Battle of the Bladder (Does this sound like you?)
“I can make it,” I told myself.
But the long line of rush hour traffic was telling me otherwise.
I felt that I could maintain bladder control for at least the 10-minute drive to work before visiting a urinal. That was 30 minutes ago and the traffic along Vancouver’s Hastings Avenue was slowly crawling through various construction sites and there were hoards of jaywalking pedestrians that seemed to have appeared out of nowhere. I was squeezing my sphincter and butt muscles for all what I was worth and this was assisted by having the fingers of one hand inside of my pocket which were pinching down hard on my you-know-what. All the while just praying that none of the other drivers were watching my pathetic struggle.
It was a losing battle. I could already feel drops of hot urine starting to leak through onto my underwear. And, to top it all off, the damn traffic was just inching along. It would have been faster to get out and walk! Moreover, there was nowhere… and I mean absolutely nowhere to stop and relieve myself without getting run over or offending the public.
I should have prepared for this situation. For the last couple of years the urge to urinate had been coming on stronger and much more frequently. Sometimes this overwhelming need to urinate was triggered by stress. And, at other times I sometimes needed to run to a washroom soon after drinking any fluids. So, here I was. With a bladder full of a breakfast smoothie and hopelessly stuck in an infuriating traffic jam. I should have seen this one coming!!
Then I had an idea.
With reflexes and genius that might rival James Bond or Mac Gyver, I snatched up a near empty water bottle and quickly unscrewed the cap. Then, not giving a damn if pedestrians, drivers or a bus load of nuns saw me, I squeezed my sphincter muscles even harder as I took both hands off of my steering wheel and with magician-like dexterity and speed, I undid my zipper, unceremoniously whipped out said tortured body part and inserted it in the wide mouth of the water bottle. All I can say to this day is… THANK GAWD for wide-mouthed water bottles.
Continuing to drive with my free hand, I could feel the water bottle get warm as it quickly filled. Silently, I prayed that it would not overfill, stain my pants and car and leave that oh-so-familiar fragrance of urine ammonia. That acrid smell in my car on a hot day would be the icing on the cake….. Especially, if one of my co-workers asked for a ride.
Luckily, it was a good-sized bottle and I finished with room to spare. I waited until I was at a stop light before carefully screwing the cap back on, placing the bottle upright in a drink holder, tucking away my offending member and doing up my fly. Later, I poured the yellow solution out onto the base of some nearby trees, hopefully just ‘watering’ them and not killing them. Then I gave many thanks for my dry pants.
I will not even mention other incidents such as: Having to visit the washroom several times during a first dinner date. Searching frantically throughout a busy mall for a washroom in a bladder-bursting state and finally having to use a handicap washroom. Pulling off on a busy highway to use a wooded area (and stumble across a homeless settlement full of stolen bike parts)! And, constantly having to sit in an aisle seat at concerts, movie theaters and airplanes. This was no way to live. It was starting to look like my choices were reduced to either buying men’s diapers or going for surgery.
How I Dodged The Scalpel (….and Other Painful Treatments)
If you mention any male problem, right away most people start chanting, “Prostrate! Prostrate! Prostrate!” To be sure, prostrate problems are a well-known male affliction. And, with a diagnosis of prostrate trouble ……. comes the tests. Especially, THAT test, where the doctor or medical professional rams their finger up you-know-where. Then, you get a blood test and another finger-ramming test. (Everyone seems to want a piece of that action!)
In my case, once I was 45 years old, I started getting annual finger rams to ensure that my prostrate was not enlarged.
Then when I finally dared mention that I was urinating more frequently. Well, that just opened the floodgate to more testing. Then, one year, while serving in the army reserves, a low-ranking lieutenant doctor diagnosed me with a problem prostrate or urinary problem. (Even though he had no urine or blood tests!) I was referred to a urinary surgeon with long scraggly hair and a real mean jab up my you-know-where, (of course!) I am not sure how he made such a fast conclusion from ramming his finger that hard and fast. Nor could I figure out how he never got punched for his rude intrusions. None of that mattered because I was quickly scheduled for surgery.
That is, until a friend of mine who had that same type of surgery told me how he had passed blood for 12 weeks afterwards.
Hearing this, I cancelled the operation and went to another, but higher-ranking medical doctor, a major. Right away the major was furious that anyone would send me to an operation without my consent. He checked me over without the finger jab and gave me a clean bill of health. Within a couple of months, the lieutenant doctor, who had scheduled me for surgery, mysteriously left and nothing was ever heard of the prostrate surgeon either.
Later, after a blood test, I was diagnosed as having high “prostrate specific antigens” (PSAs). These PSAs are proteins that are produced by both the healthy and cancerous prostrate gland. Fortunately, the new doctor asked me a few questions and determined that riding my bike with a hard bicycle seat to the testing clinic might have caused the higher-than-normal readings. Later, when I drove my car to the testing clinic, the PSAs were low. (How about that?) So, in this case, the high PSAs were eventually from riding my bicycle to my prostrate test that day. Sometimes a second opinion and a bit of research can save considerable cost and pain.
But “dodging the scalpel” did not do much for my ever-increasing urination frequency.
I was sick of always staying close to washrooms, getting up two or three times a night (nocturia), sometimes staining my pants and generally looking like an old man with “normal” health problems. Then I started reading about men in their 40’s who were scared to stray too far from a toilet. Really, it is not much of a life if all you are concerned about is how close you are to a urinal!!
So, I researched and self-experimented with herbs, supplements, diets, acupressure, meditation, self-hypnosis and deliberate dehydration. Finally, when I hit age 63, I found a system that took me from bathroom-tripping from over 15 times a day and two or three times each night to less than eight times per day and sleeping soundly through the night, uninterrupted from numerous bathroom visits. And, let me tell you what a relief this can be, especially with finally having more deep and uninterrupted sleep.
The methods that are shown in this book were selected because they are:
3. Designed to cure more than one cause of frequent urination.
4. Non-evasive (like surgery); and
5. Proven to work!
So, let’s learn how the urinary system works in the first place.