Call me Chris.


I had more tests done at the doctor over the last week. I still don’t have a definitive answer on whatever has racked my body this last year. We keep eliminating non-answers, which is part of the process of finding the answer.

I’m grateful for my supportive wife and daughter. They have been patient and funny throughout the process. It helps me to keep everything in perspective. They keep me humble too. I need that—else, I might get too big for my britches, as my mother would say.

The humbling experience this weekend was the 24-hour urine volume test. For the uninitiated, you are handed a three-liter jug in a brown paper bag from the lab section of your hospital. They give specific instructions on how to collect and store the specimen. Yes, I had a jug full of urine stored in my refrigerator over the weekend.

Actually, I had more than one jug. I filled the provided container by 9 pm. But, let me back up and tell you the whole story.

Friday’s appointment was another in a series of appointments over the last year. We were discussing the ongoing fatigue, excessive thirst, and excessive urination. Given everything we’ve tried, the doctor sort of threw up his hands as if to say he was out of ideas. To be fair, my doctor is a good guy. He’s relatable, understanding, and willing to listen. I think there is a nuanced difference between being understanding and being willing to listen. I know plenty of people who have empathy but won’t listen to ideas that aren’t their own.

My doctor suggested he wanted to investigate diabetes insipidus, telling me he needed to reach out to an endocrinologist. I smiled and nodded, waiting as the diagnosis game demands. The doctor came back in and explained the tests we would run. I would need to urinate in a cup before I left the clinic that day. (That particular experience is something I’ve gotten familiar with over the last year.)

The doctor also told me a bit about what to expect from the 24-hour urine test. Mind you, this is the same doctor who ordered me a full-body CT scan (the kind where they fill you full of contrast dye and your private parts tingle from the chemicals), and my personal favorite, the stool sample test (you get to carry a metal bedpan to the public restroom at the clinic and everybody knows what it’s for).

Back to lab tech and the orange jug; she instructed me to wake up in the morning, relieve myself, and then collect all of the urine specimens for the next twenty-four hours, including the following morning. As I said, I filled the three-liter jug in about fourteen hours. At that point, I had to empty, wash, and sterilize an orange juice jug to collect the rest. As if urinating in a medical pitcher all day wasn’t enough, the process of finding another container to carry to the doctor’s office on Monday morning offered another level of “adulting.”

Getting older sucks. We all know it. Only after we’ve started down the path do we realize the fleeting gift of youth. Don’t worry about me, though. I was able to find humor in the experience. Each time I exited my bathroom, I yelled out for my wife and daughter to come and get the freshly squeezed lemonade. Gross, right?

By the third time, they’d heard enough of the joke. They let me keep at it, though. Long story short, I have polyuria and a consult with an endocrinologist in a couple of weeks. Time will tell where all of this leads. I hope you’ve enjoyed this lighthearted story at my expense.

As always, this has been the World According to Chris. Please hit the like button or leave a reply.

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