Farting Is Still Funny!

I am a student nurse in my second semester of nursing school in a Medical-Surgical unit at a local hospital. I began this Tuesday at 0600, picked up my patient assignment, and reviewed her chart. Seventy-two year old admitted November 4th for nausea, weakness, and fatigue. Nurses Announcements Archive Article


Farting Is Still Funny!

Further review of her chart showed that the patient's medical history included a bowel resectioning, wound evisceration (a complication of hysterectomy), and what started all of these problems was "unexplained weight loss."

She had been in and out of the hospital for the past three months. I began to sort through information starting with her first history taken: unexplained weight loss, normal labs, and finally, the doctors found a growth on her colon; they removed the growth.

In October, they resectioned her colon and put in an ileostomy. Two weeks later, she learned she had uterine fibroids, and her gynecologist performed a hysterectomy. The surgery site eviscerated a week ago and was still being treated when she admitted to the hospital with nausea and weakness. I thought to myself "Wow, this poor woman! Nothing more could go wrong!"

I put her chart away and went to introduce myself to her as a student nurse and ask for her permission to help take care of her. I went into her room, and the doctor was in there explaining that they ran thyroid tests yesterday. She had abnormally high thyroid and parathyroid hormone levels. She then began to yell loudly at the doctor and me. (She drew a pretty large crowd outside her door.)

She said, "I don't want no more diseases, DON'T YOU give me anything you got! YOU AIN'T SAID NOTHING ABOUT NO THYROID PROBLEM TIL NOW!! I AINT GOT NO HORMONES LEFT!!"

The doctor patiently explained that though she doesn't have a uterus anymore, she does still have hormones. He explained the purpose of her thyroid and parathyroid glands, and he also told her that contrary to what she thought, we were not trying to hold her hostage in the hospital.

I listened quietly and waited for the doctor to leave.

When he left, she began to say loudly, "I don't believe this!!" Utilizing my therapeutic communication techniques, I said, "you seem upset, do you want to talk about this?"

"NO!" she huffed.

I asked if it would be all right if I took her vital signs and performed an assessment. She reluctantly said with a belligerent sigh, "I guess you can."

I got to the last part of my assessment which was listening for bowel sounds. I leaned down low, tried my best to listen between the ileostomy bag and wound dressing. The patient grabbed her ileostomy bag and burped it right there by my nose!

The smell singed my nose hairs! I walked out of the room gagging (without the patient seeing me)!

I told her nurse, and she said, "You do realize she just farted in your face!"

I laughed hysterically. Several moments later, I went back into the room, and the patient said: "if the doctor had listened to my stomach, it would have been him!"

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I'm a senior nursing student in CT. This is hilarious and I completely understand what you went through.

Ah that is so cute!! I love the elderly. :saint:

I fail to see the humor or cuteness. That is revolting. My 16 month old farting is cute, my 10 yr. old farting is not. It gets less cute the older they get. Once they get to 70, it's downright putrid with a capital P.

Specializes in OB/GYN.

I needed that! You have got to have a sense of humor in this profession or you will go CRAZY! I would have beed disgusted at the time as well but come on this is funny! It's also about putting yourself in this patient's position- it was her only way to let it all out... no pun intended. hehee.

Old people can do and say a lot of cute and funny things, but I can't help it, their gross bodily functions is where I draw the line.

Specializes in Geriatrics/ALZ, MDS/CPC.

That was flippin' hilarious!!!! :lol2: :nurse:

That just made my night better!! *still laughing*

I thought that absolutley hilarious!!! I can simply image the entire occurance. No, i don't see it as being pleasant for you in the moment, but if i were sitting in her spot in that hospital bed - i can't say i blame her. Sometimes enough is just enough.

Sill laughing.....:lol2: