute but worry about small amount of pee in cup; seems surprising given urgency of desire to pee. Decide not to worry about it.

11:00 p.m.: Need to pee and do so in cup with total ease. Declare self bona fide cup-peeing expert.

11:30 p.m.: Bedtime. Attempt to do final nighttime pee before bed. Discover that previous declaration of expert status was premature. Can muster only three drops of pee. Dutifully retrieve jug from refrigerator to transfer aforementioned three drops; after all, instructions say in bold letters, "Skip no specimens."

Monday, 3:20 a.m.: Wonder why I am awake and needing to pee so early. Blame it on stunted pre-bedtime pee.

6:56 a.m.: Alarm goes off. Stumble into bathroom. Pee into cup. Am surprised that there is not more pee; had expected to fill cup entirely. Remember middle-of-the-night pee; feel better.

7:45 a.m.: Can't face idea of long Metro ride while carrying giant orange jug full of pee. Take cab to doctor's office instead.

9:00 a.m.: Arrive at office. Pee in toilet like normal person. Feel enormous sense of relief.

54 comments:

  1. Oh gosh - that would be the worst 24 hours of my life - I am a horrible cup pee-er!

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  2. I have never met a bona fide cup-peer before! You should be proud.

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  3. Wow!!! I'm so glad that's over for you. I would have lost my mind. Hopefully this will all pay off and you will be back to normal health.

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  4. Wow, who knew that among other things, you were a peeing champ!!

    I remember straining my urine for 48 hours looking for a kidney stone. No fun carrying a dirty strainer around, let me tell you....

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  5. Wow! Major kudos to you lady. My mom actually had to have her thyroid removed years and years ago and you couldn't really see the scar, so if you do have to end up doing it (I know, surgery is no fun), don't worry about the scar too much. It should heal well. Best of luck my dear!

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  6. Practice peeing... hilarious! For my test, the doctor gave me a "hat" to put in the toilet. No cup-holding necessary.

    But, yeah, precise peeing is a pain.

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  7. oh man - the mere idea of surgery scares the ever livin' daylights out of me

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  8. haha you made me laugh out loud in the library with your peeing stories!

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  9. What, no pictures? ;)

    The time intervals are interesting. You seem to go fairly often up until the 3:10pm pee, after which you don't pee again until 11:00pm. Of course, I may be the only one who finds that of any interest whatsoever. I'm suddenly struck by an interest in recording my daily pee times and graphing them.

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  10. JMC--To clarify, I did pee several times between three and eleven. I just didn't record every one in the interest of not boring everyone to tears.

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  11. hahaha, this post had me laughing my ass off.

    Also, I think I have to pee now. Thanks :P

    Don't worry about the scarring from surgery. My mom had hyperthyroid (the opposite of you... hers went into overload and she shrank like a freaking shrinkidink! it was scary!) and had to have it removed. As long as you take good care of the incision while it's healing (lots of cocoa butter) the scar will barely be noticeable.

    Also it gives you an excuse to wear lots of vampy scarves to cover the frankenstein stitches while you're healing ;)

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  12. I have the urge to pee right now.

    I hope the test comes back with everything being okay!

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  13. i hope everything turns out okay...thinking of you :)

    xo, b

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  14. but at least you got a funny story out of it?

    i also have to pee now. amazing how these things work.

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  15. Peeing in a cup for 24 hours sounds awful. I'm guessing that meant you couldn't really leave your house on Sunday. Hope everything turns out well with the results.

    If I had to pee in a cup for 24 hours, I'd go crazy since I pee like a million times a day. Yikes!

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  16. How was it, keeping the pee in the fridge?! hilarious! Keep us posted!

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  17. Ugh. After 3 pregnancies I'm a pro at peeing in a cup, but having to collect it for 24 hours and THEN take it in to the Dr would be too much! Glad it's over!

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  18. Oh my god this was totally hilarious.

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  19. I cannot get past the fact that you set your alarm for 6:56am. That odd time would drive me BONKERS!

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  20. I love the other pee receptacles you considered...a vase? Hee!

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  21. I loved the connundrum of finding an approriate receptacle. Hope everything is ok.

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  22. So I guess they are looking for calcium in your urine? Or something? I love learning about this! I haven't heard of hyperparathyroidism.

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  23. oh geez! i pee so infrequently! like twice a day. also i hate peeing into recepticals. this would have been my worst day ever.

    (how do you spell receptical?)

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  24. Hahaha. Nice call on the cab. I can't believe you went almost 8 hours without peeing in the afternoon, by the way. I go about once an hour :)

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  25. cup peeing is awful.

    have had to do it in a moving vehicle on highway 95.

    don't ask

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  26. Now you'll get google searches for pee in a cup! You will, I promise.

    Hee.

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  27. haaaa. did you read amalah today? ALSO a pee entry. i feel like i should post about pee now too ;-)

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  28. Oh my, that sounds just awful. But, hilarious! Let's hope that you can return to peeing in the toilet permanently now.

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  29. That is so funny. I love "...with the food. That we eat."

    Aw, man, you'll look so bad-ass with a neck scar. You can make up all kinds of great stories about it.

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  30. I totally had to pee like halfway through that just from reading about it.

    Also, I have a tiny tank.

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  31. Oh my gosh. I would've loved to have seen you on the Metro with the large orange jug. Reminds me of a time I had to drop off a stool sample for my sister when she was REALLY sick. I was in school at the time and the professor asked why I was late. My answer? Yep, you guessed it. "Sorry, I had to drop off some shit for my sister." Probably the only time I could have gotten away with saying the word shit to a professor.

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  32. This was such an honest and hilarious post. We've all been there - the peeing in a cup. And we've all had stage fright. Thanks for blogging about something so, well, so human!

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  33. Oh my lord Jess, you have me giggling over here in my cubicle. You are a pee-master extraordinaire!

    Like Nilsa said, thanks for blogging about something so refreshingly honest. :)

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  34. I hope the doctor figures everything out. My brother had to have his parathyroid removed but he is doing great now. Well, medically, technically he is still a train wreck, but medically, fine. Good luck!

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  35. HAHA. I blogged my colonoscopy prep. Talk about horrible!

    Sorry to hear about your surgery. We found out yesterday my sister-in-law needs open hear surgery. She will have to go on bypass and everything. Makes me feel lucky to be dealing with my problems.

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  36. Wow! That sounds terrible! I can't imagine doing something like that for more than one hour! Glad you made it through it!

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  37. The time breakdown on this totally reminded me of Bridget Jones' Diary.

    You are a peeing champion!

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  38. I hate that you had to ride the train carrying it.

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  39. I hope that everything goes well, my friend had throat surgery to remove part of her thyroid and she said she feels better for it. Isn't it great to have an idea of what is going on? I hate going to the doctor only to be told they "can't be sure" what is wrong with me.

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  40. The title of this post is PERFECT.

    My favorite, mostly because I would have thought about this entirely too late:

    7:45 a.m.: Can't face idea of long Metro ride while carrying giant orange jug full of pee. Take cab to doctor's office instead.

    I do hope that all is well.

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  41. I hate peeing in a cup - that would be a horrible experience!

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  42. Wow, this post breaks all kinds of records for the amount of times you have written pee...

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  43. wow... you must be an expert now. if i ever need tips... haha

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  44. lol
    This was a hilarious post (but very serious subject matter) he hee hee
    I became a champion cup peeer? when I was pregnant. Of course I only got those little cups and was under instructions to only get the 'mid pee'in the cup. Which meant I peed a bit, stopped, arranged cup, peed in cup, stopped, removed cup and then finished peeing. I ended up having kick ass control over my ... eh watchermarcallits muscles which was very good, since those supposedly make it easier to keep bladdercontrol after giving birth.
    I'm stopping now... too far into TMI territory here.

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  45. I am so impressed that you were able to remember to collect it each time! I surely would have forgotten!

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  46. Your mad peeing skillz will come in handy when/if you ever become pregnant. It's a gift, really, the ability to pee in a cup without also peeing all over oneself.

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  47. I can't remember the last time I laughed so hard reading a blog post. The Little Goat keeps giving me a troubled expression.
    I am so glad for you that it's all over and hopefully the root of the problem will be discovered quickly.

    Maybe you should give lessons now, since you're the expert. :)

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  48. Okay. Also, I just read the hyperparathyroidism wiki-link and ohmygoodness! That's Mr. J to a T!!! THANK YOU for posting that link!
    That's the closest we've ever come to matching all his symptoms with one 'thing.'

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  49. I've had to do a few ultrasounds in my life ... and plenty of fasting blood tests/urine samples... so this post brought back a lot of memories. I would have suggested that you use a regular urine catch and decant it into a bigger container. But your solution is admirable :-) Good pee methodology!

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  50. How smart you were to practice beforehand. The first time I had to pee into a cup, let's just say my hand got a nice dousing too.

    I hope you hear back from the doctor's office soon.

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  51. HAHA, at least you had fun with it on your blog.

    I would have taken the taxi too!

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