Monday, December 9, 2013

Flush With Excitement
One of the nursing assistants and I were making our rounds on our medical/surgical unit during the night shift when we smelled the odor of bowel movement. The smell was emanating from somewhere in one of our four bed rooms. Following our noses, we tracked the source. It was coming from the bed of a short, thin elderly lady. While the nursing assistant went for clean linen, I pulled the curtain around her bed and turned on the light. I wakened the woman by tapping her arm and saying, “We need to change your bed. You’ve had an accident.”
The aide was back by then and we pulled back the sheet and blanket. What we saw was not only totally unexpected, but it was astonishing.
This petite, white haired lady was curled on her side and behind her was a large formed bowel movement and it was HUGE. It was almost the size of large can of tomato juice. It was marked along its length with striations. The striations were actually indentations that her anal sphincter made as she passed this colossal turd.
We changed the bed with minimal effort by lifting the bowel movement into a bedpan and changing the bed pad beneath her. I carried the bed pan into the soiled utility room and the aide followed with the soiled lift pad we had removed from the bed. I eased the feces from the bedpan into the hopper with a plop. I pushed the flush handle to dispose of the bowel movement. When the swirling stopped, the turd was still there. It had wedged across the drain of the hopper, holding on like it had claws.
I said to Mona, “Would you look at that!”
We both started to chuckle.
Mona reached out and flushed the hopper again. When the swirling and bubbles ceased, it was still there. Mona and I looked at each other, amazed. We could scarcely believe that it remained there, wedged tight. We started to laugh. We were loud enough for the people in the nursing station to hear us.
“It’s your turn.” Mona said.
This time when I pushed the handle, amid the swirling froth, the turd stirred, shook once and disappeared down the opening of the hopper.
Mona returned the clean bedpan to the woman’s room and I returned to the nursing station.
One of the nurses asked, “Why were the two of you laughing?”
I explained what had happened. It didn’t seem to be as impressive or as funny as it had been for us. I guess the old saying; “You had to be there.” rang true.

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