Saturday, 5 January 2008
When A Man Shat On My Hand
I promised when I did the post 'Seven Things...' that I would explain how I once allowed a man to shit in the palm of my hand. It seems a good time to write about this sort of thing because it is pretty much the first anniversary of my blog and this sort of subject is pretty much where I started. I started writing my blog when I had time on my hands, having been in hospital for a while. One of my most popular early posts, The Fug and the Time had a particularly faecal theme.
Twenty six years ago I was a callow Student Nurse learning the rudiments of care: bed making with hospital corners, cleanliness, bed bathing and other basics. These were the days of starched sheets and patients who had to look tidy, I remember the protests of patients who liked to lounge in their beds, sheets askew, only to be told by Sister that they could not possibly be comfortable sat like that and made, at her insistence, to sit up straight.
Whilst bed bathing a man who had recently had both of his legs removed, we were in the process of changing his sheets. This was achieved by rolling him over to one side of the bed, changing the sheet on the other, bunching up the remainder of the clean sheet in the middle then rolling him over the lump onto the clean side whilst the other nurse changed the other half. We had just rolled him on to the clean side and I was smoothing the wrinkles out of the clean sheet when the movement must have taken its toll on his insides, "Nurse, I've got to go to the toilet...NOW". Before my colleague had returned at high speed with a commode he added with some urgency, "There's some coming..." and sure enough the evidence presented itself.
Here is where it becomes apparent to what extent the sanctity of clean sheets and orderliness had been impressed into us, because I instinctively grabbed a clean wipe from the trolley and, as if diving for the catch that would save the Ashes, allowed the offending item to land in my hand. Wanting to be sure that there was no more to come before we transferred him to the bedside commode, I asked "Have you done?..."
His reply indicated that he had misinterpreted my question and actually thought I was offering an even higher degree of service than that to which he had become accustomed:
"Ah, thanks lad, there's more where that came from, nnnnnnnhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh", and with that deposited a load that any man would have been proud of into my waiting hand.
So there you have it, a man shat in my hand. I often wonder whether his misunderstanding caused any future embarrassing moments for him or my colleagues during bed baths as he marvelled at the quality of service that allowed a man to shit without having to leave his pit.
Happy Birthday to my blog!