My grandfather like so many elderly people had a major concern with his bowels. Every morning he would drink a cup of hot tea as part of his breakfast to stimulate his bowels. He started using one tea bag for one cup of tea. As he aged, to save money, he would reuse the bag, one, two, and three times for each cup of tea. Eventually he just drank a cup of hot water to stimulate his inward parts.
Granddad was a tall thin man with wavy white hair. He was active until he died at the age of ninety-seven I guess that the hot water and regular bowel movements can give longevity.
Being a nurse, I got calls from people about health concerns. “Do I have a broken bone?” was one that I would frequently be asked. Unless there is a deformity I couldn’t tell. I don’t have x-ray vision. Another one that would drive me bonkers were the telephone calls about rashes. Sometimes doctors have difficulty diagnosing rashes when they actually see them and the caller wanted to know what they had over the telephone.
I was asked about cuts. Cuts were much easier. After they were washed clean, and butterfly stitches didn’t seem to hold, it was obvious, get stitches.
The calls I hated the most and I only had two, were ones asking me to give an enema. One was from the daughter of a neighbor. She said her father was telling her that he hadn’t had a bowel movement in over a week. She was told that I was a nurse. (Thank you to whoever shared that information.) She wanted me to come by and give her dad an enema. (I’m thinking, what is stopping you from giving the enema, but I was still working as a nurse and felt more compliant.) I groaned to myself and said yes.
“I have the enema here.” she cheerily offered.
“I’ll be right up.” I heard myself saying.
The daughter greeted me and said, “Dad was discharged from the hospital. He said he hasn’t moved his bowels while he was there and now it is over a week.” (I don’t know why the daughter didn’t think that she could give an enema, but she had called me.)
One thing I do know, THEY DO KEEP TRACK OF BOWEL MOVEMENTS IN THE HOSPPITAL, but it was useless to argue with the daughter.
I grabbed a pair of vinyl gloves and drove to the house. I took the man to the bathroom and had him drop his drawers. They first thing I noticed, there was poop in his drawers. Unless someone else wore them, he was moving his bowels, but I figured, I’ve gone this far, I might as well give him the enema. I loaded hi up, told him to hold it as long as he could, and parked him on the commode. I pulled off my gloves and went to talk with the daughter.
“I think your dad is getting confused. There was B.M. in his underwear and hospitals keep track of bowel movements. I doubt if he was in the hospital without going. I gave him the enema and he’s on the pot. He should be okay.” and I left. I did get a thank you.
The other call came from my mother, much earlier in my career. She said, “Your granddad called. He hasn’t had a bowel movement and wants you to give him an enema.
“Oh great, just what I wanted to see was my grandfather’s naked butt.” I said, “Let me get dressed and I’ll go out.”
I had just finished dressing and was looking for my car keys when the phone rang again. It was my mom. “Your granddad just called. He said he had a wonderful passage.”
That was wonderful news to me.