My Greatest Fear #34: Getting Stuck with a Full Bladder

A few years ago, I was on a flight back to St. Louis. I kind of had to go to the bathroom just before we started our descent, but I was in a good plane-coma state, so I decided to wait until we arrived to use the more spacious airport bathrooms.

Big mistake.

We ended up taxiing around the runway for at least 45 minutes. At first it was because there was another plane in the way, but later I think the pilot was simply having fun at my bladder’s expense.

It was one of those situations where my bladder really started to hurt. I could feel my temperature rising as my internal organs began to shut down. I rehearsed a speech to the flight attendant to try to convince her to let me use the bathroom, but I didn’t want to make a scene. I also contemplated peeing just a little bit, just enough to relieve the pressure, but I didn’t want to open up the waterworks.

I lived through it, obviously, but the experience scarred me. Ever since then, before I leave any place in a vehicle that I could potentially become trapped in, I go to the bathroom.

I’ve experienced this at work lately quite a bit. I’ve been working late, and often I try to fit in one more thing before leaving. I drink a lot of water, so I inevitably have to go to the bathroom, and almost every day I have the following internal dialogue before I leave:

“Okay dude, time to go. You live 5 minutes away. Let’s just get home to the cats and pee in your own toilet.”

“That sounds pretty great…but…”

“But what?”

“But what if on the way home I get in a car accident after staring at a girl in yoga pants jogging in the park? What if I’m pinned in the car? It could be hours before I have access to another toilet?”

“Come on, dude–what are the odds of that happening?”

“You never know. Today could be the day. I’ll just pee here.”

And I do. Every day.

Do you have similar concerns? Have you ever been trapped with a full bladder?

12 thoughts on “My Greatest Fear #34: Getting Stuck with a Full Bladder”

  1. a) I’m the girl in the yoga pants. And I peed before my run.

    b) I don’t call myself “dude” when I have conversations with myself.

    c) You’re a dude! You can go ANYWHERE….in a bottle, out the window, in the little map pouch on the side of the car door…..why worry that much about it when you can go anywhere?

  2. Yes, I don’t think there is anyone, as an adult, that hasn’t gone through this.

    When I worked in Retirement Planning, I traveled often; thus, the bladder hazing was common. The most memorable was when my luggage got delayed. I was stuck in whimsical Eugene, Oregon.

    I had all of my things in a carry-on that I was forced to check. And I mean everything. Oh, the tribulations of being a girl…

    Our flight there was delayed. I felt my teeth grind and clench. A bad habit that sometimes still rears its ugly head.

    I closed my eyes and took deep breaths. You would think I was about to deliver a baby. I crossed my legs.

    Then at the checkout, they tried with futility to reassure me that my bag was on its way via the next flight. I was between livid and exasperated. lol

    At the hotel, I got checked in by the manager who empathized. Luckily, they prebilled my employer but I was about…to….faint…

    “You alright, miss?”

    “Yes, do you have a bathroom on this ….floor..?

    The manager pointed and I did the discount double potty dance to the restroom.


    Then I crashed and got up about four hours later to do meetings. Luckily, my luggage awaited me.

  3. Hahaha… It has happened to me a few times, Jamey, and, long story short: I once peed in the bushes at the Gardens of Versailles. In my defense: I was dealing with gushing fountains, about a mile hike back to the palace, hundreds of people crammed inside the palace, an expensive ticket to tour the gushing fountains, and only half-an-hour left to tour the gushing fountains before they shut off. Did I mention they were gushing?

  4. I used to have a similar concern, when I was in college and my part-time job was about an hour commute from home (in hindsight, having that job was probably not the smartest idea at the time, but the perks and pay were too good to pass up, even with the awful drive).

    Nearly every night before heading home, I’d have an internal debate on whether to finish off the giant sweet tea from earlier and risk the drive with a full bladder (and the possibility of getting stuck in traffic– oh the horror of that thought) or just toss my drink and be able to drive home without any fear of possibly damaging my kidneys or other organs. Most nights, I made the right call and drove home a little parched, but I definitely had my share of close calls and probably stopped at most of the gas stations between there and home during that time.

  5. I know this is an old blog, but when I was little, my parents used to remind us to go to the bathroom before we left…and of one of us had to go while we were driving, the phrase “you should’ve went before you got in the car, ” was always said with varying degrees of irritation and amplitude behind it, depending on the surrounding circumstances. That sunk in and I’ve always hit up the head right before going into any circumstance where I may be stuck away from a rest room for any real amount of time. I think it’s a good “be prepared” practice and also a good thing to drill into your children’s heads…if you have kids and they have heads…if you have headless children, you have more to worry about than whether you OR they have to tinkle…

  6. I had to have an ultra sound on my bladder once, and had to have a totally full bladder. SOOO uncomfortable! It was really painful. And I’m female so I didn’t have any options. Finally I went in for the test, and the guy running the test said he’d never seen such a full one, and to go to the bathroom to pee a little. It was hard not to open the flood gates. But now I have a fear of having to hold a full bladder.
    I know it’s not rational, I know I do it for at least part of every night, but the idea freaks me out. It may have something to do with the fact my Dad on car trips used to wait until I was squirming in my seat until he would stop (my mom and I both have small bladders, I guess). So yeah, I totally get your fear. I have a test next week where they said they have to measure my bladder’s intake, a catheter is involved, and I’m a bit freaked. It’s at 10:30am, so I don’t know if I an pee when I wake up or not, they didn’t tell me. But first thing in the AM, peeing is not an option. Guess I’ll have to chug some iced tea or something. I don’t know if there’s a name for fear of not being able to plea or having a full bladder. But it sucks.

  7. yes once 10 years ago when I was very dumb I got arrested for dui, me and my buddies had been out drinking at another friends who lived 6hours away, ,and I was the one to drive back since I had had the least to drink, we didn’t stop the whole time, we were like almost to my place when I got stopped on the highway, I had to piss so bad I felt like I was going to explode, the officer would not let me go on the side of the empty highway , two hours later after the booking process was complete he lead me into a holding cell ,there was another guy in there but I didn’t care,I walked up to the toilet, and took the longest piss of my life, that was the last time I got arrested, and the last time I drank and drove, but let me tell you that piss is still burned in my memory


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