Sunday, March 6, 2011

A story that is likely untrue...

For argument's sake, and those pesky patient privacy laws, this story is likely untrue.

Long absences around here mean only one thing...I'm eyeball deep in the shit of old men who have lost the ability to 1) control their bowels and bladder, or 2) have lost the sensory perception to be able to tell that they have lost control of their bowels and bladder.

Truth?  Being eyeball deep in the shit of an old man who has lost both of those abilities, is the most intimate moment I've shared with anyone on this planet, for as long as I've been on it.

He was helpless, he was incapable...I was not.  He was apologetic, and humbled...I comforted him.  And wiped his aged ass.  It was disgustingly beautiful.  Something I still don't quite understand, really.  Odd.

The dude repeated over and over, "This is disgusting...I don't know how you do this...they're not paying you enough."  To which, I wanted to say..."Dude, I'm paying them for the opportunity to do this, believe it or not!"  But, what I said instead was, "Hey...it's okay.  Everyone poops.  I'm sorry that you're not able to get up and take care of this yourself.  I'm happy to help you, sir."

That relaxed him a little, and he reminisced about his younger, glory days, as my classmate and I rolled him side to side, cleaning him up and changing his linens.  It was nice.

I had dreaded this moment since I'd started the program.  In fact, I'd made it through my first semester without a "code brown," and was beginning to think that I could possibly make it through the next three unscathed.  That wasn't the case, and I'm glad for it.  I learned far more about being a nurse while wiping the  ass of that old man, that I ever will from any textbook.  And felt more like a nurse doing it, than I likely ever will starting any old IV.

I'm really starting to think I got the chops for this gig.

You know...if any of that story were true.

9 comments:

Kimmy said...

WOW...kuddos to you Nurse Nikki! Honestly, I would never in my years be able to do that (unless of course it were my own husband).

That is so sweet that you were able to comfort him with your words! That has to be a very difficult job, yet rewarding in it's own way?!

Kameron said...

I'm having a hard enough time with wiping 15 month old poop at the moment, but you are sawesome. I worked as a CNA back in the day when I thought I wanted to be a doctor and I can recall many moments like that. It makes you think about the lose of dignity in a whole new way. Well, we know a little about no dignity since we have birthed many a child between us!

Bridget said...

I spent 37 days in the hospital last summer, and there were plenty of embarrassing moments for me, I tell ya. I was so appreciative for the nurses who took such good care of me when I couldn't take care of myself. You're going to be an excellent nurse!

S.I.F. said...

You are amazing lady! And if it were my grandma or grandpa, I would totally want you there taking care of them! You are going to make an incredible nurse!

Kaolinmommy said...

I love this post. Wipe on. :)

heidi said...

You're awesome, Nikki. That is all.

Andrea said...

You can wipe my ass anytime Nikki!!!!!!

Ang said...

If any of this were true, I'd say you were awesome. Hell, I'll just say it anyway, "you're awesome".

Auntie Mip said...

This is my 24 th year as an adult and pediatric oncology nurse. I cannot even count the number of code browns or for that matter other, shall we say, "procedures" I have engaged in with patients. You are right, it is strangely humbling and beautiful. Because to be with another human being when they are that vulnerable is nothing short of a gift. I would not trade a single code brown moment for all the money in the world.

Nikki you are going to be a fantastic nurse. God bless you and. Thank you!!!