Week 2. ADL = activities of daily living

The humanity of it all:

Nurse squeezing feces out of colostomy bag of depressed young man, and since the bags are not single use, quietly replacing the curved, plastic clip on not-exactly-sterile bag. Embarrassed Grandpa's clip falling out (and everything else along with it) in the middle of a family gathering.

Enemas (four types), sometimes repeated, or raised and lowered like aquarium-cleaning pump, changing the water if too much solid matter appears.

Patient being lifted by hospital's version of a miniature forklift, dangling in gigantic, plastic stork's pouch like a baby again.

How everything comes full cycle, the girl the mother of the woman, the woman mother of the girl. What starts on four legs, goes on two, and ends on four? Same goes for men, and everyone in between.

None of the positions dignified, upsetting for family to see even though positions change every two hours to prevent bedsores (and with them, lawsuits). Fowler's, dependent upon the bend of the hospital bed. Supine = corpse pose. Side-lying = enema. Sims, nearly face down, pillow between bent legs. Prone: face down and vulnerable, arms raised as if begging for mercy.

Document everything within 15 minutes, because there is no time for you and me, indecisions, revisions. A minute may reverse it all.


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