So I’ve been feeling a bit under the weather lately. The “bit under the weather” that means you have to go see a doctor and get a ton of tests done. In fact, after discovering I’ve been running a low-to-mid grade fever for over a month they decided that they needed to collect samples of all of my bodily fluids. I didn’t even know I had some of these fluids. After some poking and prodding for blood and saliva, I peed in a cup. Now I’ve always struggled with this. I’ve been very well conditioned to only pee in toilets, and my bladder doesn’t tolerate any deviation. After spending a solid 30 minutes generating a meager 40cc’s, I was given a “hat.”
That’s seriously what they call it. It goes in your toilet and then you… fill it. I won’t go into the disgusting details, but I could. I could tell you about taking the material and packing it into the small container and how it needs to be refrigerated and how then you have to get rid of the “hat.” But I’ll skip all that.
Of course, I’ll skip describing the smell too.
So I leave the hospital with the “hat” and all the related accouterments in a opaque hospital gift bag, and as I’m walking through the crowded atrium I’m hoping — and praying — that the bag they give you is in fact identical to the hospital’s gift shop’s bags so that no one knows the disgusting thing I’m about to do.
I take the rig home and set it up. Sure enough, soon I have a big vial of excrement ready to go back to the hospital. Of course, it’s 5 o’clock and I’m not about to drive towards Indianapolis during rush-hour. No, sir, I’m a small-town boy at heart. So I stick the container in the fridge. It seems strangely appropriate.
So after the traffic died down a bit I took the container and slipped it into a plastic sack. I would have used the original hospital gift bag, but I already used it to dispose of the “hat.”
I carried the plastic sack with the container into the hospital, concealing it as best I can under my arm. The walk from the atrium to the lab section is entirely too long, and I’m still trying to keep the container hidden. Then I start thinking about the guards.
What if they see me concealing some object in a grocery bag? They’ll probably sound an alarm — call the police! Can you imagine that conversation?
“Sir! Hands up! What do you have in the bag?”
No one stopped me, but I had to wait in line at the lab desk. It’s in a small waiting area just off the main atrium. There aren’t many people in the waiting area, but the people who are there are sitting right next to the desk.
Great. They’re going to hear me.
I get to the desk and some high school girl with a “Volunteer” name tag is running it. She has been drawing something — rather well actually. I digress. I said, “I have a stool sample to turn in.”
She says, “Do you have the paper work for it?”
“Paperwork? Uh, no. I wasn’t given any paperwork, but I was in here earlier.”
She says she’ll check with the nurses. I’m left standing at the desk holding my own excrement. The girl comes back out with a sheet.
“Just sign here,” she says as she slips on a glove and takes my container.
Then it occurs to me, this girl is a volunteer. It isn’t her job to collect my feces; she is doing it because she wants to. I left the hospital after my delivery, but I’d have to come back the next day for more tests. They went poorly, but that’ll come in another post.