Friday, 4 May 2012
Patient: "A Normal Poo"
I have to admit, i use to find talking to patients about their bowel movements quite difficult, as i guess, i was embarrassed, or i felt it was slightly too personal and worried the patients would feel uncomfortable to discuss it with me (I have yet to overcome this difficulty when asking patients about sex). However, it turns out, that i didn't really have to worry at all.
All the patients i've clerked so far, have been more than happy to tell me all about their bowel movements, from colour, smell and consistency, to if there are bits in it. Though, one memorable moment, is from a very fit elderly lady, who upon us entering her side room on an early ward round, jumped out of her bed, held my FY1 by her shoulders, and exclaimed that this morning she did a "NORMAL poo". She was so excited and happy, it actually made me smile and be really happy for her.
I didn't quite know what was going on, but i knew after the ward round i had to go back and clerk her. She seemed so happy, i guess i just wanted to find out what had happened to her before.
She very kindly let me interview and examine her, and i found out that she unfortunately has been having constant diarrhoea for 6 months now, sometimes going to the bathroom up to 16 times a day, and have awoken many times in the morning in soiled sheets. I can only imagine how difficult this must be. However, since admission she has had a colonoscopy with a biopsy taken and steroids started, and after a week of starting her on steroids she passed what she described as her first NORMAL solid movement in months.
Her joy was infectious.