Wednesday, February 2, 2011

I'm just sayin', it isn't that easy

One of the things I've never wanted to hear from doctor is "I'll need a stool sample."

Oy. Um, no thanks.

She follows it up with, "Don't worry. It's easy."

No it isn't. I found out today just how difficult it is.

I picked up my stool collection kit this morning. Just your typical Wed...drop off the kids, get a coffee, pick up a fecal matter collection swab. Again I was told "it's easy."

I returned to my kid-free house, knowing that if I was going to do it (the big collection), now was the time. Nina wouldn't be staring at me, asking a million questions, and Audrey wouldn't be yelling from the living room, "Mom, can I have an apple." Both of which would be unwanted distractions during the poo harvest.

I took a deep breath and opened the kit. One large baggy, one very small baggy, a curious folded square of toilet seat cover-like paper, a small square of soft paper, an envelope (yeah, like I'll mail it), and a tube and wand that reminded me of Nina's bubbles.

I had three sets of directions - all for different parts of the process.


The bubble wand is what I use to scrape the poop, then I put it back into the bottle of bubble juice. Here's the thing: do you realize how much thought has to go into exactly how you get to the point where you can scrape with said wand?

For example, one set of directions addressed the large folded toilet seat cover. Turns out you actually lay it over your toilet seat and you poop on top of it. YEP. On top of it. And step 3 (I think - things are a bit fuzzy now) reminds you to scrape BEFORE THE POOP HITS THE WATER.


I pondered all of this before starting because it seemed important. I don't know about you, but prior to #2, #1 usually makes an entrance. This, my friends, would make the toilet seat cover-thingy start to sink into the toilet before you can poop on it...and before you can make the eventful scrape.

So for those of you who will have to have this awesome colon screening in the future, I'll give you a few hints about how to make this go smoothly.

Go #1 first. Wipe and flush.

Lay puppy pad (toilet seat cover thingy) on toilet seat, go #2. BUT NOT TOO MUCH! You have to rise , grab bubble wand, turn around with your nose in the toilet and scrape quickly. Yep, it smells gross. I'm not kidding when I say that it's as if the poop knows when you have enough on your wand - the puppy pad falls quicly after that. Game over. You'd better have gotten what you came for.

So now you sit back down and stare at the wand that you have to put back into the bubbles. And now I see that the head of the bubble tube is very small, so when you push the wand back in - it can get a little messy, if you know what I mean. Aaack.

Now you take the soft absorbent pad, wrap the bubbles in it, then put the entire package into the small baggy. Then insert baggy into envelope, which has a return address label that I would never -- EVER -- actually put my address on.

It's worth mentioning at this point, that the instructions about the puppy pad explicitly say it's biodegradeable and should be flushed. Well, it clogged my toilet. So now I have a poop-sample-in-an-envelope, my cat's paw clawing my direction from under the bathroom door, and a rising bowl of unfresh toilet water.

I'm proud of myself because I didn't throw up my hands in frustration. I just grabbed a plunger, yelled at the cat and dropped off my smelly sample at the lab.

Ahhh...Happy Wednesday.

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