Whenever the rainbow appears in the clouds, I will see it and remember the everlasting covenant between God and all living creatures of every kind on the earth." Genesis 9:13

Monday, February 08, 2010

Especially for my OT friends

I've been an OT for 9 years now. I figure I've wracked up thousands of hours in bathrooms and changing horrible Depends products. I've encountered every body fluid out there, and had numerous ones on me at once. I've seen advanced, terminal gangrene. I've seen toes days before they fell off. I've stuck my hands into all kinds of horrid things accidentally. I've been puked on, drooled on, peed on, pooped on, spit upon, you name it. I've calmly handled blood in places it shouldn't be. (Did that this morning). I've looked directly into an open incision status post a Dupetreyen's release (that was my first day of my level II) and viewed tendons and bones in action. I've been there when people were suctioned and hideous things came up. I've done the Heimlich and seen gross things come up. I've seen people die, one via choking to death.

But today was the grossest thing EVER. I was evaluating this woman's wheelchair positioning, and when I moved her leg I saw a bit of white. I thought "hmm, food? they just finished eating." and then "probably paper towel". I picked it up and absently went to throw it out. But there wasn't a trash can nearby and I looked a little more closely. I picked up, with my bare fingers, a piece of the internal lining of an Attends. That part turns to a gel-like substance when wet and then dries back into paper when not surrounded by more gel. Sometimes when we change Attends we rip them and this stuff comes out, although generally the dry ones tear, not the wet ones. Somehow this had fallen under her foot and dried. And so I picked up one big, icky, piece of crystallized pee. And carried it around until I could throw it away.

That was not the highlight of my day.

4 comments:

David and Annie said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
otgirl said...

Nice! And very not nice. All at the same time...

Michal Ann said...

What could be worse than the list in the first paragraph?? Oh my, you ARE a saint. I had no idea you had to do such things. My heroine! Thanks for hanging in there.

1 Thessalonians 1:2-3

We always thank God for all of you, mentioning you in our prayers. We continually remember before our God and Father your work produced by faith, your labor prompted by love, and your endurance inspired by hope in our Lord Jesus Christ.

Emilija said...

I'm sure you handled it wonderfully and graciously. Come join me in outpatient- you don't see so much of these things. But patients in outpatient are getting sicker (as they are getting kicked out of inpatient sooner), so I still do see some of it.