Playing Doctor

Initial Visit?

Friday, July 29

I ♥ Laxatives

This past month I’ve been taking care of patients in a rehabilitation facility. If your grandparents have to go to one, they’ll think it’s a nursing home, because it is one. But the purpose is different. It is for physical therapy, occupational therapy, speach therapy, or some special nursing function for a short period of time until they are well enough to be at home.

If you are going to work here, it helps to enjoy the smell of urine.

Well, urine and poop both, really.

I have one patient who’s in his early seventies, with severe medical problems. He only has two out of the four limbs he was born with. He’s spent all week complaining about being constipated, so I kept increasing his laxatives, until yesterday the nurse came up to me begging me to stop.

‘He’s having two or three bowel movements per shift. He’s got to be cleaned all up after every one. Please. Don’t go any higher on the laxatives.’

I went back into the patient’s room and asked him, ‘Why are you telling me you’re constipated if you’re having all these bowel movements?’

He gave me a toothless grin and shrugged, saying, ‘I was afraid if you took the laxatives away, it would stop me up. I hate being constipated.’

I asked the nurse to cancel the enema I had just ordered for him.


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