Friday, August 23, 2013

When You Gotta Go

by Mare Ball 

I'm a mom to three children, but the mom-ness in my life I'm most in tune with these days is caring for my own mom.  She's 93, hard of hearing, and has a bit of dementia, but she gets around very well on her walker.  She's a tiny thing, but still holds her place as the stoic matriarch in our family.

My parents last year

Recently, Mom was called back to the Veteran's Affairs clinic (Mom served in the Navy for two years) for a second urine test.  Her doctor wanted a second sample, because the first one was problematic, so we again drove the half hour to the clinic.

Once seated on the toilet, Mom couldn' know.

I said, "Mom, let's go get some hot tea, that should help."   So, we wheeled down to the Canteen with her urine cup and sipped hot tea for twenty minutes.  Went back to the bathroom and tried again.  I ran the water in the sink, just like I used to for my kids when they were toilet training.  No luck.

I suggested we sit in the waiting room and read for a while.  We wheeled back to the crowded waiting room and settled into two cushioned chairs.  As I perused the latest issue of Time magazine, Mom fell asleep.

The tea ran through me, and I hit the restroom.  I was back in my chair, halfway through an article on Duck Dynasty, when Mom woke up.   She looked around, refreshing her memory. 

"Shall we try again?" I whispered to her. 

We scooted into the restroom for the third time.  After a few minutes, Mom's bladder cooperated. Happy campers, we began our slow roll back to the car.  Two hours at the VA to pee. 

On the way home, Mom apologized for wasting my morning.

"Hey, it's OK," I said  "It's not your fault.  When the doc wants a urine sample, you gotta go."

Quick as a whip, Mom replied, "And sometimes you can't go."

Boy, did we laugh.

Of course, as soon as we arrived home, Mom had to rush the bathroom.



  1. I had moments like that with my grandpa last summer. It's amazing how in a hurry we are until someone we love needs us and then suddenly the rest of the world doesn't matter. We only see the other persons needs and everything else melts away. And in those moments we can be truly happy, while doing something so mundane like trying to fill a urine cup!

  2. Yep. I pray daily that I can be available when needed. :-)

  3. It is amazing how tricky it can be to pee on command like that; I hate when they ask for pee samples from my kids as they usually just have barely gone since we always go before we leave the house.

  4. I enjoyed this post, and had a giggle as well.....

  5. Oh my gosh - the fact that you made this so funny & charming, you are an awesome writer. And I love the Duck Dynasty reference (Joe's latest fav that I am now addicted to as well).



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