If I never have a weekend like I just had ever again, I will die a happy woman. There was poop. So much poop.
Old Lady, the 95 year old woman I care for on weekends (two consecutive 24 hour shifts and then some) hadn't had "a movement", as we gently call her shit, for a full week. Her son, who is her primary caregiver, only buys organic food, steams vegetables instead of boiling them, uses the oven instead of the microwave 100% of the time, blah blah blah. Here's the jist: We knew it was in there. The sad part: We had no idea how much there was.
I showed up to work Friday afternoon and was told about Old Lady's plight. This is nothing new; I've had to give her enemas and unimpact her bowels (there's some wikipedia delight for you) a number of times, all with the expected shitty result. Friday night as I was putting her to bed I told her, "We'll fix it tomorrow. We'll get your tummy to go down and have you feeling better in no time. I'm just worried it's gotten all hard at the end and I'm going to have to loosen it up before you can go on your own." She asked what I meant. I wriggled my finger in front of her face. "You know," I said, "just loosen things up and let you go on your own." She was terrified. She hates having people's fingers up her bum, as I suspect many heterosexuals do.
Saturday morning rolled around; she slept peacefully until 8am. I was thrilled, since it meant I got to talk to boyfriend uninterrupted. During breakfast she suddenly pushed herself away from the table and, just as I was cursing her wheelchair for making her semi-mobile, she announced she needed to go to the bathroom. She had a movement with no assistance from me or my finger. We were all thrilled. After we finished breakfast she laid down for a nap. She needed to get up; she had to go again. Fine. During lunch, a third time. After dinner she had to go again. I didn't mind too much. We made it to the bathroom on time every time, which is a rare occurrence in the world of elder-care.
I expected one more movement today since she hadn't gone at all last week, but nothing could have prepared me for today. Nothing.
At breakfast, once again, she shoved herself away from the table announcing she "HAD TO GO!", so I rushed her to the bathroom. That was all good and well. She had some diarrhea, which was to be expected based on how far up it must've been sitting in her colon for such a long time. The second time was Oh god. It was awful. You've seen pictures or heard stories or lived the experience of a baby pooping all the way up their back? This made that look like a walk in the park. Seriously. Before I could even get her positioned over the toilet her bowels exploded EVERYWHERE. It was on the floor, in her pants, down her leg, on her toilet seat, dripping down the toilet . EVERYWHERE. Since I'm really composed and professional I told her it was OK and even lauded her for having another movement. I warned her, "Just keep your hands away, Old Lady. DON'T TOUCH ANYTHING," since she has a tendency to fidget with every goddamn thing within reach. Thankfully she complied and I called her son into the bathroom to help me.
Two things about Old Lady's son that makes this whole thing a lot more enjoyable: He's got a nose so sensitive that he asked me not to use my own shampoo, conditioner, body wash, and probably deodorant if I was a nicer person, because all of the "artificial additives hurt my nose. I'm very 'scentsitive' you could say." and, he gets on my very last nerve. He walked into the bathroom, saw the mess and freaked out. Every time we tried to get Old Lady up to put her in the shower and clean her up, she would poop some more. Sometimes it would land in the toilet, but mostly not.
Hours passed. Hours involving pooping and cleaning and showering and sweating more intensely than most saunas I've been in. I hadn't even gotten halfway through my coffee, and that's just something no one deserves.
So whoever wished karmic hell on me, WE'RE EVEN. LAY OFF or I will stab you. (Once I find out who you are, obviously.)