K.C. and Michelle Woolf

Family blog

Saturday, March 8, 2008

Poop report

Update 5/4/08: Yet another good Poop Report. This one from my brother Dallas. A Rocky Breakfast

Update 4/30/08: Here's a new Poop Report. Try to guess who Kenny is based on.

My Friend Kenny

Enough of these spiritual gospel doctrine lesson posts. Here's Michelle's story, originally posted on the Poop Report in 2006.


While many of you may have some very memorable poop stories, I had a poop experience that directly affected the entire course of my life and my choice of professions.
In 1998 I had decided to pursue a career in nursing. But before I invested too much time and money in nursing school, my aunt, who is a nurse, suggested I work as a certified nurse's assistant for a while to see if I really had the stomach for medicine. So I got my C.N.A. license and found a job at a community hospital near my home. It didn't pay much, and I had to do all the thankless jobs even nurses wouldn't do. But I didn't complain.

After I had been at the job for about a year, I started applying to nursing school. Little did I know, when I showed up to work that cold morning in February of 2000, that I was about to have a close encounter with caca that would change my life forever.

If you ask anyone who works in the medical field what type of patient they most hate to take care of, I'd bet ninety percent of them would say the morbidly obese, barely-mobile patient. These patients are particularly hard on C.N.A.'s because we have to get them out of bed and up to the shower, and change their sheets, and turn them frequently so they don't get bedsores. I was assigned one of these patients that fateful day. She was a sixty-six-year-old female weighing around 450 pounds, admitted with diabetes and an infection in her leg. Walking into her room, I was overwhelmed with the aroma of mildew and what smelled like rotting food.

During her first sponge bath I found out where the smell was coming from. This woman had folds of fat on her stomach into which I could -- and did -- stick my entire arm. With the help of another C.N.A. I was able to lift these folds to clean out goop she probably hadn't been able to get to in years. Hidden within her flesh we found mold, potato chips, a small remote control, and an entire piece of American cheese. So I was already pretty grossed out by this patient. But then the doctor called to tell us the patient had not had a bowel movement in over a week, and that we were to give her a Golytly bowel prep.

Golytly -- ironically pronounced "go lightly" -- is a bottle of clear liquid we give to patients to completely clean out their colon, usually before a colonoscopy. Within an hour of drinking it most people will be cemented to the toilet seat, losing every ounce of excrement in their body until only crystal clear water trickles from their butthole like a pure mountain stream. I wasn't excited about giving it to this patient because I was worried about getting her up and into the bathroom in time for the fireworks. But to my surprise, after I had her drink the entire bottle and waited two hours, nothing happened. We gave her another bottle an hour later; but by the end of my shift still nothing had come out.

The next day I found out the night shift had given her yet another bottle of Golytly and one brave nurse had even reached in to give her a Fleet enema. A few flecks of feces came out with the enema, but no real bowel movement. They finally gave up.

I was again assigned to take care of her that day. Again I needed my friend's help to clean her. My friend was pulling from her anterior while I was pushing from the back to get her over on her side so I could clean her back and change her sheets. Suddenly we felt and heard a foreboding rumbling. I instinctively stepped back about two feet from the patient. What happened next was so sudden it took me several minutes to comprehend. I first noticed being hit -- with great force -- with something warm and wet. I slowly opened my eyes and looked down at my body -- now covered with brown butt paste. I stood like a virtual poop monster, my front half frosted with waste like a chocolate cake. I felt it dripping from my hair onto my face. I dared not open my mouth to scream for fear of ingesting some of it. I looked up at my friend, safe on the other side of the patient but still looking horrified. She let go of the patient with a flop and ran to the sink to throw up. I then turned around and looked at the wall. It was at least four feet from the patient, but was almost entirely spray-painted with poo.

There was a white patch where I had blocked the projectile; and if you squinted your eyes you could see my silhouetted figure stenciled there on the wall.

People rushed in to see what had happened -- I later learned that people two rooms down had heard the explosion. The nurse I was working with was sympathetic, but not enough to let me go home and recover. She did let me take a shower and got me some clean scrubs to wear. But then I had to go back to the scene of the crime to help clean it up.

Needless to say, any dream of going to nursing school ended that day. I continued to work as a C.N.A. to pay the bills, and I stayed at the hospital long enough to meet my future husband, a resident physician at the time. I am now a very successful doctor's wife and I've never regretted abandoning nursing.

There is one benefit from this whole experience. Whenever my husband comes home and complains about what a long, hard, stressful day he has had, I can always say, "Oh yeah! Did anyone spray your entire body with human excrement today? I didn't think so. Now shut up and do the dishes."


The Lillians said...

I can not believe you have never told me that story before! I can't even imagine how horrifying that day would have been! YUK!!! I would have quit right there on the spot! It's good you didn't, but I can't believe you stayed, and I can't believe you had to clean it up.

Dallas said...

I often think of this story when I am having a bad day at work and it makes me feel thankful and blessed.

Connie said...

This story makes me grateful for baby poop, if that can be possible. How disgusting!

Mary Ellen said...

Oh, what a horrifying experience! Bless you for your compassion on that poor woman! BTW, you have a delightful story telling ability.

Nathan and Lesly said...

I am a nurse and can envision this entire event. All I can do is sit here and giggle!!!