My carers arrive at 7:30 AM every day. We are all very familiar with the routine. The carers know what to do and what order to do it and I know they will roll me, put me in the sling, undress me (steady people) hoist me onto my shower/commode chair and wheel me into the shower room. It's a tried and tested routine that runs as smoothly as Mo Farah on a regular training session; a nicely relaxed and steady pace without trying to break any world records. Usually.
Iresia, my Sri Lankan carer, arrives first and tells me that Josephine, my other carer, will be running late. Minor disruption to the regular routine but nothing too troublesome. Until.
Iresia arrives at the side of the bed to disconnect my overnight catheter bag which usually contains about a litre of urine. That's the usual amount give or take.
" Oh no. What happened?"
She holds the empty catheter bag. Where has all the urine gone? It was a long time passing and the bag should be nearly full.
She lifts the duvet to reveal exactly where it went; all over the bed.The whole bed is soaking wet including me which is weird because I don't feel like I'm covered in piss. My catheter bag had broken free from its connection to my suprapubic catheter.
A suprapubic catheter for the layperson is a tube that runs from my bladder so I no longer have a normal male relationship with my toilet/floor. (I thought they were called super pubic catheters which I assume meant they had special powers like converting the piss back into red wine. Sadly, it doesn't.)
By now Josephine has arrived and we immediately switch into code red. Sling quickly brought the bad and I am rolled over in the piss so that they can roll me over to fit the sling underneath me.
I make some grant of mild displeasure as my shoulder rests on a puddle of piss. Iresia gives a giggle and says, "like a swimming pool"
We all laugh and an appropriate response had already popped into my head.
"You just take the piss." I keep it in my head because her English is not that good and it would take to long to explain.
Safely in my shower/commode chair (yes, my arse is a stranger to the toilets seat) Josephine wheels me into the shower room, parks me up, closes the shower room door and returns to help Iresia strip the sodden bedclothes, night shirt and disinfect the bed completely, take the soiled bits and pieces and put them in the washing machine and then take fresh bedding from the chest of drawers and make the bed.
I'm sitting on my own in my bathroom hearing all this kerfuffle as they sort things out and think to myself that anyone who believes immigrants are taking their jobs is welcome to apply to take care of me as well as my non-English carers do everyday.
Otherwise, be grateful that there are people who are willing to do these tasks including wiping my arse for a pittance and incredibly long hours.
I love them all.