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My Life With Adrenal Insufficiency

Going For A Poo In Hospital And The Toilet Police

toilet police

Going For A Poo In Hospital And The Toilet Police

As some of my followers may be aware. I have spent the past week in hospital. Staying in hospital is no fun. Seriously, it’s overrated. I used to love hospital as a child after I’d had an asthma attack and once I was on the mend. I would get to watch tv, play in the play room, eat yummy meals and have lots of hot buttery toast. I actually enjoyed it.

toilet police

This is far from the case as an adult. I can’t stand being in hospital and with the high demands on NHS staff, bed blocking and delays I witness during each stay I really can’t wait to get out and go home to recover amongst my family.

I always try to stay positive when I’m in hospital. I spend most of the time resting and sleeping and hop on and off my iphone. It keeps me sane when I get bored and gives me something to do when awake.

The biggest issue I always have when I am in hospital are the rules and regulations around me using the toilet. For me going to the toilet whilst in hospital is always an issue, something which drives me bonkers and so I’m writing about it to get this off my chest.

So, when my body is under too much stress for whatever reason, my cortisol levels go dangerously low and I begin to head into adrenal crisis. One of the symptoms is to get the runs. Yep its yuck but when the body is under stress that is usually the first symptom I get.

Having the runs, generally stops within a day once I get the correct amount of Hydrocortisone medication into my body. However having this nasty symptom along with blood pressure dropping often results in me being on a fluids drip and being treated as if I have the Norovirus or CDIF.

I know it’s just a precaution but every flipping time I come to hospital, even when the underlying cause of my adrenal issues is very clear, I’m placed in the “Infectious” category and put into a side room on my own.

Now the one advantage to this is that I get more peace and a little privacy in my own room, however  the down side is that the Nurses become the Toilet Police! 

It’s the same every time. I am given a commode in my room and told to do my business in the commode. The staff rightly have to treat me as infectious until proven otherwise. There is no innocent until proven guilty. Health and safety comes first. However it’s at a price and the price is usually my dignity.

So on day one I was given a real toilet to use for the first day and asked to collect samples to be tested so the Doctor could “rule out” infection. So I went and did the deed in the cardboard bedpan. There is a sign on the door telling me to place my bedpan in the Sluice room. So I follow the instructions on the sign.

The Nurse goes mad with me. “You must leave the bedpan in the toilet”, she says. Next I do as instructed, I make a doody sample and this time I leave it in the bathroom. I go and tell the Nurse, I have a sample which needs removing and testing.

Does the sample get removed? NO! I don’t blame them, who would want that job? Seriously! However when it’s the end of the day and the next nurse turns up and has to deal with 4 or five bedpans placed sitting in a row in the toilet, trust me, your in for a bad night!

So, I was demoted back to a commode. Told, I must do my  business in my room. That’s great however every flipping time I’m given a commode I am NEVER given toilet paper. So I’m not allowed to enter the bathroom which is now for other patients and I have to ask please can I have toilet paper. Nurses are busy and say Yes I’ll get some but most times they forget and hello, I’m finding myself using paper towels to wipe up afterwards. Not very comfy but the next best thing.

The next problem I have is the room smells. Anyone who has ever used a long drop will know when you poo in a small confined space it’s going to have an odour. Again nurses are busy dealing with more important issues and after informing there is “A sample” to be removed and tested, I am once again ignored.

Life would be much easier if…. I had packed a roll of toilet paper and air fresher into my hospital bag. It’s something I am going to do next time that’s for sure. So for the next few days, I am in a room which half the time stinks of poo and is avoided by all who walks past.

I feel like my dignity is gone. It is. Even my family are grossed out when they come to visit. After 4 days, of providing samples I learn that no one actually had one of my many samples tested. So I’m still considered a “risk of infection” although the nurses say they know I don’t have an infection, it’s Adrenal Insufficiency, I still have to follow the rules.

I want to run off the ward and use a public toilet. Desperate to not have to go in my room and deal with the embarrassment and grossness of the situation. My side room has windows and despite closing the blinds you can still see inside. There is no lock and it’s no fun sitting there hoping someone does not walk in. I find a door stopper and wedge it under the door each time I go to spare me the humiliation of being walked in on, but it still happens.

Thinking about it, I should have made a sign, poo in progress to stick on the outside of my door.

By day three, I have spoken out quite strongly. The nurses know I’m not happy about the no toilet paper situation. I ask when can I use the real toilet again? I’m told I can? Brilliant! Then the nurse returns and says sorry you can’t.

The next nurse comes on shift, she tells me I should be taking my samples to the sluice room! I tell her,  I was told not to before and even told it defeats the purpose of not going in the bathroom. So I begin to take my samples and leave them in the allocated place.

I finally see the doctor on day five. I ask if I can please use a real toilet and he says not until a sample has been collected! What the heck! After all this time, infection could have been ruled out had a sample been collected. I’m feeling frustrated!

I return to my room and once again use the stinking Commode for the rest of the day. The night team arrive. Oh and my room has not been cleaned in 3 days! it reeks! I do a sample and tell the night nurse. She says, why don’t you use the toilet across from your room? Trying not to roll my eyes I tell her I’ve not been allowed but eagerly ask can I use it? The nurse says yes sure.

I inform my new nurse of the struggles I’ve had with the toilet police over the past week and am told there is no dignity in that. Don’t I know it!

I’m told I am free to use the toilet, a toilet with a flush. I don’t have to go in the room any longer. However by this time I have my own stash of toilet paper and air freshener ordered from home.

So I use the toilet during the night only to be “told off” the next morning. Now we have to get cleaners in to disinfect! You should have stayed on the commode!

And so the drama continues. I really do hate the toilet issues here at the hospital and it frustrates me like crazy but rules are rules. However when the goal posts, or shall I say the poo posts change consistently, it just annoys the poop out of me.

Angela x

P.s I’m trying to remain Poositive whilst in hospital. This is me letting off my frustrations using my sense of humour.

18 Comments

  1. omg this is one of the most honest posts I have read in a long while! I hope you go home from the hospital soon! This sounds like a proper pain in the ass, I respect the NHS and all that but I do think that they’re super disognanised and they don’t communicate with eachother so you get told one thing from one person and the opposite from another – eyeroll xx

    1. It is honest and yes things are a little hectic. I guess the public holidays made it harder for staff to work with less support.

  2. I’ve got Crohn’s disease and every time you are admitted you treated as contagious. I take advantage of the side room and use the toilet in there. I don’t follow their rules. I know I’m not contagious

    1. oh it can be frustrating and I just got the all clear..like 10 minutes ago… I am not contagious…. which I knew a week ago because I have AI, but yes they do have to follow the rules but the side rooms here don’t have toilets lol!

  3. This is awful. Hopsital is bad enough without all of this too. The least they could do is make the room smell better. Bit of air frshener doesnt take a lot

  4. Air fresheners could definitely go down quite well! I always be respectful of the NHS, but the lack of organisation is horrendous in some places. Following some horrible mishaps with my family, I don’t have the best trust in them right now.

  5. That sounds so frustrating for you. I wish you a speedy recovery so that you can get home and recuperate in your own space. x

  6. How frustrating for you, my mum had the same at the beginning of the year, all the nurses knew she wasn’t contagious it was just her medication, but the next shift would have a different view! Hope its all sorted very soon xx

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