My mother is 98. I’m 58. Evidently somewhere between these two ages is where bowel movement discussions become important, and daily--much like the movements themselves (one hopes).
Having been around my mom all these years, I’ve been trying to figure out when this topic came to the front in importance, and regularity. I’m a bit unsure. I was thinking it was when she actually entered the nursing home almost three years ago now. But, on further thought, I’m thinking the theme had begun appearing as a daily conversation gambit before nursing home entry.
Now I’m not a bit squeamish. I am not only a mother, myself, but I have done counseling for years. So there’s not much anyone can say to me that will throw me for a loop. However, I do have favorite and not so favorite and some REALLY not so well liked subjects. In rank and file situations, discussions on old surgery scars and hemorrhoids as subjects do rank higher than bowel movements. Call me wacky, but that’s just me.
Last evening I called Mom just to say hello and see how she was doing. It took very few opening pleasantries, until Mom began explaining that for the past two days she had been constipated (if you’re delicate, please, I won’t feel bad, just walk away now--it’s not too late, you can click and be out of here in a flash--this is not for the faint at heart).
She said it had gotten so bad by the second day, she was having quite a bit of pain in her abdomen. It finally woke her in the middle of the night, and in she went to the bathroom to see if she could work something out. After a few minutes of groaning and such, the bathroom door opened a jar, and a nurses aid stuck in her head to see if Mom was OK. Mom told her the problem, and the aid said she’d go get the nurse and see what could be done.
In a few minutes, the door opened wide, and there was the male nurse. Mom looked up, and exclaimed, “Oh Not YOU!” At which he said he was sorry, but yes, he was the only one on duty, and asked what she needed. Reluctantly she explained her situation.
As he began to put on his plastic gloves, the entire vision and personal horror of the situation hit Mom, and she gave it, against the pain, one more hard push. And, Eureka, everything from two days, flushed on out, with sound affects and wild abandon.
Mom looked up at the male nurse, who’s face was recording his astonishment at the present event, and said to him, “You scared the shit out of me!”
Laughter convulsed both of them for a few minutes. At that point the nurse put his gloves back in his pocket and as he turned to go, said, “OK, it looks like my work here is done.”
OK, not a story for the weak in spirit--but I have to say, the best bowel movement story Mom has come up with to date. I hope you’re not flushed, but it just had to be told.