4 November 2008

Hosital world... (part three)

Let's get right to it. They finally had my bed ready and I was more than happy too finally see this miracle bed. They even kindly gave me a ride, in a wheel chair, up to the ward. I was taken to a private room and I thought to myself that maybe they felt bad for giving me all of this grief so they were compensating by giving me this room. Alas I was wrong, and no more than thirty minutes later a nurse came in to tell me that they were going to have to move me because they needed the single room for a man that they were suddenly querying TB. What was I to say? They took me, bed and all, to a shared unit with four other guys. At least I got the window seat.

I don't really mind sharing a room but I think it's a lot to ask when you've got four men who have various God knows what kind of illnesses and then to put them in a room with just one shared bathroom. I mean what if one of the guys is suddenly sick to his stomach and he needs to go make friends with the porcelain gods thus commandeering the one and only bathroom for possible hours and hours. He really is (was) very, very sick. What are (were) the rest of us supposed to do in the mean time? I guess we are (were) expected to just hold it all in, or try to sneek into one of the other bathrooms on the ward thus taking a toilet away from another group of men. I think that it was not the best laid out format of bed to toilet tratio. Alternatively you could always ask for a bottle or even worse a bed pan depending on what you needed to do. Alas, I find it a bit embarrassing (okay I find it a lot embarrassing) when you are forced to use a urine bottle and much less a bed pan while sitting in the room with three other guys. Well actually only two other guys because they third guy is still in the toilet bringing up breakfast, lunch and they skinny mocha latte with a turkey, cranberry and Brie focaccia (a flat oven-baked Italian bread used in making sandwiches) that his partner brought him as a surprise.

The use of a bed pan and/or bottle each deserve paragraphs of their own. I suppose you could look at using these items as being no different then being in the same room with several men as they might be when they are using a a public toilet. However, there is a huge difference. I will grant you that you are given a modicum of privacy when they nurse brings you your pan or urinal and they then pull your curtains around you so others can not watch. In some ways it is no different than being in a stall in a public toilet except in this instance they other patients in the room have seen you in your cubicle and they will know just exactly who the next few sounds and smells will be attributed too and who to blame for their discomfort due to said sounds and smells. For some reason nurses and doctors all think that the flimsy and sometimes worn curtain that they pull around your bed some how creates this airtight, soundproof environment and anyone that has been in hospital knows that this is not the case.

Lets talk about trying to perform your normal bodily functions while laying in bed in almost a completely flat position. Now in some cases this is not a problem if you are mobile and can actually walk to the bathroom to use it that is when it is not in use by one of the other four gentlemen. If however you are being kept in bed by doctors orders you then need to figure out how and to attempt to use the bottle or the pan while in a prone position. The bottle offers the least resistance as you can roll to your side in most cases and then all you have to do is to make sure that your aim is true. It's even easier if you get to sit on the edge of the bed or better yet you are allowed to stand at the side of the bed but you then have to promise that you will lie down immediately after you have filled the bottle with that days fluid intake. If you are unfortunate enough that you are required to lie completely flat with no rolling and definitely no getting out of bed then I can not in my wildest dreams figure out how you can lie down completely flat and then try to somehow put this cold plastic bottle between your legs, hopeing once again your aim is true trying to let nature take it's course.

In my opinion you spent many of your childhood years learning that wetting your bed was not a good thing. After having the thought that you should not go to the bathroom while lying in bed ingrained into your psyche it is totally impossible to then turn around and allow yourself to empty your bladder in bed, even if you can convince yourself that there is a bottle to catch what you create. I know that there will be some of you who have no such inhibitions. There will also be those men who are so blessed with enough rope so as to guarantee that they don't even have to think about rather or not their aim is good. Those same men wail be comforted in the thought that they are actually able to make physical contact with the bottle and then some, thus guaranteeing a direct hit with no cause for alarm in the actual bed wetting possibility.

As for the pan well all I have to say is there is no way on this planet that I for one will or would be able to perform the necessary function in a prone position with a piece of cold steel shoved underneath my backside. As for the curtain providing privacy in such an event, remember that they only give you the privacy of visual contact. However all noises, and/or smells created by this most private of human events can not be contained by said flimsy curtain. To make this matter even worse is that it is very possible that one or more of the men sharing your room will have relatives or friends visiting them around the time you are forced to be humiliated by having to use this barbaric piece of hospital protocol To have to use the pan with visitors in the room, subjecting them to all sounds and smells meant only for your ears and nose. is just so wrong. No curtain will ever save you or them this embarrassment.

In the end the nurse promptly arrives proceeding to throw the curtains open and loudly asksing you if you're finished. They then collect said pan and or bottle and proceed to carry said items from your bed and into the bathroom for all the world to see. They then return the offending items to you for future use all the while you are trying to not make eye contact with any of the people sharing your room much less those people visiting. All in all it has to be the most humiliating process within the hospital system. It is so high up on the humiliation list that having a gown that constantly flies open while walking and in the process exposes your backside for all the world to admire is insignificant on a scale of one to ten.

Well, I didn't give you much more of the story of my hospital stay because somehow I got of on a tangent about bodily function in semi privacy. Someways it does have relevance to my story. Only in as much as I had to struggle with the whole bottle issue. Thankfully I was spared the agony of using the other item. Anyway, I'll get back on track with my story in the next installment, I promise. Until then I hope you enjoyed this little diversion. Take care...


Ur-spo said...

I will consider myself fortunate if i get through life without having used a bedpan. brrrr..

tornwordo said...

Ugh that does sound awful.