Thursday, January 08, 2009

Oh Poop!

Warning: The following blog discusses poop. If you are uncomfortable with reading about poop, stop reading or get over it because EVERYBODY POOPS!

I've had some health issues lately, which shouldn't surprise anyone who knows me. A few weeks ago I ended up in the ER because the left side of my face started swelling up. It was determined that I had an infected salivary gland and was put on antibiotics. I received several warnings that should I start having diarrhea on said antibiotics that I should let my doctor know immediately because it is some bad ju-ju.

Fast forward a couple of weeks and a few small incidents of diarrhea later and I suddenly begin experiencing muscle spasms. Muscle twitches? I don't know the difference. Regardless, various muscles in my legs, mostly my butt muscles, have randomly been spasming. Sometimes painful, mostly annoying, and progressively more frequently.

Holly finally gave into the fact that I suck at taking care of my own health and made an appointment for me at the doctor. The list of things that could be wrong with me considering my list of symptoms is kind of long. However, one of the things that could be wrong has to do with this antibiotic. Apparently it affects some bacteria that then begins producing a TOXIN that causes really bad (pardon the pun) crap to happen.

So, the doctor would like a stool sample.

I do not embarrass easily and needing to give a stool sample is not the end of world. As I was checking out I reminded the nurses that I needed said stool sample equipment. The nurse or NA comes back with this:

Just this. Not this in a brown paper bag. Not this in a somewhat see-through grocery bag. Just this. I walked out of the back area of the doctor's office with my head held high and my hands full of this (again, pardon the pun) crap.

As normally happens when a door opens or closes, all persons within earshot of the door quickly look towards the door to see what is going on. Suddenly 15 sets of eyes glance my way and immediately focus on what I have now deemed my sh#$ kit.

Now here's an interesting little look into the sociological affect of serving in the military. The woman who gave me my sh*% kit was an NA in the military for several years. In the military the health techs and other medical personnel have no interest in appropriateness, embarrassment or that funny thing you civilians love so much called HIPPA. It isn't unheard of for a health tech to yell something across the clinic that sounds like this: "Hey, John you forgot that cream for your jock itch." Somehow it doesn't surprise me that this nice young NA forgot or didn't bother to bag up my fun stool sample supplies.

I managed out the door of the doctor's office with my sh$@ kit and my sense of humor still intact. In fact, Holly and I were laughing so hard about the situation I barely remembered that I was going to have to be the guy delivering the cup of poop in the brown paper bag (yes, I'm putting it in a bag) to the lab the next day.

And then it hit me: at least I'm not the poor schmuck who looks at stool samples for a living.

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