It’s 0830, and I’ve got to get Marcus ready to leave by 0900. He’s 77, and is being discharged to a skilled nursing facility for rehab after a right total knee arthroplasty (RTKA). He pages me – he’s anxious to go home, but he’s in an immobilizing splint and a wheel chair, and needs help getting dressed. I tell him I can’t help him get dressed because I’m finishing up his discharge paperwork and have a new post-op arriving any minute.

“Marcus, I’ll send in Jeff (my nursing student is my CNA today) to get you ready to go.”

“Why can’t you help me? I really want your help getting dressed.”

“Marcus, I’d love to help you get dressed, but I’m about to get a new patient and I still need to finish your discharge paperwork so that I can go over it with you. I’ll go run down Jeff and get him in here ASAP.”

He looks past me to the doorway, and then whispers, “But I need help getting my underwear on.”

“Jeff’s pretty good with underwear, let me see if I can find him.”

“But Dux, they’re my naughty undies.” That pretty much stops me in my tracks.

“I’m sorry, I’m not sure I heard you. You need to put on your underwear, right?”

“My naughty underwear.”

Now this guy is a grey-haired 77-yo who uses a wheelchair when he can’t use his walker (and that was before the surgery). He’s morbidly obese, and quite hard-of-hearing. His daughter is coming to help transport him back to his skilled nursing facility. I’m going to pretend that I didn’t hear what I just heard.

“Well, if you’ll just show Jeff where they are, I’m sure he’ll be able to help. Are they in your bag?”

He reaches into his overnight bag on the bed, rustles around for a few seconds, then pulls them out to show me. I am now staring down a black, silk micro-thong that my patient is waving in the air.

“Can you help me put these on so I can get dressed?”

“Marcus, while I would love the opportunity, my new patient just rolled by the door. Jeff has special talents when it comes to underwear – I’ll get him in here ASAP.”

I see my student as I walk out the door, and I grab his scrub top and pull him into the break room. I tell him what’s going on, but I can see that he thinks I’m pulling his leg. He heads down to Marcus’s room to check it out – and within ten seconds he walks right back out of the room and up the hall. By this time I’m up to my elbows in puking post-op, so I can’t do a damned thing to help. A few minutes later Jeff wheels Marcus fully dressed into the hall, and his daughter takes him away. By this time, the whole floor has heard about the black thong, so I ask him how the hell he managed to get it on him.

“I didn’t. I just told him that since he was still dribbling, I thought he should wear the “nice blue pants” [Depends] I brought him so that his naughty undies and all the other important stuff wouldn’t get wet and shrink in the cold.”

Marcus must have been quite the ladies man at Middleville Haven.

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