The Princess and the Pee

There were three things rolling around in my “Personal Belongings” plastic drawstring bag – one “hat” that is used to measure output, and two tall brown jugs with screw-on lids and my name on them. It was time to collect my pee.

The jugs were about 4.5 inches wide and 4.5 inches deep but a whopping 12 inches tall, which meant that in order to fit in my half sized refrigerator, a shelf had to come out. I made sure that I set everything up on an empty bladder so I didn’t have to scramble to do it later. I rearranged my fridge and put the jugs on the top shelf so that they would already be cold, ready for the first deposit. I very loosely screwed the caps on. I got the box of green latex gloves out of my medical supplies and sat them next to the toilet; I was not going to be transporting the collected goodies with my bare hands. I put the “hat” under the seat.

Luckily The Saint Paul had a good sense of humor about the whole situation too. He was on cooler duty for me; I sent him a picture of the one I thought would fit the jugs and he picked it up on the way to my apartment after work. However, when we tried to fit the jugs, they were just about 3/4″ too big, so I had to send him back out for a bigger cooler (that I could still carry by myself while also using a cane). I thought I would only have room in my freezer for a 5-pound bag of ice and so that is what he came back with for me.

Bright and early the next morning I started drinking water.

As luck would have it, I had plans to see someone that evening whom I hadn’t seen in at least 13 years who just happened to be in the city because of a work obligation. When you get an opportunity, you do everything you can to take advantage of it! This friend was going to be only blocks from my now deceased dad’s and uncle’s hair salon (still owned by their good friend), so I thought, “Hell, I’m going to get some wigs cut too.” I managed to get a short bus for 3:45 pm to take me to the salon, and to pick me up and take me home at 10 pm, so that meant that I could only pee from 7 am to 3:40 pm, and about 10:30 pm to 6:45 the next morning. It’s a good thing I’m a planner. It’s also a good thing I have the bladder of steel. I told my friend I’d see her at a certain time and that I couldn’t pee while we were out (without offering an explanation).

I did pretty well. I took in about 80 ounces of water between 7 am and 2 pm, and managed to get a bunch of samples before my bus rolled up at 3:45. However, I did hit a few snags. First, the “hat” didn’t sit well under the seat – I almost completely lost the biggest collection and I had to jump up midstream and pull half of the container up from out of the toilet. It wasn’t dunked in the toilet water but I did manage to get both hands wet, and was so grossed out that I had to do a surgeon’s scrub before I could finish peeing, but I had to do it really quickly because I hadn’t been able to wipe my booty so I had to kind of stand bow-legged and squat like a cowgirl who had been riding the trail for days so my legs didn’t also get drenched (thank goodness for theĀ bidet). Second, the “hat” didn’t have a very big pour spout, so when I went to the fridge to transfer my drop to the jug, I had to pour very, very slowly. I had a lot of time to contemplate my urine. I remember thinking, “Man, that smells really fruity. Why does it smell really fruity? I’m not even borderline diabetic.”

Another thought: “There are some FetLife men who would mourn the loss of this tasty liquid.” Another thought: “Replace ‘tasty’ with ‘nasty.'”

I managed to not use the bathroom once between 3:45 pm and 10:30 pm, so no samples were sacrificed in the name of reconnecting with old friends. Everything went into those jugs.

I only ended up filling up one of the jugs with my samples, and my special instructions were to bring the sample packed in a bag of ice packed in a container of ice to the hospital. However, since this cooler was much, much bigger than the one that was only slightly too small, I had to improvise when I realized the ice only reached the bottom 2 inches of the cooler when it spread out. I knew I only had minutes before the cab showed up to transport me to the hospital, so I started grabbing the nearest things – throw pillows from my couch to fill the large spaces. I stuffed those around the pee jug in a bag, then poured the ice in. There was still space not covered in ice. What to do? I had an old bag of nearly petrified cut rhubarb in the freezer that I thought was going to be used for custard bars (seriously, make these rhubarb custard bars), so that was thrown on top. Perfect.

I got to the M Health building at the U of MN hobbling with my cane in my right hand and this cooler big enough to fit a small man on my left (bad) shoulder and slowly made my way to the lab. When I got to the front desk, I notified the clerk that I had a temperature-sensitive sample, so she asked me to follow her to the back area with the phlebotomists so they could accept it and log it. The woman who ultimately took it was flustered and momentarily angry when she saw my throw pillows – she assumed that I had forgotten the ice part. I grabbed the rhubarb off of the top and threw it in the trash and she took the cooler to the back to pass it along to the technicians.

While I was waiting for my cooler to reappear, the clerk and I realized that another cooler that was sitting there was leaking water all over the floor. She opened it and it contained another pee jug. I was surprised to see it laying sideways completely submerged in water – I guess they had complete confidence that the screw top was a tight seal and there would be no transference either in or out? Either way, the clerk and I started working on mopping the floor up with paper towels. Of course, I did another surgeon’s scrub at the sink immediately afterward. If I’m not okay with getting my pee all over my hands, I’m not crazy about Stranger Danger’s either.

There is a distinct possibility that I will have to repeat this test a few more times. If so, I will be more prepared – more ice, less rhubarb!

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Stick It Where The Sun Don’t Shine

I rarely count myself lucky to have an alphabet of ailments, but this is one of those times – namely because I was offered the opportunity to try the Luxe Bidet Neo 185 in exchange for a fair and objective review for you, dear readers, through the Chronic Illness Bloggers network. As per the usual, please know that even though the product was a gift, all the opinions in this review are my own and I was in no way influenced by the company. I’m going to tell you that you can look away if you don’t poop, but since you and I both know you do, you might as well keep reading.

I B.S. you not, I suffer from some crazy IBS – irritable bowel syndrome. Sometimes I’m on a dead run from my bed to my toilet, which is a whole ten steps, because my bowels have decided they want to release the Kraken…again…for the fourth time in five hours. There are times when I have wished I could hose myself down after every episode. There are times toilet paper has felt like rows of shark teeth because I’m wiping my poor abused bottom for the umpteenth time. I think I responded within 30 seconds of this being offered to our group because I was wishing for it and it suddenly appeared.
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I am confident with putting mechanical stuff together, but not so much plumbing (though I did once take apart my kitchen sink in Phoenix). I talked my step-dad into installing this gadget when he was in town on babysitting duty with my mom for my nephews one weekend. We put a bucket under the water line after we turned off the water during the transition, which I strongly recommend you do as well. He asked me to note in the review that he wished that the part connecting the water lines was metal rather than plastic. In fact, this entire unit is plastic with the exception of the water line, probably to keep costs contained. It took him about 5-10 minutes to get everything set up correctly.
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Now for the good stuff! Wait, wait – I live in a really old building dating from approximately 1910, and who knows how old the toilet is (I didn’t look at the lid for a date), so just know that I thoroughly cleaned the toilet before photos. I take no responsibility for decades of filth and disrepair from previous tenants. It even looks like some half-wit tried to flush grout at some point, but there’s not much I can do about that. Onward ho.

When I told my step-dad that I would be including pictures with this review, he squealed with laughter. I think he was disappointed when I sternly said I wouldn’t be posting those pictures. But then he squealed again when we discussed the fact that the water was coming directly from the pipes without being heated first.

So here’s the logistics: I’ve included a copy of the card with the instructions because I had to read them a few times myself first before using the Luxe Bidet Neo 185. It can be a little intimidating to have something pressure washing an area that only a few boyfriends and GI doctors have had intimate knowledge of. After the first few tries, you shouldn’t need a queue card.
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Basically, the “second nozzle” in this scenario refers to whether or not you are a girl person and your parts are located in an area that would benefit from a nozzle that reaches forward further than the other one taking care of the brick layer.

For my first sit-down, I was a little scared. I knew that water would be chilly. There was a good chance my apartment neighbors would hear me whooping and hollering from the startling freeze-out of my back door. I’ve been trying to think of the best way of describing it, and all I can come up with is that it feels like someone is trying to suddenly and quickly stuff freezing cold cotton balls up my keister – maybe Lucille Ball or Carol Burnett were somehow acting out a skit with my hiney as the punchline?? All I can say is that you just need to rip the band-aid off and get through the initial try, because you’ll get used to it.

As far as the “second nozzle” and girlhood goes, I found that if I sit upright, it doesn’t do me much good. However, if I lean forward, then more of my bits get cleaned – but again, with the shockingly cold water.

Look, this does the job. I really have gotten away from using those demon “flushable” wipes. They have been deceptive with their marketing. Entire communities are becoming backed up because Charmin and Cottonelle and their knockoff competitors have created these heavily perfumed wipes that don’t actually disintegrate when they’re flushed; besides that, your parts don’t fare well with all of that perfume hanging out on your bits. I am trying not to be that person in my very old building who clogs up the pipes (though I have managed to collect everyone else’s hairballs in my sinks and tubs and plumbers have made numerous visits here). I have sent these wipes packing like ex-boyfriends that I have also grossly misjudged.

Back to the bidet. Here is what it looks like with the lid closed:
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The device is actually installed so it is attached between the bowl and the seat so it stays secured:
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As promised, I did not take pics of the bidet in action on my tushie, but I did take pics of the “nozzle cleaning” mode:
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(Where the bubbles appear in the bowl is where the water is shooting out of the water feed, presumably so the nozzles can have “debris” power washed out.)

If you are interested in purchasing this product, it is offered where anything in the universe is offered, on Amazon (and don’t forget to select your favorite charity through smile.amazon.com so that a certain percentage of your purchase is donated by the company every time): http://www.amazon.com/dp/B00P2XZDGG

You can also go directly to their website for any product information: http://luxebidet.com/

I have to say that I will be trying to hang onto this product for as long as I can.