Tuesday, October 7, 2014

God's Sense of Humor

Having to pee in a cup has always been a challenge for me. Men just don't pee on demand like women can. We also don't hold it on demand either. So there is a very short window of opportunity for me and a urine analysis. I'm reminded of the time in 1971 while going through out processing trying to leave Vietnam. The US Military had instituted a policy that required all returning service personnel to have a drug urine test prior to going home. In my case, we first traveled to one of three out processing centers know as transit centers. Typically you stayed there anywhere from one day to one week, depending on how many solders were being processed in or out. I left RVN in September 1971 when a large withdrawal of troops was beginning so it took me about 3 days in the transit area before my flight manifest was assigned.

So the very first thing you do upon arrival at the transit center is go into a large latrine area for the urine sample to be collected. Mind you, this is no simple urine analysis procedure. Far from it! Peeing on demand while standing at a large urinal that resembles a horse feeding trough with guys on either side of you doing the same thing and with MP's standing above you on guard platforms holding M-16 rifles while watching you carefully is not the best way for me to pee in the cup. The pressure of knowing that if you can't pee, you can't leave Vietnam is unbelievable. And so it was as I stood there for what seemed like an hour doing everything possible trying to make it happen and I'm dry as a bone. Mentally I'm writing the letter to my parents and Janine telling them I may be delayed a day or two longer because I can't pee in the cup. 

The whole reason you are watched so carefully while doing this nasty task is so that you can't swap your "sample" with someone else's, thus avoiding drug detection in your system. I didn't do drugs, I just couldn't pee on demand. Still can't!

So it is with God's great sense of humor that I offer this story. Throughout my entire ordeal since January 2014, I have never been required to give a "sample" for urine analysis. That changed last Friday and yesterday. One of his angels in medical scrubs hands me the bio-hazardous baggy with the infamous little cup inside and instructed me where the bathroom was located. I told her I do not like surprises especially when it comes to my being required to pee on demand. You see this is not easy for me. So I tell her about the Vietnam thing and figure she will have sympathy on an old sick veteran. She didn't even know where Vietnam was nor that we ever fought a war there.

Luckily, I had forgone my urge to go about 30 minutes prior to getting to her area of the clinic. Equally as fortunate for me was that I had consumed some Gatorade earlier as well. So this time I made it without too much trouble. I was however a bit concerned that my output was not enough for their lab to use, but I gave it my all. I wonder if that is why they made me do it all over again the following day (yesterday). 

God smiles in mysterious ways!

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