Saturday, October 23, 2010

Getting All Up In There

During my recent stay at the hospital, there were a lot of ups and downs.  Well... a lot of downs.

One of the things about being down and out to the point that you aren't allowed to get out of bed is the process of elimination.  Yeah, it's all fun and games, sitting around being waited on and veging on Vicodin, but sooner or later the inevitable is going to happen.  Sooner or later, you're going to need one of these...
I've never had the pleasure of using a bedpan before and I can assure you, I wasn't lamenting that fact.  I could have died a happy woman, having never used a bedpan.  I could hold it for a long time to avoid this indignity!  But, sadly, even my bladder of steel was not up to the task. 

So, after thinking about it for a long time, I pressed the call button for the nurse.  And waited... and waited... and waited.  Until who should appear, but a disinterested, young, male orderly.  Where the hell did this guy come from?  Up to this time, I'd been cared for in a speedy manner by a sympathetic cadre of female nurses and LPNs. But, I've never held someone's sex against them, so I requested a bedpan from this early-twenty-something guy who looked like he was hung over and only humoring me in order to get beer money.

With a sigh, this supposed angel of mercy left the room.  He returned a few minutes later and told me to roll over, reaching gingerly from a distance to set the bedpan next to my hip and telling me to press the call button when I was done.  What?  No instructions?  No encouragement?  This guy gets a zero for bedside manner. 

Now, after one has spent hours avoiding the necessary task, one becomes bloated to the point of not being able to complete the task.  (Never mind the fact that you're laying there picturing where all the excess liquid from the past 36 hours is actually going to land.)  Finally, after about a half hour of waiting, a very unsatisfying trickle emerges... only to go precisely where I was imagining it would probably go...

When the orderly returns he rolls his eyes as I inform him that not everything has hit the pan.  "You need a pink pad," is all he says.  He gets the requisite pad which serves to protect the bed from my ass, hands it to me and leaves.  What?  No expert installation of the pink pad? No offer of baby wipes?  No tender ministrations?  I realize my ass is not as young and firm as those he's probably used to seeing, but COME ON!  Give me a freakin' break!

Luckily, I never saw this fine specimen of a young man again. 

When I finally decided to try again, I was rewarded with a sweet, motherly LPN who was only about fifteen years my junior.  She gently helped me assume the proper position and gave words of encouragement.  And after some success, she returned to "neaten me up" with soft wipes.  Ah... to be cared for so gently and expertly!  I heart this woman!  Although, I nearly lost it when she asked...

"So... do you want me to get all up in there?  I like to keep my ladies clean!" 

Now, there's a woman who takes pride in her work!
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