With this persisting round of hospital visiting (you will be glad to hear that the ageing relative is bucking up), I am sure that I am paying penance for the hell I must have put my own visitors through, this time last year. It is awful; but it is not TAR's fault.
"Tell us about your day" we say, instantly regretting it when he has little more to talk about than the consistency and diameter (dependant on consistency of course) of whatever comes out of his bottom or alternatively the contents of whatever goes in the other end - in great detail. That is what his day consists of, bless him.
My life seems to be going full circle - I started my working life up to my elbows in shit; at least that's how it felt at times. You have already heard how a man shat on my hand and yet that was only the tip of the iceberg. There was the first time I carried out a bowel washout - a procedure to cleanse the lower bowel prior to colonic surgery, and something that now, thanks to skeletal Gillian McKeith, is something of a leisure activity.I managed, due to my poor aim and inattentiveness, to deposit a lump of the brown stuff on my shoe. Only I didn't notice; everyone else did, but I didn't. And they all left it for some considerable time before pointing it out to me.
Or what about the time when, as a staff nurse, I sent a student of to take a stool sample. This was achieved by using a clever little sample container that has a spatula attached to the lid. You unscrew the cap, attack the turd with the spatula and screw the cap back on with the blob inside the container - simple.
I became anxious when the student nurse failed to materialise for some fifteen minutes until she came to me and asked what to do with the rest of the stool because she couldn't fit it all in the container - which she showed me, with some pride, to be brim full.
I remember thinking how apt the expression of a laboratory worker was when we were discussing the woes of pooh one day over a cup of tea in the canteen:
"It might be shit to you lad, but it's bread and butter to me."
So, we shall continue our nightly trips to North Manchester G.H. for a while longer yet and, no doubt, engage in more meaningful conversation on what is reasonable to expect to emerge from ones rectum under a variety of conditions caused by the feeding of the hopper at the other end with NHS cuisine.
Watch this space.