“How dry I am. How wet I’ll be, if I don’t find a place to pee.”

I can actually get away with putting this little ditty in a family newspaper in the 21st Century, but it caused my old friend and legendary Blair Branch resident, the late Truman Caudill, some painful, if temporary, trouble in the fall of 1957.

I was in third grade and Truman was in fifth when our respective classes, along with the fourth graders, shared the “middle room” at Letcher County’s, Blair Branch Grade School, that year.

Our teacher considered “pee” to be a “dirty word.” Anyone caught using a dirty word was, immediately, subjected to five licks with her paddle, which she called her “Board of Education.” Suffice to say that Truman was well acquainted and met frequently with the Board.

In this particular episode, it was about 10 minutes before afternoon recess. Truman stuck his hand up and, when finally called upon, sang his version of the aforementioned ditty. I’m reasonably sure that he was attempting to get recess started early. It was not the first, nor would it even be close to the last, time that one of Truman’s attempts to thwart academic endeavor failed to go as planned.

Recess still had to wait 10 more minutes and there was no visible evidence that Truman wet his pants while he encountered the “Board of Education” and waited to make a trip to the boy’s outdoor toilet. In fact, it’s doubtful that he was in any real hurry to get there.

Okay, I’m off the point, but surely you know that’s par for the course in this column.

The point here is that that, over the last few years, I find myself waking up several times each night humming Truman Caudill’s rendition of “How dry I am, etc”.

Until very recently, March 12 to be exact, I would after most any midnight hour wake up humming Truman’s ditty head to the head and sit there for half an hour or longer waiting for my prostate to let go of my bladder. When it finally dribbled out about a shot glass-full at, say 2 a.m., I’d go back to bed and soon be humming, back along with Truman, when he woke me up again some two hours later.

Sometimes, just to mix the playlist up a bit I will find myself humming “Rock around the clock tonight” or “In my midnight confessions” or, even, “It’s all over but the crying.”

Having to get up and go, every couple of hours, was bad enough. Getting into the starting gate and refusing to budge, when it opened, was excruciating.

Since the middle of 2016, I have complained about this condition to at least half a dozen doctors, including two prominent urologists. I’ve whined about it to countless friends and relatives, several of whom have commiserated because they suffered the same affliction, but nobody had offered any real solution. If that beta prostate stuff actually works, please be advised that all it did for me was lessening what little heft I had in my wallet.

Then, back in March, my family practice doctor left town to take up different pastures. In very short order I was fixed up with a new physician, with whom I proceeded to spend one late afternoon enumerating all the conditions my condition was in. (Yep. That’s another one I’ve hummed on the way to the head.)

Anyway, I mentioned my bladder/prostate problem to Dr. McGaugh and he asked if I’d tried Flomax. I swear to you that prior to meeting him I had never heard of the stuff but before that evening was over I left Berea with a 90-day supply.

To make a longer story shorter, Flomax has been the most life-changing medication I’ve encountered since discovering Sinemet for Parkinson’s Disease, 10 years ago.

Over the last four months and change, I have mentioned Flomax to several dozen friends and neighbors, because I wanted to let them in on the secret as to how I am, finally, able to, non-problematically, pee again. Almost to the person, they have universally insisted that they didn’t realize I didn’t already know about it.

“Why, Honey, I cudda told you all about Flomax if I’d known you hadn’t already tried it.”

I keep thinking, “That sounds like something Truman Caudill would have said.”

R.I.P., Ole Buddy.

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