Thursday, May 13, 2010
Mr T's Dilemma
Mr T is one of those men that will suffer through random bouts of pain if it means he can avoid going to the doctor. As long as the pain subsides occasionally he’ll soldier through it, because it’s easier to cope with than hearing a medical professional tell him that his blood pressure is too high, his cholesterol levels are worrying and he needs to lose weight.
I have since clued our doctor up on Mr T’s procrastination when it comes to his own health, so when I do get him there, the doctor orders a battery of tests. This presents me with the next challenge – getting Mr T to the pathology rooms.
After four months of further procrastination by Mr T, I tricked him into committing a morning to his blood tests. He thought I was asking for help with the kids; the realisation that I had tricked him reminded him that he had married a woman that wasn’t worried about bending the truth if it meant her husband would take better care of himself. Unfortunately for Mr T, and unbeknownst to me, the doctor had ordered a new test that he’d not had before – the 24-hour urine test.
When Mr T returned home from the pathology rooms, he walked in the front door with a wad of cotton wool stuck to his arm, a ‘why me’ look on his face, and a large plastic shopping bag in his hand.
‘What’s that?’ I asked as I looked at the large pathology emblem plastered on the side of the bag.
Mr T sighed, pulled an empty, 4-litre, plastic bottle out of the bag and said, ‘I have to pee in it.’
He looked miserable, so being the compassionate wife I am, I laughed long and hard, and then proceeded to tell Uni Student about Mr T’s dilemma. She tried to stifle her amusement for a couple of seconds, which was much more restraint than I’d shown. As soon as we stopped laughing, Uni Student’s boyfriend (USB) walked through the door, so we filled him in on the joke. He was his usual polite self and didn’t laugh. He even tried to make Mr T feel better by telling him that USB’s mother had performed the test several times in the past. And that was the end of Uni Student’s and my fun … or was it?
Mr T had to spend twenty-four hours filling his 4-litre bottle with urine. It wasn’t the amount of urine or how long he had to use the bottle for that worried him. It was walking back into a crowded, pathology waiting room with a massive bottle of urine. Pathology waiting rooms aren’t always crowded, but they are when you have a very large, transparent bottle of urine in your hand.
Maintaining a compassionate demeanour while injecting humour into the situation isn’t easy. Determined to make Mr T feel better, I made a few suggestions.
‘I could take bets on how full the bottle is at the end of twenty-four hours.’
Mr T frowned.
‘I could document it with the new video camera!’
Mr T growled.
Sometimes he needs a little encouragement to laugh at himself, so while he was at work I started documenting with the video camera. He’d come around to the idea … eventually … I think.
I soon discovered that it’s not easy coming up with witty things to say about an empty, 4-litre, urine bottle, so I enlisted the help of Boywonder.
‘This is the bottle Daddy has to pee in for twenty-four hours. Do you think he’ll fill it?’ I asked.
‘Yes! Can I pee in it too?’ replied Boywonder.
What boy doesn’t want to share experiences with his dad?! Of course I said no.
When gently telling Mr T about the first instalment in the urine bottle documentary, he announced the idea of his four-year-old son helping fill the bottle as brilliant; healthy young urine would dilute any evil results present in Mr T’s.
My other challenge was ensuring Mr T always used the one toilet that had his wee bottle in it (we have three toilets in our home), so I stuck a note that said, ‘wee wee in bottle’ on the door of the other two toilets. He didn’t find this very amusing either, but I documented it as well (for the sake of posterity).
I’m proud to say that Mr T did very well and toddled off the next morning with his bottle more than half full! Fortunately for us (unfortunately for him), we get to repeat it all again in six months time. Well, he does, we just get to think up new urine bottle jokes.
And the results? – Mr T’s blood pressure is good, but he does need to lose a little weight to help lower his cholesterol. As for the documentary, I saw a smile playing about Mr T’s mouth as he watched The Wee Wee Challenge so I’ve declared it a smiling success.