Sweet J. (my RN) handed me a pair of crutches, helped me into a wheelchair, and off we rolled to the ER’s bathroom.
Then came the hard part. I had to get out of the wheelchair, (not bending my leg,) and hobble toward the toilet which was old and very low to the ground. Did I mention I was barefooted? Per J’s instructions I was to walk with the crutches, without bending my knee, to the toilet. I was to take off my undies and lower myself on to the toilet. Yell, when I was done. Easy, right? Not so much.
For starters, there were large collections of yellow urine drops on the toilet seat, and a yellow, sticky substance (what was probably urine) on the floor. Fortunately, J. wiped the urine off the toilet seat. When J. exited, wishing me luck, and reminding me for the bazillionth time not to bend my leg, I made my way to the toilet, rested one crutch on the wall, used the other crutch for support on my right side , and dragged my undies down with my other hand, all the while trying to avoid the ‘what was probably urine’ on the floor at all costs. Because…bare feet. Then came the real challenge..the lowering of the butt onto the unusually low toilet, without bending the damn knee. Oh. My. God.
Add to this horrible equation, Mother Nature’s urgent need that she’d been signaling me about for literally hours, and her insistence that she was not to be ignored. Fun times.
Y’all. I stepped in the ‘what was probably urine.’ Yup. In all of its sticky, stinky, and generally very, very gross glory.
Let’s take a minute to collectively send a plea to all the Deities, and pray that the urine neither belonged to a chronic IV drug abuser, nor did it belong to some promiscuous someone, who was dead against the idea of using protected sex.
The way I saw it? I had two choices. I could go all Lady Macbeth, scrubbing my feet raw with a scalding bleach solution, shouting “out damned urine! Out I say!”… Or, I could just say ” ***k it”, and carry on. Fortunately for the nursing staff, and for every other poor soul in the ER, I chose option number two.
I ‘yelled’ for J. per his instructions, and somehow or other, we wove our way back through the chaos of the ER… wheelchair, crutches, leg immobilizer, and contaminated feet in tow, to my bed.
Here’s why I have such huge admiration for ER nurses. When I came back from the bathroom, they were prepping the bed/cubicle next to me (that the guy who needed morphine and a hot meal had recently vacated,) with equipment and meds. Three of them were going over, out loud, the protocol for peritoneal dialysis, together with the resuscitation protocol for a patient who was on her way to the hospital via ambulance, having just attempted suicide by overdosing. I’m thinking one of the nurses might have been in training, because the teaching element was pretty intense. No protocol ‘stone’ was left unturned.
And there *I* was, getting freaked out over pee on my feet? Wow. What a reality check.
I saw the new patient being rolled in, pale but awake. She said she “felt tired”, when questioned by the nurses. I fervently hope her outcome was OK, and that she didn’t need too much in the way of desperate medical measures. (I was transferred to my room soon after her arrival.) I do know this: she was in excellent hands. I have nothing but the highest of praises for the ER staff at Kona Community Hospital. (Thank you guys, if you ever happen to read this…especially you, J… I will not forget your going out of your way to bring a diet coke to this soda drinking junkie.
The other guy next to me, with the high blood pressure and the pounding headache? His scans showed no stroke or tumor, and he got to go home. Lucky, lucky boy. He promised to take his meds from now on.
To be continued….