Monday, August 18, 2008

Stool Sample

WARNING: If you have no tolerance for reading about poop (i.e. if you have no kids), don't read this post.

For the last 18 months I've had a problem with on-and-off diarrhea. So I went to see a gastroenterologist about it, and naturally the first thing the doc wants is a stool sample. I had to collect it and put some of it in four little vials, one to refrigerate, one to freeze, and two to keep at room temperature.

Now, as a mom of four kids, I've handled a LOT of poop. It is one of the Three P's (the other two being Pee and Puke) around which your life centers when you have kids. But this was like ten times more disgusting than changing a diaper. Don't ask me why; I've done every kind of diaper operation-- green ones, massive head-to-toe blowouts, public #2 accidents. I would have preferred one of those to collecting this stool sample.

As I spooned the stuff into the vials, I noticed that the vials carried a warning not to drink the contents. I'm one of those people that when she sees a sign that says "Keep Off The Grass" my very first thought is to walk on the grass even if I don't actually do it, but I had NO desire to drink the contents of the vials. I'm not sure why they need that warning. Who opens up a stool sample kit thinking to find something tasty to drink??

I had to turn on the fan and put on the headphones at top volume just to get through it, but I got the vials all filled and put in the appropriate chilling appliances, and I'll be taking it in to the lab as soon as dawn cracks over the Wasatch range.