To Pee or Not to
Pee, That is the Question
by Jerry Guarino
Tom was grudgingly fighting
his way through senior citizenship. Besides
innumerable doctor visits and consultations, he
had developed diabetes and kidney stones.
Diabetes control meant he couldnt partake
in the number of cakes and donuts (not to mention
candy) he craved, but he was only partly adherent
to his doctors orders to cut down on carbs.
He took care of the high glucose numbers with
medication and insulin.
Removing kidney stones was another matter and
particularly painful. Several trips to the
emergency room and countless hours of pain were
followed by an invasive operation to remove five
large stones just last year. But now he had been
kidney stone free, largely to changes in diet (did
you know that chocolate, peanuts, spinach and
black tea lead to kidney stones?), but giving up
chocolate and his daily cups of Earl Grey was
very hard. Damn oxalate.
Today, he was fairly healthy. He exercised sixty
to ninety minutes each day, avoided alcohol and
drugs and drank plenty of water. He had to drink
four liters of water every day to keep his
glucose levels down and to avoid the kidney
stones. But thats where this problem began.
Have you ever drunk four liters (thats a
gallon) of water in a day? Pro athletes do it in
the course of strenuous workouts, but their
bodies are not like a 68-year-old; the water just
promotes good health for them, but not for Tom.
He remembered his school days when drinking a
large bottle of Gatorade after soccer or track
was just the beginning of a long day of water
So now, in spite of being kidney stone free and
managing his diabetes, he was having to go to the
bathroom about every ninety minutes, day and
night! Getting up once or twice a night is bad
enough, but five to six times? Hence the dilemma.
If he drastically reduced the amount of water he
consumed, he would have to get up less at night,
but that might lead to higher blood glucose and
perhaps kidney stones. Not to mention what this
did to his sleep patterns. It was good that he
was retired, not having to go to work.
He tried Melatonin, but that only increased lucid
dreams (some very strange, some very nice) and
made him groggy the next day. He tried (and
failed) to give up carbs, particularly chocolate
cupcakes and Boston Crème Donuts (he was from
Boston after all and you cant swing a dead
cat in Boston without hitting a Dunkin Donuts
So, whats an old man to do? Well, Tom
decided increased prayer and church attendance
was his only solution. If he was on his way out,
at least he wasnt going carb free (thats
worse than death). He left instructions for his
wife about a funeral reception.
Chocolate cupcakes and Earl Grey Tea for everyone!