Monday, October 8, 2007

Good Night Nurse!

So I was out helping take care of Dad this weekend who is recovering from bladder cancer surgery. They took his bladder out so now he has an ostomy bag. Apparently they took out his sense of modesty as well, which must be housed near the bladder in the human body.

I'm sure giving Dad a modestectomy was a minor mistake they made during the surgery and they thought we wouldn't notice that his modesty was now gone. But we did. Dad doesn't care who sees his stuff now. He just wanders around in an open robe and nothing else. He also has the habit of dragging along a big bag of urine with him. Eventually he could use his ostomy pouch which can be hidden under clothing, but for now he likes the heavy duty, industrial sized bag, because it doesn't need to be emptied but once a day. You've heard of people who seem to have a bladder the size of a watermelon and never have to pee? Well this bag is the medical version of that. It's very convenient for those who don't want the hassle of using the restroom, but for the rest of us it can be a bit distracting during meals and polite conversation.

It was my intention to go out and be of help; do laundry, fix meals, clean house, and keep an eye on Dad, giving my sister a much needed break. The first thing Dad wants to do is take a shower. Mind you this is his first shower in 6 weeks. He's pretty determined about it, and Tracy and Dave have already installed the needed equipment in the shower for him. I ask if he needs help, as it is clear to me now that I've already seen everything so I might as well help him wash it too. He declines, and on one hand I'm thinking that's good, because he needs to become independent. On the other hand it scares me to death that with the combination of soap, water, and his unstable physical condition at the moment, he'll hurt himself. He heads for the bathroom and I listen to every sound coming from behind the door. For the next 11 1/2 minutes I'm a nervous wreck. If he slips I'll feel terrible for not insisting on helping him. Finally I hear the water shut off and hear him shuttle off to his bedroom. All is well. Thank you Lord.

Then he calls out for me. So I rush back to the bedroom and he tells me not to go in the bathroom. What kind of doom awaits I can only imagine, but then he explains that he had forgotten to put the shower curtain inside the tub and got water on the floor and didn't want me to go in there for fear I would slip. He'd just as soon wait for the water to evaporate rather than put me out, but I tell him it's no problem and go start the clean up.

Well, he got quite a bit of water on the floor. A good 1/2 inch or so over the entire floor, plus the counter, the mirror, the toilet paper and the unsuspecting box of Kleenex also saw what a hand held shower head is capable of when it's not being restrained behind a curtain. It was quite a sight, and how he made it out of the shower and waded through the wetness on the linoleum without killing himself will be one of life's perpetual mysteries.

Oh, and I think your modesty regenerates. It must, because women lose theirs all the time during childbirth, but somehow it comes back. Here's hoping Dad's modesty is on the return. Soon.


Anonymous said...

Every time I read this I practically pee my pants (taking after dad, I guess). LOL! ~Big Sis

Moody said...

Thanks for commenting, "Anonymous". It's always good to know someone actually reads this drivel, er, I mean this fascinating example of creative writing. And to hear that you almost pee your pants...that is the pinnacle of incontinent accolades. Thank you so much...