The Junk is Out of the Trunk (Or in This Case, the Boxers)

Amy Bellis

The Junk is Out of the Trunk (Or in This Case, the Boxers)

Amy Bellis
hiding covering crazy dog with tie and dumb glassesYou're helping your father-in-law into bed and suddenly his you-know-what plops out onto mattress and you find yourself doing the "do not look directly at IT" dance.

While helping Grandma pee, you come face to face with her who-ha.

Your 16-year-old son walks in as Grandma decides to wear only her birthday suit on her way to the bathroom.

Feeding Grandpa tapioca pudding is one thing, but seriously? Will any of you ever recover after image of that-which-shall-not-be-named has been burned into your brain?

The reality is that if you’re caring for someone, you are more than likely going to see things that you wished you hadn’t. Some circumstances are more challenging than others -- a woman caring for her father-in-law or a son giving mom a sponge bath -- but in the end, only one thing matters.

The role of being a family caregiver begins and ends with love.

The profound love between a parent and child, the commitment between two lifelong friends, or the unbreakable bonds of siblings -- it doesn’t matter. Every single thing you do in this role is an act of love -- cooking dinner, cutting their meat, and yes, wiping their ass.

No matter how you react in the moment, whether you laugh or cry, in the grand scheme of everything else that you two are going through together, THIS faux-pas is not going to matter.

In the end, all your caree will feel is loved and cared for. If they’ve had a hospital stay, the chances are pretty good that they have already given up any hope of modesty. Even those who felt a little embarrassed at first say that after the initial exposure, they just felt unconditional love.

So the next time you are called into the bathroom to help, just take a deep breath and remind yourself that there is no greater act of love than to care for another person’s basic needs. And in the end, isn't feeling loved all that really matters?

Regardless of the meaning, you still have to survive the moment, so think of yourself as a nurse, and you have a job to do but remember to maintain your sense of humor. It’s impossible to be truly embarrassed and laughing at the same time. Try to have a BALL:

Breathe - take a deep breath
Attitude - don't take yourself too seriously
Love - is the basis for all of this
Laugh - beats the hell out of crying, right?

Have you ever come face to face with your parent's unmentionables? Share your story (and how you handled it) in the comments below. We'll keep your story private, I promise. This group's "junk" stays in the trunk!

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PDinTx

Have been here at least three times maybe more (as you do try to forget)with my dad.One time when we took him to E.R.the nurse said take off all your clothes except your underwear.Dad was hard of hearing.He undid his belt,everything slid right off.I said dad just pants please ,He said to dam hard to bend down to pull up just boxers.Handed him the hospital gown,to put on .I had my back to him .He's cussing,I say what now.The dam gown is inside out.O.k.I will help you.There he sits on edge of bed with his legs spread out ,you know what is hanging down..I say dad put your legs together.What ,What ,What did you say.I put his legs together,get hospital gown on.Another time after we got my parents in assisted living .The nurse was changing his catheter,the bed room door was wide open .I asked why .Nurse and dad said mom would not keep it closed.I told them that you can see right into the bedroom when the main door is opened.Hell yes we know tell your mom.Mom lets keep the bedroom door closed until the nurse is done .Mom says why .I get her to come to the bedroom door.By this time both dad and nurse are waiting for mom to come to door.Yes nurse still has you know what in her hands.Get mom to door ,I say mom do you see why we want the bedroom door closed ,when the nurse is changing out his catheter.She says oh well I have seen that lots of times.Up until now my hubby has said nothing.He starts laughing,laughing so loud a different nurse comes in to see what is going on.Hubby gets me by one hand my mom by the other and takes us in the hall .The second nurse comes out of there room and says it is put in underwear all is clear.Hubby still laughing...Another time we go to pick up dad from ER,Dad still under covers ..Why did I not know what was coming????O.k. dad you ready to go .Hell yes can not get the dam nurses to help me.O.k.What do you need me to do?Hand me my pants ,sure.I did not see his boxers so I am thinking he has them on. NO he does not ,Call nurse .where are his boxers?Dad says he shit in them.He says you don\"t want me to put the same _ _ _ _ ing ones back on do you.Nurse says I will bring you a diaper to put on...I cover up dad. He is looking around room .I say now what? He wants to know if I want his _ _ _ _ boxers I tell him no .The only diapers they have are the kind that you close on both sides.takes both nurse and me to get them on.Nurse tells me good luck..You need it with ,is he your dad .Yes I say .You need it with him and I will pray for you also.I thank her.I am So tired and thinking my eye will never be right again...Dadsays how about some fried chicken to bring home...O M G Chicken it is.What could go wrong ???Don't even go there....

Denise

I help my dad with his ostomy care. Before we change his ostomy bag, he takes a shower. After the shower, he walks across the apartment to the bedroom without any thought about the towel. I often find myself shouting, \"Dad, don't come out! The maintenance guy is here!\" and \"Dad, wait a minute! Mom's visiting nurse is here!\"\r\n\r\nHe also walks in front all of the windows. :)

Amy Bellis

I'm dying laughing....so traumatic!

Colleen

Amy! This is the best post! I laughed out loud. Like the Dr. Seuss book, \"Oh! The Places You'll Go!\", the caregiver's version is \"Oh! The Things You'll See!\" My Dad went through a phase of undressing at any and every hour of the day and I am still trying to recover after walking in to visit and getting the surprise of a lifetime. Great piece!!! Here's to wanting to poke our eyes out!

Desiree

This sort of thing happened all the time when I did this for a living. Back then, I'd just carry on like no big deal, which it wasn't. A little more difficult when it's a family caree. Fortunately (?) Grandpa was hardly in any state to even notice, much less be upset. Back when he was still himself, it would've been mortifying for us both. With Grandma, and Mom (sometimes) it's more like, we're all girls here so who cares?