23 November 2009

The Shits

I'm not very well today.

It all started with not feeling very well yesterday, but then I wasn't supposed to feel well yesterday.

I went out on Saturday for early birthday drinks, which started at 4pm with Gingerfeck, with Mrsslippy and the rest arriving later, what with them having to have worked..

So I was fully expecting to feel headachey, with an unsettled stomach - or just plain hungover if you want to call it that.

But it didn't feel like a classic hangover, and rather than feeling better as the day progressed, I just felt worse. My suspicions were aroused that there might be something else going on when I noticed that as we watched TopGear, Mrsslippy (who wears a jumper in the summer), was happily sat on the bed in just a post bath towel, I (who break into a sweat at the merest glimpse of sunlight), was curled up under the duvet shivering.

Out came the thermometer, and as suspected, I wasn't cold, I had a temperature of 39 degrees.

Today, I still feel like shit, and more annoyingly, I feel like shitting all the time. It's probably not the dreaded swine flu, but there is a definite ambiance of farmyard in the toilet.

It's bad, but I've had worse.

I've seen more than my fair share of shit back when I was nursing. It never ceased to surprise me with either the volume or force that a patient could evacuate their bowels. My personal favourite was a gentleman in a standing aid, who had such sudden and explosive diarrhoea as he was being stood up that he blew down his pyjamas, and proceeded to create a toxic puddle so wide that we had to put plastic bags on our feet in order to wade through the effluence and rescue him from the mechanical contraption.

I've told tale here before of a nasty episode of the shits whilst on holiday, but messy as that was, it's still not the worst case of blowing mud...

Several years ago, while I was still living and working at the Hospital, I picked up a nasty little winter diarrhoea an vomiting bug. After a day of lying in bed feeling sorry for myself, only interrupted by frequent trips to the toilet, I decided I would feel better if I had a bath.

Indeed, after a nice long soak I was feeling a little better, and started to climb out. It was at that point that I heard the taps being run on full blast.

Only I could see the taps.

And they were off.

So where was the noise coming fro......OH SWEET JESUS!!!!

Looking down I could be a rapidly expanding brown puddle around where my one leg still in the bath was balanced. Whenever a patient had explained away their feacal incontinence in the past with "I didn't know I was doing it nurse", I was always slightly sceptical.

"You must've known" I would think. "You can't possibly shit yourself without knowing".

But apparently you can.

I had no idea it was coming out of me. It seemed my sphincter had failed, and the only thing that was keeping the contents of my bowels in my bowels was the pressure of one arse cheek against the other.

The very act of spreading my legs to step out the bath had broken the seal, and a gallon of effluence had very suddenly, and without sensation emptied itself into the bath.

I rather embarrassingly rinsed it out and showered off, then dipped into the bathroom next door for a repeat exercise in an unsullied tub, and this time promising myself to take greater care when stepping out.

So as bad as I feel now, I know it could be worse, and that I will get better. I'm just glad that the only time in adulthood that I've shat myself I was naked, on my own, and standing underneath a shower head.

And on that note, I'm off to the toilet again. Cleaning a bath out is a lot easier than cleaning a mattress....

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