This past week was quite an adventure for our family. One of my 3 children had to undergo a substantial amount of lab work and testing at the doctor’s office. I was a stubborn relentless mother who was finally granted an appointment with a specialist after 3 months of bullshit diagnosis…and then, there we were.
Of course in order to get a better idea of what was going on with said child, there would be multiple tests involved. Six vials of blood were to be taken, urine, X-rays and…a stool sample. Stool. Sample. I heard it as the doctor was rattling off the 10 tests he would be ordering but it didn’t quite register. Maybe I didn’t want it to register. I had decided to remove it from my mind until further notice.
Nine tests and 30 impressively time efficient minutes later it hit me that the final test still remained. I stood in the cold silent waiting room feeling quite apprehensive. I slowly made my way to the sweet receptionist at the counter and nonchalantly whispered “what about the poo?” She smiled and said that the nurse would be right out to explain the process, and explain she certainly did! 3 bags, 2 plastic containers, 2 “smear” tabs (yes, I said smear) 1 conversation and 2 paragraphs of very detailed instructions.
I was to catch my child’s poo in one container, scoop out a small portion with a trusty versatile plastic spoon and place it into another container. After the poo portioning, I was to “smear” 2 samples onto the tabs provided with the back of said spoon. Fabulous. Oh, and in case you were wondering, loose or watery stool would not be acceptable; great. I wouldn’t know the consistency until I was already fully committed with my hands in position. Total crapshoot. The nurse then stressed the importance of freshness(within 2 hours) and that the sample must be kept on ice and transported in a cooler. With the poo instructions explained, It finally registered that I was to deliver a poop popsicle. I was going to be a turd taxi. Bag o’ fun in hand, the fortunate child and myself chuckled under our breaths as we made our way to the elevators.
The following morning my kid called to me from the facilities for poop assistance. I knew in that moment that shit was about to get real…literally. Awkward as it was, everything was performed exactly as explained except for the fact that I adamantly refused to breathe through my nose. With the poop cadaver dissecting complete, I placed the specimen in the fridge in a conspicuous brown paper bag. This gave a whole new meaning to the term “brown bagging it.”
I knew that I needed to take the kids to school and immediately drop off the poopsicle afterwards. I placed the poo on ice and put it into a small cooler. The poo had the privilege of riding shotgun in the minivan.
Upon arriving in front of the school and opening the doors, One child hollered “there is poop in the front seat!” I then very maturely put a stop to it by adding “I’m the turd taxi.” Everyone laughed. Kiss kiss, have a good day, and I was off to complete my mission.
Entering the lab with my brown bag in hand I politely said “I have gifts.” to which the receptionists both laughed and kept it discreet until the child at my side proclaimed “it’s not gifts! It’s poop! Poop,poop,poopy, poop, poop.” To which both lab technicians and the 6 grown adults in the waiting room all laughed aloud. I mean “poop” is a funny word and my kid was just saying what we were all thinking.
The stool sample was handed to the proper authorities and it was no longer my responsibility, however I have had to endure days of ridicule and torment from 3 pint sized hecklers which included clever name callings such as “turd toucher,” “poop painter,” being told that I drive a “log limo,” and my personal favorite, “poop lady.”
Just a word of caution for the poop newbie. Obtaining a stool sample for a child is the parent’s job. Of course we’ll gladly do it because we love our children, but all in all the simple fact is, it’s a shitty situation.