I’m a t-girl who’s not very happy with the effect that hormones had on me during puberty, so I’m trying to undo some of the effects now, by taking feminizing hormones.
I’ve been prescribed 200mg of Spironolactone per day. That seems to be working well for me. However, this substance is a diuretic, and so is the coffee of which I drink five or six cups per day.
It takes a conscious effort to stay hydrated. A couple of days ago, I needed to move one of my businesses from one location to another by the end of the month, and I’d messed up the timing. On the last day, things were a mad rush. I worked all night, and I neglected to drink enough water.
At about 6 a.m. or so, when the work was done, I saw a scaly hand on the table and asked my assistant who’d let the lizard in here. Oh, wait, that’s not a lizard, that’s my own hand. Wow, does lack of water make one’s skin look messed up. Eww.
My assistant, a wise girl who’d been in the Army and knew much about staying hydrated, pinched the back of her hand. We saw the skin straighten out as soon as she released the pinch. Then, she pinched my hand, and the skin stayed in position for a long time. Conclusion: I was severely dehydrated.
I read somewhere that there is much overblown hysteria about the chemicals of which foods consist. Some or other person in a white lab coat feeds to some lab rat the equivalent of (in human terms) two thousand cans of soda per day, or some crazy number like that, and lo and behold, in several years of rat’s life, the rat develops cancer and dies. Since so many people get taken in by that sort of thing, pretty soon there’s someone clueless lobbying an even more clueless elected official to ban the substance.
By that standard we should lobby to ban all drinking water, because drinking plain old water, whether it’s tap water or water from a fancy store-bought bottle, can kill a person if too much water is taken in too quickly. To quote Wikipedia, “Water intoxication, also known as water poisoning or dilutional hyponatremia, is a potentially fatal disturbance in brain functions that results when the normal balance of electrolytes in the body is pushed outside safe limits by overhydration.”
And so, a good fix for me would NOT be to sit down and suddenly chug massive amounts of water. I needed to pace myself. So, I drank some water and then went to bed, having been up all night.
The next day, I drank much more water than I normally would, and I inspected the effects of that on the plumbing. “Pee pale” is a good guideline, as in, if your pee is a pale yellow color or even lighter, then congratulations, you’re sufficiently hydrated. And so during the entire day, I was still not sufficiently hydrated, even though I gradually drank more and more water. Even though I was enthused to be sufficiently hydrated again, I was also actively pacing myself because I didn’t want to overdo it.
Again quoting Wikipedia: “Water intoxication can be prevented if a person’s intake of water does not grossly exceed their losses.Healthy kidneys are able to excrete approximately 0.8 to 1 litre of fluid water (0.21 – 0.26 gallons) per hour. However, stress (from prolonged physical exertion), as well as disease states, can greatly reduce this amount.”
In spite of my efforts, I was still dehydrated by the time I went to bed the next night, and fairly perplexed besides.
That helps me keep track of things and as long as I pass by my kitchen area now and then, I can keep getting reminded that perhaps it’s time to drink one more bottle of water, or perhaps it’s not time yet. There being a clock on the nearby wall helps the process along nicely.
As the morning progressed, I drank four sixteen-ounce bottles of water plus two 16-oz cups of coffee plus one large 16-oz cup of vegetable juice. And, none of this inspired me to go wander into the bathroom to tinkle. Wow, where was all this water going to? I must have been really severely dehydrated still, and there was much catch-up to do. Finally, things got back to normal. A skin-pinch test confirmed this … the skin snapped right back after the pinch was released. Better.
Moral of the story: once things get out of control it can take a while to get them back under control, so better to manage the process well, preemptively. Note to self: stay hydrated.