Bodily Functions

The first time I became aware of one of the nurses wiping my bum, I was still on a lot of pain relief medication. At its most basic level, I had to roll onto a bed pan, do my business, and then ask one of the nurses to come to clean me up.

My friends and I had joked about needing assistance later in life to “wipe each other’s arses,” but I never imagined it becoming a reality in my late 50s.

During those early moments of arse-wiping, I expressed my embarrassment to one of the nurses, to which they kindly advised me to “just go with the flow.” At that point, I realized I had no other option but to accept the situation and adopted this mindset.

Surprisingly, as time went on, I found that I shed the usual self-consciousness I had about people seeing my genitals. The medical staff have undoubtedly encountered their fair share of private parts, and it became evident that their focus was purely on providing compassionate care rather than any curiosity about my personal anatomy.

In the past few weeks, I’ve had to adjust to a new routine, where meals and ablutions occur at consistent times every day. Due to mobility challenges, I still require assistance to get to and from the toilet and shower, but I’m making progress each day, and I’m hopeful that within the next week, I’ll be able to manage those tasks independently.

Apart from daily routines, there are also regular blood glucose and blood pressure checks, along with insulin injections that are part of my current medical regimen.


Despite the challenges, I have been fortunate to be under the care of the remarkable nursing staff at St. Vincent’s Hospital, and now at Sacred Heart Rehabilitation. Their dedication and support have been truly exceptional and have played a significant role in my recovery.

6 Replies to “Bodily Functions”

  1. Having personally had a taste of this recently and with my mother’s current situation, I understand and any any self consciousness must go out the window.

    You sound positive and we think of you often.

  2. From my experience, the most annoying bit is staff being required to ask you your name and birthdate every time they do something! Hopefully you’re over that stage by now.

    1. Still happening now. A few years ago when an older friend was in hospital, they also asked him who the prime minister was. In the midst of that period when we had many prime ministers, he responded, “I don’t know. What month is it?”

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