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Date Posted: Sunday, September 26, 2010, 02:37: pm
I was severely injured in a cycling accident in 1984 and spent a month in the hospital and several weeks at home recovering with the help of visiting nurses and physical therapists.
While in the hospital, I was given Fleet enemas a few times as surgery preps and because I was constipated. I'm not sure of the exact words nurses used, but they were something like, "I have an enema for you" or "This will make you feel better," the latter not including the "e" word.
At home, I had a wonderful young nurse, just a year older than I (at 23). I remember this more vividly, despite the passage of so many years. Despite various preventive tries (prunes, laxatives, suppositories, etc.) the pain meds were still doing a number of my system.
One afternoon after I had been home about two weeks, Angie came for her usual 45 minutes or so. As was routine by then, she did what she called an "assessment," which meant a head to toe exam to see how I was progressing. Angie always needed to know my "output" which my husband was keeping on a log, along with vital signs and other information for my doctors. When I wasn't having a daily BM, she did what she called an "intervention" (see above). These interventions had been working since I was home, but then they weren't enough.
I remember Angie's words: "We need to get you moving down here" (she was listening with her stethoscope to my abdomen). "I'll ask for an order for warm water enemas. Think you can survive? (as she was smiling). Later that day Angie returned to our apartment and gave me two large enemas. It was a life-changing experience.
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