I’m gonna be in so much trouble… (HLD 124)

24 July 2020

Every now and then when I’m writing these things, I know I’m going to get some comment back from my Mum.

She is still reliving her fears from a previous edition when I said you should all feel free to ring her up and ask the meaning of the word Shart. Fortunately she hasn’t been inundated with phone calls, but she still worries about it.

I’m going to cop it for today’s one as well, but what the heck. Let’s go.

Poo.

Yes. Again.

I’ve had it in mind to raise this thorny (fortunately not literally) subject again. Mainly because Chewie has started a bit of frequent pooing on her morning walk lately.

A few days ago for some reason I don’t recall, I took three poo bags with me on our morning walk. Usually two is quite sufficient, but for some reason I loaded up with extra on that particular morning.

She pooed three times.

Subsequent mornings have been similar multiple squatting mornings. There could be a number of reasons, of course. It’s not a diet thing, by the way. Consistency etc is all perfectly normal.

One reason may be that it’s been a bit cold, but I really don’t think she was aiming at being helpful in providing ready made handy warmers for me.

She does get embarrassed easily, so maybe she is conscious of passers-by observing her ablutions.

Or maybe she just wants to make me feel happy that I didn’t have to lug those oh so heavy small plastic bags for no reason.

Anyway (and here is where Mum will start to make notes to mention next time we talk), it got me thinking about when you are in hospital, either as a nurse or a patient, and the daily question of “Have you had your bowels open today?”.

Mum has memories as a nurse of asking the question, but also as a patient, of blurting out “Yes I have” to anyone who walked in the door. She wanted to preempt the embarrassing question, but ended up just being embarrassed anyway, from having to explain to cleaners, orderlies or the hospital chaplain what unasked question you were answering. Because despite her concern, not every hospital worker wants to know whether you’ve done a poo today.

As a student nurse it always seemed to be our job to ask about the jobs. I don’t know whether it’s still a focus of nursing charts in hospital but I’ve got enough current nursing friends who I’m sure will help out with the query.

One of my favourite conversation pieces is the Bristol Stool Chart (please feel free to google for your own enjoyment), and one of my plans for the future is to re-create it in chocolate format. It is the source of much amusement to many of my friends so I’m sure we could have a Bristol Stool Chart cocktail evening one day soon. BYO stool.

I was tempted to put the chart as the photo to accompany today’s diarrhoea, but on our morning walk (between poo #2 and poo #3), I happened to notice a duck leaving this deposit on its way towards to river. Seemed fitting for today’s discussion.

By the way – have you had your bowels open today?

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