Wednesday, September 08, 2004


Ok, I wrote this big, long dark post. I hit delete. It was too depressing.

So, on a lighter note, I will tell you a story, a true story.

When my sis and I took mom to the ER several weeks ago, we kept them in stitches. Literally, mom was calling the male nurse, "mama" among other things. She also had a newbie nurse. A cute, petite thing, with long blond hair, a sweet innocent face, and little girl sounding voice. So fresh out of nursing school, she didn't even know how to put an IV in. She wasn't new when we left.

The doc ordered a urine culture. The whole time we had been there, mom had been hollering about needing to pee, we kept telling her to wait, so here was her chance. The nurse brought in a port-a-potty, and put it beside the bed. For those of you that don't know about urine cultures, they have to have a "clean" specimen. Which means the area has to be washed with a sanitizing wipe before you pee. Then you are supposed to urinate a few drops, stop yourself, then finish in a sanitary cup. This is hard enough to accomplish when you are young, slim, and limber.

My mom isn't a small woman. She is probably 5'8, and weighs something north of 250. We aren't sure exactly how much, she won't tell. Being 80 years old, and feeble, barely able to walk across the floor without her cane or walker, hasn't touched her toes in years. Getting a clean sample isn't going to be easy.

Nurse: here Mrs.---- we need a urine sample, can you get it for me?

Mom: sure can honey,

Nurse: we need a clean sample, so you know what to do with this (handing mom the wipe thingy)

Mom: yes, I think I can reach it, I'm not sure. (trying her best to use the wipey properly, while my sis is standing behind her holding her shirt up, and her pants down.

Nurse: (hands mom the cup to pee in) here you go, do you think you can urinate in this for me?

Mom: I got to go in that?

Nurse: yes, ma'am, it has to go in that cup.

Mom: well, I can't stand here, pee, and hold that cup at the same time. Are you gonna hold the cup for me.

Now by this time, I am laughing so hard, trying not to, so my shoulders are shaking, I am having a hard time breathing, and my sis, who is behind mom, is in the same shape, only she has the job of holding mom's pants for her, up off the floor, around her knees caps. Both of us know if mom sees us laughing we are in deep crap.

Nurse: no ma'am I can't hold it for you. (her face had suddenly went pale as a sheet, I can't say that I blame her.)

Mom: well, isn't that your job?

Nurse: welllllll, I guess so, but don't you think you can do it yourself?

By this time, the nurse is standing directly in front of mom, holding the cup out to her. Mom tries to squat a little to get the cup where it needed to be, with no luck. Nurse newbie, I know had to be praying mom's arms would suddenly lengthen several inches so she could reach the perfect spot. It wasn't happening. Out come the rubber gloves.

Nurse newbie, finally realizes she's gonna have to bite the bullet, neither me nor my sis are volunteering anytime soon. So here we all are, standing around, waiting for mom to go. She got stage fright. After complaining for hours that she needed to pee, she couldn't. She just could not pee with an audience. I turned on the water, first the cold, then the hot, then both together, nothing. I'm doing the pee dance, and she is standing there, not moving, and certainly not peeing.

Nurse newbie told her to sit on the port-a-potty, and relax, see if things could get going. She had no longer sat down till we hear, "OOOOOOHHHHH, get that cup, get the cup, hurry, I'm peeing...too late. I'm done. "

After all that, she missed the cup entirely. The cup was still in nurse newbies hands, on the other side of the room. We wound up pouring the pee from the port-a-potty to the cup. After we all stopped laughing.

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