Thursday, October 16, 2008

You thought nosebleeds were bad...

Ok, so you are learning why I am so messed up. Well I think I have pinned it down to a couple trivial, yet traumatic events in my childhood. Chronic nosebleeds, hay fever and 4 older brothers dented my psyche, but the following put me over the top.

It may be TMI, and I apologize, but I used to pee the bed until I was about 10 years old. I just played hard and slept extremely sound. First let me tell you that my mother (God rest her soul) tried every trick in the book to get me to stop wetting the bed. Liquid restriction, making sure to go to the bathroom before I went to bed and everything else she read or learned about did not help. This was in the era of not having a washer and dryer in the house, so my mom had to pack the laundry in the car and take it to the laundromat. This was before the time of socially acceptable kiddie diapers and sensitive family members.

Towards the end of the experience, she invented the "no pee bed party". She would put a red star on the calendar every day I did not wet the bed, and a yellow star (unfortunately) if I did. If I made it 7 days without wetting the bed, we would have (in theory) a small party with cake, etc. My brothers got to participate if I made it 7 days, so at 3 or 4 days they would start pressuring me so they could have cake too. Well to tell you the truth, I don't remember ever having a no pee bed party, I think the humiliation I went through is partially blocking my memory..

It was not the bedwetting that was traumatic, but treatment for the malady in the 1960's that was almost abuse. I remember my parents read about some breakthrough treatment for bedwetting, and invited over the salesman. We all sat down at the kitchen table and I remember how he said that it was unfortunate that "I could not have a sleepover at Johnny's house", and this new treatment would cure me in months.

It consisted of 2 aluminum window screens, each covered by a pillow case. A wire from each screen ran to a bedside bell with a loud buzzer, flashing red light and a switch to turn the unit off and on. The patient (me) was required to sleep naked on the 2 screens. When I started to pee the bed, the liquid would make an electrical connection between the screens and set off the buzzer and flashing light. I had to get up and turn off the unit, go into the bathroom (naked of course), splash my face with water to wake me up, and use the bathroom. I then had to go back to the bedroom, change the pillow cases and reset the machine.

I vividly remember 1 event. I was having my accident and the buzzer went off. I got up, turned off the machine, and made my way to the bathroom. When I splashed the water in my face, it woke me up enough to realize that there were strange faces in the living room I just walked through naked. It was my older sister and 3 of her girlfriends having a sleepover and watching tv. So I had to don a towel and walk back past them to get to get to my bedroom. And I was sure that my sister had to explain to them what the buzzer was and the flashing light. I made the humiliating journey amidst the snickers without making eye contact and changed the pillow cases and went back to bed.

Within 2 months of using the machine, I was cured, if that is what you want to call it. I no longer wet the bed, but until this day, even the slightest noise while I am sleeping will wake me. Not to mention I cannot even have the slightest urge to urinate and try to sleep. So I don't know how it works, I would have grown out of it eventually I guess, and in this case the cure was almost as bad as the affliction. But not according to my mom, the damn thing cost like $1000 in 1971.

So please treat this post as informational and theraputic if a family member has the same problem. I am just glad it is all over becase according to "We work with your family to change this unhealthy deep-sleep pattern that underlies all bedwetting. We also increase the small bladder capacity and teach you how to strengthen and sensitize the sphincter muscle".

Maybe I didn't have it so bad...

1 comment:

One Reader said...

Holy Crap $1000 in '71?!? Dude, I am glad I am a girl. Guys have a rough time of it when it comes to night time urination. Sorry Dude.