May 2004 (v6 i6)
Going down in elevators since 1997
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Nursing home resident eagerly awaiting next bowel movement
by Kristin Hillery, Managing Editor

DUNEDIN, FL — Nurses and staff members at Whispering Oaks Retirement Home reported Monday that one of their residents, Jack Forsythe, is eagerly awaiting his next bowel movement. Forsythe, an 86-year-old retired shoe salesman, has had little to look forward to since his son and daughter-in-law checked him into the assisted-living home five years ago.

"I kept a diary back when I was a young man and had a lot of things going on, but these past few years I haven't had much of anything to write about," Forsythe explained. "I stopped writing when my entries began to just say 'woke up, ate, fell asleep in chair' day after day. The only thing that really keeps me going is trying to predict which day I'll poop. It's a fun game that I usually don't win."

Forsythe went on to mention how his game enables him to receive a small amount of attention from the nurses, since they are partly responsible for his hygiene.

"Even if I don't guess the right day, I'll always get a sponge bath from one of the lookers who works here. Now that is a prize to be won. But if the baths are too sporadic, I can always take out my catheter. I buzz them and say that the darn thing has fallen out of my tally-wacker again. You've got to admit that I'm pretty damn crafty."

Instead of playing games and causing general discomfort among staff members at the home like Forsythe does, residents at Whispering Oaks typically pass the time by watching Survivor and playing cards in the lounge. A few days per week, however, they attend themed dinners at the cafeteria, such as "Beach Resort Friday," where various paper decorations such as tropical palm trees and lifesaver rings are taped to the walls, or "Luau Tuesday," where the same decorations are taped to the walls in slightly different places.

"Oh, did I say I was looking forward to my next bowel movement?" asked Forsythe, peering into his bedpan. "By 'next bowel movement,' I meant death."
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