Pink Pee

"Pulling Beets"

My doctor said to check my pee. Seems that taking a bunch of antibiotics to whack away a lung infection can wreak havoc on my liver and I need to check my pee.

Dark brown pee means my liver is working overtime: a problem.

No brown but I’m seeing pink pee.

Did you know asparagus can turn your pee green? Beets make mine pink and the antibiotic Rifampin turns it orange. Multi-vitamins make my pee day-glow yellow.

Reminds me of a story Michael Dorris described when he made cake frosting with a large dose of commercial food coloring. Dorris, an award-winning writer who taught Native American studies at Dartmouth, was an earnest first-time parent lobbying for super dad status when he created a choo-choo train cake for his son’s birthday, retold in the book, The Broken Cord.

Dorris adopted a Lakota boy and discovered his son suffered from fetal alcohol syndrome: his mother was a heavy drinker. Dorris later took aim at alcoholism in native communities, making him the target of other Indians who resented his stance. Dorris committed suicide in 1997 but his books and stories continue to inspire.

The birthday kids loved the train, but it turns out the vivid food coloring yielded rainbow hues of pee. Panicky parents admonished Dorris, whose smugness turned to contrition.

Seems that some dyes, like the natural dye in beets, sneak right past the kidney.

Perhaps pee is a metaphor for transparency: you can eat it, drink it, but you can’t hide it—you just can’t fool your body.


About Cynthia Coleman Emery

Professor and researcher at Portland State University who studies science communication, particularly issues that impact American Indians. Dr. Coleman is an enrolled citizen of the Osage Nation.
This entry was posted in authenticity, health, Indian, Lakota and tagged . Bookmark the permalink.

1 Response to Pink Pee

  1. Arlie Klapper says:

    Vitamins and minerals help maintain cellular efficiency by activating enzyme systems that are essential to cellular function. Phyto-nutrients which are found in various forms of plant life are so important that nutritionists recommend at least 5 to 7 servings of fruits and vegetables per day, and suggest even more is better. Sadly, less than one in five Americans get even half of these amounts.;

    Consider our personal blog as well


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