The first day of Colman’s transplant evaluation was a pretty long one that started at the lab where they drew blood (and tears). We had appointments in the morning with immunology, infectious disease and nutrition. The afternoon consisted of occupational and physical therapy assessments.
Colman was ready to kill me. Especially when we went to the bathroom and I pulled out the little “hat” for the toilet and informed him that the doctors ordered a stool sample. He just looked at me and yelled, “They’re so weird! And GROSS! Why do they want my poop?”
I could have told him about how they want to check for protein losing enteropathy and a myriad of other diseases that they’re able to glean from studying one’s poop, but instead, I threw the doctors under the bus. “Beats me!” I said, with a look of exasperation. “I’d have to agree with you. I think they’re a bunch of disgusting weirdos.”
But the poop had to be “clean” poop. Meaning it can’t have any sort of urine on it.
You would not believe the fiasco it was trying to get a stool sample in a semi-public restroom in the basement of the hospital. Or maybe you would. Turns out, it’s a very hard thing to poop and not pee a little bit at the same time. Then I had to separate the shit (really) into tiny containers without a table, rubber gloves, a mask or a Hazmat suit all the while trying not to gag.
I finally managed to do everything as instructed in subpar conditions with a nine-year-old glaring daggers at me. (I really deserve a medal.) I lined up all the bottles on the floor to make sure I had what I needed and I was just a tad bit short on the shit. You have to fill it to the red line and we were just under.
“Are you freaking kidding me?” Colman yelled.
“Shut up and just give me about three rectangles of that Hershey bar I bought you in the gift shop. I’ll just mix a little of that in there.”
“Mom, you can’t do that!”
“Why not? Tell me why, Colman. You think they’re going to know? It’s just going to turn to poop when you eat it. Maybe they’ll just think you don’t digest your food very well,” I reasoned, making Colman laugh.
(I didn’t use the chocolate, but I really, really thought about it.)
(To all the people who were in and out of that restroom, I am sincerely sorry for any trauma my little boy and I may have caused you or your children.)
I turned in the containers and crossed my fingers that they wouldn’t notice. The girls at specimen collection didn’t say anything. Maybe the pathologists won’t notice either? I was informed as we were walking out of pathology, though, that they forgot to give me yet another container that needed a stool sample.
“I’m going to need another hat,” I said, feeling incredibly defeated.
“But why? What happened to the one we gave you this morning?”
First of all, I had no earthly idea that when I threw that one in the trash can, we might need one of those ever again. Secondly, was I supposed to put a used hat in my purse? Even if that was expected, I’d have totally thrown it away and played the idiot on that one.
Clean poop. Who knew?
I’m off to take a hot shower now. Because even though I scrubbed my hands and arms up to my elbows with antibacterial soap, it wasn’t enough.