Sunday, May 18, 2003

Fun with bladders

Whatever would we do about bladders? You just asked yourself that very question a few minutes ago, right?

There are various bladders in the human body, but the one that most of us think of is probably the urinary bladder. Especially if you're a woman - that short pathway between it and the outside doesn't provide much protection, so you're more prone to have infections or irritations.

Even so, it can be tricky to catheterize you women - germs can find their way in but your nurse might not. I'm told that the secret is to ask the patient to cough.

How big is the average bladder? My buddy Zorba from college had one that was exactly 12 ounces - one can of beer, one trip to the john. Apparently he's not as odd as we all thought at the time - estimates vary, but allegedly the average bladder holds about 17-18 ounces. The "urge" shows up a lot sooner than that though.

Need to make sure you wake up on time? Drink about a pint of something before you go to bed. That seems to limit me to about 4 hours of sleep tops. I know - thank you for sharing.

Some people have "bashful bladders". Of course there's a five dollar word for this - "avoidant paruresis". It even has its own website.

I'm not sure where, but I thought I read this in the late Alex Haley's now-discredited book "Roots". It seems that for entertainment, the slaves would take bladders from slaughtered animals and heat them over a fire until they popped. May you never get so bored.

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