One Day At The Nursing Home
Greetings from Scotland! I spent some time working in a nursing home. Believe it or not, all three of these incidences happened in one day. I've dealt with a lot of poop!
George was a sprightly man in his sixties who was in the home due to a brain injury. One day I was getting all the residents ready for lunch when the cleaner pointed out to me that George had been in the bathroom rather a long time and there was a rather suspect smell emanating from the area. I politely knocked and entered the large bathroom to find George standing with his pants around his ankles, looking rather worried.
"Hi George," I said cheerfully, "having a bit of trouble?"
" You could say that," he replied, and then grinned at me. "I've had a bit of an accident."
As I stood back to take stock of the problem, all became apparent. There was a strong smell of old people shit filling the bathroom, but that didn't bother me too much, being used to poop, poop, and lots of poop. I began to see the big picture.
There was shit everywhere. It was on his hands, his shirt, trousers, pants,and all down his legs. It was also on the toilet seat, the walls, the floor, the handrails, and everything else touchable. His adult diaper had slipped down his trouser leg and done little to contain the mess. He had obviously been trying to clean himself up, but had not been making a very good job of it. It was one of the worst shit disasters I had seen in my time at the home.
"Ah well," I said to him. "Let's get you cleaned up before lunch."
A sudden grin spread across his face. "Good luck with that," he said. I couldn't help it; I started to giggle, then so did he, and within moments we were both doubled over laughing at his predicament.
"How on earth did you manage to make such a mess?" I asked, incredulously. But he couldn't answer. Tears were pouring down his face as he guffawed, his face contorted, and more shit started to fly from his already poop-stained ass. "Sit on the toilet!" I cried, still laughing, because by that point things couldn't have been much worse anyway. So I donned rubber gloves and an apron and stripped off his shit-covered clothes, bagging them in a red bag that was going to go straight into the sluice setting on the washing machine. I maneuvered him into the sit-in shower, trying to avoid the plops all over the floor, and washed him thoroughly.
The whole time this cleanup was taking place we were both cracking up intermittently, but I really do believe that my lack of professionalism at this point was justified and probably made the whole ordeal a lot less humiliating than it could have been. Even when he let out a long rippling shart, which spilled more shit into the shower, I just shook my head and asked if he thought he was done yet. "It's hard to tell at my age," he replied, chortling. I did eventually manage to get him properly cleaned, dried, and dressed in clean clothes, and I called for a colleague to help him through to the lunch room while I began the epic cleanup operation. For the rest of the day and long after, we would knowingly wink at each other and suppress a giggle.
Iris was a grumpy, difficult old woman with very poor mobility who didn't like anyone coming near her, for any reason. She was also doubly incontinent, and always a two-person job. However, one day, being short-staffed, I alone was left with the treacherous task of getting her up and dressed. There was also the added bonus that I was to obtain a urine sample from her.
Getting her out of bed and into the bathroom was a nightmare: She bit, scratched, yelled, and struggled like a pig in the slaughterhouse; however, I did eventually manage to get her out of the bed and into the bathroom, where I had placed a plastic 'hat' into the toilet to catch her urine, if there was any left in her (which I very much doubted, considering how wet her night pad was). I could only try, so I somehow maneuvered her onto the toilet, asking her if she needed to go.
"Yes!" she barked. "Leave me alone!" So in order to give her at least some dignity, I strategically placed myself just outside her bathroom door, only to be met with the most awful grunting sounds. No nice pot of pee for the doctor; this was going to be a solid movement. I should have just wring out her pad.
When the grunting finally stopped and she yelled that she was done, I opened the door, only to be met with the foulest stench I can ever remember being exposed to, ever, anywhere. At this point, I should probably mention that Iris was on iron tablets and other medication, which made her shit stink unlike anything I could ever imagine could have come from a human being. It also made it jet black, sticky, and rather plentiful. To make matters worse, it hadn't even landed in the water where the water would have blocked some of the stench; instead it was in the plastic hat that I had intended to catch her pee.
Battling my way through the pungent fumes of death and decay, I tried to lift her off the toilet, but her legs kept giving way. I have a stomach of iron, and as I've mentioned before I am so used to poop that it rarely bothers me. But this was epic, a stench a million times worse than I have ever encountered. Eventually I had to find another care assistant to help me, because I just could not get this woman off the toilet -- not only because of her poor mobility, but because my eyes were streaming and I was gagging and retching on the noxious ass fumes. Between the two of us, we lifted her from the toilet to the adjacent sit in shower.
Breaking the seal between her buttocks and the toilet seat only served to worsen the situation. We were greeted by the site of a sticky black mass of shit, and I almost began to cry. My colleague had been in the bathroom only a short time, and at this point made a hasty exit, leaving me to deal with the disaster zone myself. I was gagging and retching and, yes, I shamelessly barfed up a few mouthfuls of bile into the sink, far beyond caring about professionalism. The smell was indescribable. Worse that C. diff (Clostridium difficile) shit. Worse that hemorrhage shit. Worse than Satan's own fiery poop. Every time I breathed in a lungful of this putrid stench, I gagged again. I swear that not one of you could have either created nor tolerated the sheer magnitude of this noxious fire and brimstone concoction!
I turned on the shower, and then turned back to the toilet. I had to pick up the hat, don rubber gloves, and use toilet paper to scoop her hellish black creation into the toilet, which I hurriedly flushed several times. To cut a long story short, I barfed several more times before managing to gain some control over myself, and clean the most putrid shit I have ever seen or smelled off this woman's wrinkly ass, returning her derriere to a respectable level of cleanliness. I had to dress her myself, as the stench was still so overpowering that my colleague refused to come back into the room. Not an easy process, I tell you. I finally escaped that room, rinsed my mouth with mouthwash, washed my face, and went to the dining room to eat my lunch of macaroni cheese. I told you I had an iron constitution.
Finally, a tale of forgiveness between two unfortunate people. Alistair, unfortunate in that, well, you'll see. And me, unfortunate in that I had to clean up yet another poop disaster, although this was not nearly as epic as some that I have seen. Luckily most of the runny, sticky poop was contained in his adult diaper, and only a little had run down his legs. This was far from an easy cleanup though, requiring half a can of cleansing foam and many wet wipes, as Alistair stubbornly, point-blank refused to take a shower.
I was talking away to Alistair about his farm and his dogs, a favorite subject of his, trying to ease his obvious embarrassment at his shituation. I should explain that Alistair had all his faculties about him and was only in the home because of his physical frailty. As I cheerfully chatted away, I was scooping up little lumps of solid poop, wiping at the endless smears of skitters on his ass and even more stubbornly the globules which were sticking stubbornly to his plentiful ass hair. It was then that I spotted a large lump far between his legs.
I reached for it with a pile of wet wipes in my gloved hand, grabbed it, and pulled. Alistair let out a curdling scream and jerked violently away from me. Oh Good Lord, no: I had only gone and grabbed on of his balls! Poor man! Being a woman, I can't imagine how much pain I must have cause him, but (very unprofessionally of me again) my reaction was not one of sympathy, but of abject humiliation. How could I have mistaken his hairy hanging testicle for a lump of shit?
I was so embarrassed that I turned beet red, and stuttered my apology over and over again. My saving grace was this man's incredible ability to forgive and forget. He turned, looked me in the eye, and said, "Let's never speak of this again." I could only nod -- barely able to meet his gaze -- and help him to his seat.
This was my most shameful moment while working at the home. I am ever grateful that Alistair decided in that moment not to complain about me. I can only imagine this was a result of his own embarrassment at his shitty predicament which he didn't want anyone else to know about it.
As a footnote, when my friend came to pick me up from work that night, he firmly told me that I wasn't getting in his car until I wiped the shit of my elbow. Ah, well. Perk of the job!