4 years of med school, for this?

Recently I performed my least favorite procedure, a manual disimpaction. This is when I use a finger to mechanically remove extremely hard, impacted stool from a patient who is constipated. No one enjoys this, including the patient, but they always feel better afterwards when they can have normal bowel movements again. I washed my hands, and left the room feeling a a somewhat morbid sense of self-satisfaction and went back to my desk to do some charting. However, the distinct smell of stool followed me. At first, I assumed there was another patient who had a bowel movement and had crop-dusted the ER with what I call “the smell of victory.” Gradually however, the horrifying truth dawned upon me. I looked down and saw a sizable chunk of poop on my wristwatch and forearm. It sat there, looking at me as if happy to have made it out of the exam room and into the world. I was frozen with disgust for a moment, and then sprinted to the nearest sink to remove the offensive turd. I do believe it’s time for a new watch. . .

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{ 12 comments… read them below or add one }

Rogue Medic 01.08.09 at 3:49 am

At least you had the foresight to get a melena colored watch. The accessory for fashionable disimpaction.

tb 01.08.09 at 7:06 am

Lol. “…happy to have made it…”. So, people actually go to the ED for help with that kind of problem? i guess they must be pretty desperate by then. Have they ever heard of laxatives? Uh, trying to fix the problem themselves…? Their own doctor, if they have one? Okay, ’nuff of my judgemental ramblings. Go get that new watch, doctor…and make it a “Hello Kitty” ! :)

Braden 01.08.09 at 8:27 am

They say the only good poop is a happy poop.

Your ER Doc 01.08.09 at 8:56 am

Dark brown, waterproof watches from here on.

Steve Parker, M.D. 01.08.09 at 10:02 am

Thanks for the laugh!

Bah 01.08.09 at 7:15 pm

That’s great. Thanks for that.

*Bathes in hand sanitizer.*

Large Casey 01.09.09 at 8:33 am

Finally, a poop story. The wait was worth it. Keep up the digging.

DocV 01.09.09 at 1:19 pm

Hah! You owe me a new keyboard! LOL!

Steve 01.10.09 at 5:30 am

YOU DIDN’T GOWN UP!!!!! Oh thats right you’re a doctor. Standard procedure: gown double or triple glove and lots of chux, Drape the cot with towels, then chux, put on those cute yellow gowns that ONLY ARE TO BE USED FOR HAZMAT situations, triple glove and dive in….er proceed. Helps to have a garbage can near by.


whitecap nurse 01.10.09 at 9:44 pm

Dude – take your watch OFF first (and any rings too if you have them). That’s just nasty.

ERP 01.12.09 at 11:38 am

I imagine the nurses must have had a field day with you on that one.

ButtercupRN 01.28.09 at 11:32 pm

My friend who wore a watch with a stretchy type band was taking a rectal temp and the probe off the thermometer somehow got loose and was umm “sucked in”. My friend,who is a much more dedicated nurse that I am,went after it and in the process lost her watch briefly “up there” but gamely held on and came out with the missing probe and her watch. I don’t remember much of the story after that,I think I blacked out.LOL
Jeez,I wish I hadn’t remembered that story,thanks and bunch :P

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