There are a few universal invariants in life: the sun rises in the east and sets in the west, the Earth revolves around the sun, Carrot Top will never be a funny comedian, and everyone poops.
It’s true; everyone poops. I poop, you poop, the Pope poops, dogs poop, cats poop, worms poop. Everyone poops.
I do, however, wish old men did not poop. And I’ll tell you why.
First, for those who don’t know, I work in the medical profession. Cardiology. Electrophysiology, if you want to get specific. I deal with pacemakers and defibrillators and heart rhythms daily.
So, imagine my shock and dismay when I was escorting a patient to a room to be seen by one of the doctors when he announced, “I have to use the bathroom.”
Oh, okay, sir. No problem. I wheeled him in his wheelchair to the nearest men’s room and pushed him inside. I said to the gentleman, “I’ll be outside the door if you need me,” and started walking out of the bathroom, when he said to the words I didn’t want to hear…
“I need help.”
Son of a…
I halted in the doorway, closed my eyes and let out a short defeated sigh, then turned around and helped my patient out of his wheelchair and positioned him over the john. Once in place, I had him grab hold of the arm rests on the side of the commode and I bent over him and pulled his trousers and oh goody, adult diaper down and helped him lower himself down onto the porcelain.
My first thought, aside from, “GODDAMN IT!!” was, “dude, you’ve got a diaper. I used to wear diapers, too. Pretty sure you can just poop in that thing and some nurse who actually gets paid to wipe your butt will assist you.”
I apologize for the graphic content, but we all know that everyone poops and poop smells. Terminally ill people, however…their poop smells far, far worse than anything you can imagine. Like, imagine the smelliest, most vile smell you’ve ever assaulted your olfactory sensors with and times that by infinity gillion. This is just a fraction of how awful this man’s crap smelled.
Now, I have a pretty strong stomach, and can usually boast that whenever we have a particularly pungent patient in our facility, I don’t smell them. My co-workers will come out of the same room, gagging and say, “did you NOT smell that guy? He smells like he took a bath in piss and Drakkar Noir.”
Honestly, I can’t smell that. I thank my lucky stars for that.
But this guy? This guy I smelled.
My eyes started watering and my throat started clenching in an effort to keep my previously digest lunch from coming back up. I held my breath as long as I could, but that wasn’t good enough. The stench had worked its way into my nostrils and I could taste the smell in the back of my throat, which is so, so, so, so much worse.
Here’s this little old man, grunting away on the pot and I’m praying to a god I know doesn’t exist to smite me down right here and there to spare me any more of this man’s shit.
I was running out of reserved air, so I begrudgingly took a deep breath, almost vomiting as I did so, and thankfully, he announced he was finished. I helped him lift off the toilet seat, and then I made my second vital error–the first being going to work that morning–I looked. I looked at his poop.
It was a force of habit! I look at my own poop! I won’t be completely vile and describe it to you, because even I have standards.
So, here I am, half naked 80-year-old man hanging around my neck, his bare butt hanging out and he reaches over to grab some toilet paper, which I had made the split second decision to drop his old ass and bolt for the door if he asked me to wipe him, but by the stars, he did so himself.
He completed his task, dropped the paper into the bowl and I helped him pull up his Depends and pants and settle him back into his wheelchair. I unlocked the wheels and we high-tailed it out of there before I went insane from poop fumes.
I feel kind of bad because I’m pretty sure I hit a couple of G’s wheeling him to his waiting clinic room because I wanted to be rid of Poopy McPooperson. I got to the room, parked him inside, and as I was leaving, he feebly called out to me, “thanks for your help, sweetie.”
As I was walking back to my office, I was taking huge, deep breaths and savoring the fresh air, when I walked by the bathroom.
Then, it hit me again like a ton of poopy bricks: did I flush?
I know I didn’t flush…did he flush?
Son of a bitch again…
I thought I was free of my horrifying ordeal, but no, I had to walk into the lion’s den yet again. The mere thought of going back into the bathroom and that eau de stink ass smell punching me in the face made me start gagging, but I had to go back in, as I realized I had also left my pen on the sink.
I almost didn’t go back in. I thought about it. I got a sick, twisted sense of satisfaction knowing that my pain would be shared by some unsuspecting sonofabitch to go in there next, but I left my like, most favorite pen in there, so I took a deep breath and covered my mouth and nose with the sleeve of my scrub top and ventured back in. I didn’t make eye contact with the bowl this time, and lifted up my right leg and flushed with my foot, grabbed my pen and hauled ass out of there again.
If there is a Hell, surely I danced with the Devil that day.
Everybody poops…just make sure I’m nowhere near you when it happens.
Read more from the writer at her blog http://polishsnausage.wordpress.com