Monday, September 29, 2008

I.C.U.P.


Paruresis (pronounced /pærjəˈriːsɪs/), also known as pee shyness, shy kidney, bashful bladder, stage fright, urophobia or shy bladder syndrome, is a type of phobia in which the sufferer is unable to urinate in the (real or imaginary) presence of others, such as in a public restroom.

Another diagnosis to add to my growing list. This time, a self-diagnosis. I don't need a doctor, a procedure, or a bunch of tests to tell me I completely freeze up when I have to pee in the presence of others. The weird thing is, I only started having this within the last couple of years. But it's getting worse. My experience at the ob-gyn today proves this.

So I already needed to pee--bad--on my way to my yearly. But I didn't go before my appointment because I knew they would want to do a urine sample. You know, the routine preggo test. (Why is it even though I know there's no way I could be pregnant, I am always so curious to see what that little test will show? It was negative, in case you were curious.) Anyway, sure enough, as soon as I walked back to the little blood pressure-taking room, the first thing the nurse did was hand me a cup and sent me to the bathroom. She went over the "clean sample" instructions with me and left. No biggie. I got this. So after following steps 1-3 on the chart next to the toilet, I sat, cup in hand, and relaxed. This was when I remembered: Me no pee. I sat, listening to the nurse shuffling around in the little room next door, wondering if the walls were actually made out of cellophane. I tried my hardest to block her out, and concentrated on going. Nothing. Focus. Remember how full your bladder is. It was at this point that I heard the little metal door on the other side of the wall open and close. The nurse was already checking for my sample!! I didn't even have a drip!

Oh, this is just great. This should really help me go now, the stress and pressure to already be done. If there had been even a slight chance that my bladder was nearing cooperation at this point, it was long gone. Now the room next to me was silent. I tried to tell myself the nurse was off doing other nurse-y stuff, down the hall or in with another patient, no where near within hearing-distance. But it was so quiet. What if she's in there, reading charts, and can hear every noise I'm making. Or--horror of horrors--what if she's listening, waiting to hear the little door open and close to see if the sample is there, ready for her to test?! Just kill. Me. Now.

New tactic. Turn on the water. This is a risky maneuver, I know, because anyone listening would assume I was done, washing my hands. But desperate times call for desperate measures. The water goes on. And.........nothing. I'm beginning to panic a little, wondering what would happen if I walked back out of the bathroom with the empty cup and claimed stage fright? Seriously, what can they do to me if I cannot physically go? If this is all about a pregnancy test, I can save us both a lot of trouble and tell you in no uncertain terms that there's nothing in there. No, I can do this. I mean, come on, it's peeing!! How hard is this?!

I was just about to pull my last trick out of my sleeve when the little metal door on the other side opened again. OH COME ON, ARE YOU KIDDING ME? I'LL LET YOU KNOW WHEN IT'S THERE!! Do you really think this is helping?! Let me pee in peace, for the love of Pete!!

Now the nurse is out in the hall, just outside the bathroom door, talking loudly to another nurse. I think she's caught on at this point (unless she's missing half her brain) that I'm having a little problem and is trying to help my plight by conversing loudly. You'd think this would help, be better than the ominous silence, but, alas, it only told me that not only was there one possible overhear-er in the hallway, but two. With cup in hand, I covered up my ears. It almost worked! I squeezed out a few drips, but completely psyched myself out with excitement. By the time I got the cup down there, everything had shut down.

I've probably been in the bathroom for ten minutes now. I half expected the nurse to knock on the door and ask if everything was okay, or, if she was anything like my mom, ask me if I "fell in." But she didn't. Yet. I wasn't going to let it get to that. COME ON, you can DO this.

I was out of ideas. As a last, desperate attempt, I turned the water on one more time and focused yet again on just how full my bladder was. And.....SUCCESS!!! I've never been so happy to pee in my life. I got the cup down there faster than lightening, before my bladder could change its mind. I held the full cup up. Never before had I seen such a glorious sight. I promptly opened the stupid metal door and shoved it in there, still on the toilet. I didn't even have it latched shut yet when it opened on the other side. Impatient much?

I contemplated what I would say when I went back out, if I'd make a joke about uncooperative bladders or apologize or simply say nothing. I decided on the joke--always the best way to fix an awkward situation--but the nurse didn't even give me a chance. I think her idea for dealing with awkwardness was telling me to stand on the scale before I'd even made it out of the bathroom door. Oh well, whatever. I didn't care. My bladder and I had shared a triumph together, and nothing was going to ruin that for us.

16 comments:

Brenda said...

So stinkin funny!!!

Noelle said...

i.c.u.p! ha ha. you are so funny. i totally understand your plight. i too have stage fright in the most empty of restrooms, just waiting for someone to walk in. it's all about self talk. way to self talk your cup full!

M-A said...

just be glad you don't have the opposite problem!

Stacia said...

I hate the annual visit now, so many things that are awkward and uncomfortable. When I was reading this, I had the growing need to pee! Our minds are powerful, and sometimes in the worst ways!

Andrea said...

The nice thing about getting to know new people is you can learn something about them everyday. I learned something about you, so now it's your turn to learn something about me- I am very squeamish about bathroom-talk, unless it's a toddler. As my kids grow up, I'm sure the age of acceptance will raise. So, all I can say is... EW. But, if I pretend you are three years old... FUNNY!

Davis Family said...

SO funny!

MomD said...

I was lol all through this recap!! I think most all of us experience this to one degree or another. Still can't figure out why. Something we will have to discuss this Friday!! :) Great post and start for my day...I love to get going on a laugh!!

Diane

debsters said...

This is hilarious. I have completely the opposite problem. I usually have to remove the cup mid stream so the cup doesn't floweth over. personal, but true.

Lisa said...

Is the pronunciation really supposed to help? I mean come on.

So would you say you are a cup half full type of girl or was your P.E.D.B.D?

Ever play red light green light in a public restroom? I think that's what you and your finicky bladder need. WOO WOO!!!

Nancie said...

you are freakin' hilarious!

JenFielding said...

Alicia, that was so funny. I was telling Cory how not many bloggers can get away with long posts without pictures, but you, the longer the better in my mind. I LOVE reading what you write.

P.S. I sent the manuscript to you today! Happy reading!

JenFielding said...

Hey, you should have tried peeing in the sink like Baby Mama :)

Aubrey said...

That is funny! And sad! But more funny! I hate, hate peeing in those cups. With all the science and technology we had today you would think SOMEONE would come up with a better solution.....

Jessica said...

Sadly this was hilarious! My good friend in HS had this problem, everytime we would go into the bathroom I would stand at the sink and run the water so that she wouldn't be embarrased about not being able to go. I also had to be really quiet so she could consentrate!

ashley said...

I have this problem too!! In fact I just wrote about it! hahaha, I'm glad I'm not the only one!

meohmyers said...

I'm sorry, but I've not laughed this hard in a long time. I don't mean to laugh at the problem you have but you can tell the best stories! This was hilarious! I can only dream of having bladder control to this extreme. I'm the type that has to do the potty dance while trying to get the blasted wipe open for a "clean catch"! Ohhh, you're so funny!