Obtaining a urine specimen

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I took the 90-year-old colonel and his 88-year-old wife to the doctor's office Friday. That was no small accomplishment, let me tell you. Their own family never takes the two of them anywhere alone. We had some real concerns for odd things going on with him, and one test ordered was a urinalysis. He's in a wheelchair, and transfers only to a raised toilet seat for taking care of business. The clinic had no raised seats. The lab tech handed him a plastc urinal case, a Chux pad, and left him, in his wheelchair, in the bathroom. I heard him yell "RUTH!!!!" from up the hall.
I've never done this before. But I thought - well - the sink has a great clearance below and is sturdy. I asked "Can you stand holding on to the sink edge long enough to urinate in the cup?" He thought he could. So I slid the chair up to the sink, locked it, stood him up, down went the pants, put the urinal under the proper place, and by gosh he went into it. This from a man with advanced prostate cancer. When the flow slowed and seemed to stop (which is never guaranteed - Murphy's law rules as far as starting and stopping), I exchanged the urinal for the chux pad, and WAH LAH! Done! With one hand I set down the container and with the other whipped that pad out, then got him all fixed up and back in the chair. We were both pretty proud.
The day at the doctor started at 2:40pm and we didn't get back to the Condo until after 6pm. Exhausted doesn't begin to describe how I felt. Of course they both promptly fell asleep when I got them tucked into their chairs, and then it was time to prepare dinner... Just thought I'd share a creative way to avoid a catheter.

Ruth

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