Speak Now, or Forever Hold Your Pee.

A Wii Risk

A mother’s love runs pretty deep. Hey, if you swung a stick around an average city street, you would probably have no trouble hitting a mother who admits she would die to protect her kids.

But to protect them from boredom? In Sacramento, California, a woman has done just that. In an attempt to win a Nintendo Wii for her three kids, Jennifer Strange, 28, participated in a radio contest hosted by 107.9 “The End” called “Hold Your Wee for a Wii”. Essentially, the goal was to drink as much water as you could without urinating. Little did she know, her stint on “The End” would literally be the end for her. The poor woman died of water intoxication after arriving home. Check out the CNN article here.

And I’m sure she never thought she she would die from something as seemingly innocent as drinking too much water. Apparently, though, you can die from drinking 1.8 litres of water (just under half a gallon) in one sitting; less if you have a very low-sodium diet.

Once, near the end of high school, a few friends and I had gotten together to study for a math exam. Needless to say, not much studying ended up getting done, but my friend Jon and I did manage to see how many glasses of water we could drink. I remember there was half an Aquafina water-cooler jog, and the two of us finished it with one glass after another.

Man, we were pissing literally every two minutes, and that urine was crystal clear. But we were peeing. Keeping that water in, like Ms. Strange would have to have done for the contest, would only lower and lower her blood sodium level, until her cells absorbed too much water in order to equalize the pressure, and swelled, perhaps even rupturing.

Man, that radio station is in some serious trouble, and I hope they give that poor family the Nintendo—it’s the least they could do.


5 Responses to “Speak Now, or Forever Hold Your Pee.”

  1. 1 Yurena
    February 28, 2007 at 5:26 am

    Ok Mr scientist what happens if your sodium levels drop? I know you Why does it cause death?

  2. 2 Yurena
    February 28, 2007 at 5:27 am

    Ok Mr scientist what happens if your sodium levels drop? I know you die, but why does it cause death?

  3. February 28, 2007 at 9:10 am

    Hey, Yurena, if you really want all the scientific details, click on the wor d”water intoxication” above. Basically, though, the blood’s sodium level needs to me maintained within a very strict limit, and a rapid intake of water totally throws it out of balance. The more you know, right?

  4. September 25, 2014 at 9:43 pm

    Its like you read my mind! You seem to know so much about this, lijke you wrote the book
    in it oor something. I think that you could do witgh some pics to drivee the message home
    a bit, but instead of that, this is excellent blog.
    A great read. I’ll certainly bee back.

  5. 5 thereaverofdarkness
    April 16, 2017 at 10:38 am

    Holding it in isn’t what killed her. She must have already been low on sodium when she started drinking the water, and she just drank too much. A person with a healthy level of sodium could never overhydrate to the point of death in one sitting. Urinating doesn’t make much difference, either, if anything it’ll reduce the sodium levels in your body.

    Her cells didn’t rupture, either. What killed her was that her sodium channels, which normally transmit neurochemical impulses via nerves, had too low sodium ion concentration and couldn’t transmit signals. Essentially her brain couldn’t communicate with her body. And you know what happens if you cut someone’s head off…

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