Living Retired — ‘To Pee or Not To Pee’
By Gary Chalk
As baby boomers age we contend with important issues such as keeping tabs on our finances, monitoring our blood pressure and cholesterol levels, and, for men, deciding whether getting up during the night to pee is worth it. Here is what I mean…
It is 3 o’clock in the middle of the night. I wake up and have to go to the bathroom. I can either get up and go to the bathroom, or I can remain nice and cozy beneath the duvet and try to ‘hold it’ for as long as possible.
Fifteen minutes later…
Jan complains, “Gary, can you please stop tossing around so much? You woke me up and now I can’t get back to sleep. I cannot get my mind off whether we should replace the kitchen backsplash. What do you think?”
“Backsplash! Jan, the only splash on my mind right now is in the toilet! I have to pee. But if I get up, I will trip over the decorator pillows scattered on the bedroom floor. It comes down to would you rather wake up to me tossing and turning, or me laying on the floor swearing?”
Later, I Googled ‘pee problems’ and a plethora of pee problems popped up.
I discovered the medical term doctors use is nocturia: a condition in which you wake up during the night because you have to pee. Guys my age call it “I have to go. I can’t wait.”
A group of my friends were at a pub recently. As soon as we ordered our nachos, nocturia set in and the exodus was underway. First it was Paul, “Hold the fort. I have to go to the bathroom.”
Then it was Gil. “Well if you’re going Paul I may as well join you.”
Soon, it was Pete’s time after a few pints of pilsner.
Everyone’s full bladders meant that our table was half full. Finally, I thought I’d speak up about our bursting bladders but my plan changed on a dime. “Guys wait a minute I’ll be right back.”
I read a CBC News article ‘Forget About The 8 Glasses of Water Per Day Rule.’ The reporter interviewed Dr. Jane Thornton who is a sports physician AND a former rower. To my thinking a medical expert who also has firsthand experience on water is just the authority guys my age should pay attention to when it comes to water consumption — and water expulsion during the night! If Dr. Thornton also had insight into tripping over decorator pillows scattered on bedroom floors in the middle of the night she would have hit the trifecta!
Dr. Thornton said, “We should drink according to thirst.” I interpret this as meaning we should have a drink when we are thirsty — which for middle-age beer drinking men is often, very often. For European soccer fans — they are born thirsty!
Also interviewed for the CBC story was Professor Stephon Cheung. He said to remain hydrated we don’t need to over-complicate things. This makes sense to me. This is why beer is sold in bottles with easy-twist tops and cans with simple snap tops!
Professor Cheung also said that one of the biggest myths about hydration is that we don’t need to be constantly drinking. I’m sure teetotalers agree, beer drinkers not so much.
Getting into bed last night Jan said, “Gary, I think sometimes you really don’t need to go to the bathroom. It is that expression mind over matter.”
“No Jan. For my friends and me it is mind over bladder.”
Living Retired is written by humour columnist Gary Chalk
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