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John in Hospital

John had had four bouts of tonsillitis that year. His mum had taken him to the doctor who'd decided that it was about time he had them, and his adenoids, out. He was now the grand age of eight, but still loving his weekly washouts and the chance to wear nappies and rubber pants up to three times a week at night. He also wore them during the day when he had his internal cleansings but, as he wet himself uncontrollably just by wearing nappies and rubber pants at night, his mother felt that he should be continent the rest of the time so that he could chose. Having nappies and rubbers put on were, for John, his subliminal trigger that wetting himself was allowed.

The last time he'd been in hospital, he'd worn nappies and rubber pants the whole time and would have loved it, part from his broken ribs and two broken arms where he'd received the kicking from the bully's friends. He'd hurt too much to enjoy being in hospital, but he had enjoyed wearing his nappies and rubbers all the time, and when he got home as well, until the plaster casts had been taken off his arms and he could use his hands again.

He'd been to the children's hospital out patients clinic where the surgeon had used that curved mirror thing over his eye to shine light down his throat to see his tonsils while holding down his tongue with one of those wooden sticks. John hated that bit as it always made him feel sick when that was done to him. The surgeon had agreed with John's general practitioner that his tonsils did, in deed, need removing, s had made the necessary arrangements for him to be admitted. His mother singed the consent form at the out patients clinic there and then. The letter had come and John's mum had packed a small case for him and they'd caught a bus to the stop nearest the hospital. They'd walked together up the footpath with John's hand firmly clasped in his mother's while she held the case. He was definitely apprehensive about having an operation. When he'd had his arm bones straightened, he'd been unconscious anyway, so hadn't remembered anything about the operation itself to do that. This was his first operation where he'd been aware of what would be happening to him and was not looking forward to it.

As they came up the footpath and reached the top of the hill, the hospital opened out before them. John had seen the tall ornate chimney, but now could see the big ward block in front of him as his mouth went dry. They walked on the path around the lawn and entered through the main entrance which to out patients. They walked through out patients to the lifts and went up to the top floor as the admission letter directed. John's mum led him into the ward with beds around the side and a day room leading off at the front and took him to the nursing station. Handing over the letter to sister, the sister looked quickly at the letter and said, "Hello, John. Welcome to my ward. We're going to look after you for the next few days while the doctors stop you keep getting that nasty tonsillitis. Mrs. Davis, if you'd leave him with us now, we've found it better that way. You can come to see him tonight and we'll talk about visiting after he'd had his operation then." Sister Davis, John's mum, gave him a hug and kiss, promising that she and Alf, her husband, would be in to see him that night. With that, she left the case beside sister and turned to leave. Both John and mum were crying and neither wanted the other to see.

Sister said to John, "All children have to have a bath as the first step before being admitted. I suspect that your mum already made sure you had a bath this morning, but it's hospital policy. Nurse, would you give John his bath now, please and then, John, the doctor will check you over." The nurse gave John a friendly smile and held out her hand for him to follow her back up the corridor he'd just come up and this time, taking the first door on the right.

This door led to a large bathroom which was also the sluice room. In one corner was the bedpan steriliser which hissed with steam and beside it on the wall was a rack with the bedpans and urinals hung up to dry. The nurse told John to remove all his clothes and put them on a chair. She started to run the bath. It was a huge white cast iron bath standing on four legs on the red tiled floor. The taps were the globe type with green streaks down the side of the bath. As the water ran into the bath, the nurse put on a green rubber apron which covered her uniform.

She picked John up and placed him in the bath. She picked up a sponge and started to wash him from his head and hair downwards. He was told to stand with my legs apart as she washed there and then proceeded to rinse him off with a jug. She pulled the plug out of the bath and picked up a large white fluffy towel. She lifted John out of the bath and stood him on the floor whilst she sat down on a chair by the bath. Wrapping the towel round him, she started to dry him. John loved the smell of her rubber apron and the feel of the rough towel as she dried him as it reminded him of the times his mother had done the same for him at home. His mother had often been in her nurse's uniform, but always wearing her long rubber apron, when she bathed him, or helped him when he now had started bathing himself. The nurse gave John one of those hospital gowns which open right down the back. This was the type sometimes known as an X-ray gown without tapes but with a shoulder yoke and a cross over back so that it didn't fall open quite so easily. She led John across the corridor to the doctor's office where the doctor was busy writing up notes while she waited for John to have his bath.

She greeted him both by name and with a big beaming smile. "Hello, John. I'm going to examine you to check that you'll be all right for the operation tomorrow!" The nurse left him to the doctor's ministrations whilst his eyes and ears were checked, his chest sounded and heart listened to. She then went on to a more intimate examination. She put on a pair of rubber gloves and a white rubber apron over her white doctor's coat. She got John to lie down and lifted his gown off him exposing his one day to be manhood. She grasped his penis and attempted to pull down his foreskin. "Hmm, your foreskin is very tight. I can see you having problems in the future with that." "My mum has got me to pull it back every time I have a bath to try to make it slide down easier." John volunteered, as he felt, rather bravely. "Yes John, you've got a very sensible mother, but I'm afraid that you really need to have that removed in a little operation called circumcision. I think what we'll do is get your tonsils out first, give you two or three days to get over that and then, while you're still here, get you back to theatre to remove that troublesome tight foreskin. How would that be, John?" "If you say so, doctor," came the rather uncertain reply. She got John to stand up and put her hand between his legs and fondled his scrotum gently to check that both of his testes had descended into the scrotal sac. "Everything all right, there, John. Now, if you'd get onto the couch for me, lie on your left side and bring your knees up, I need to examine you some more." John guessed, correctly, that she was about to do an internal examination. A few moments later, as the doctor explained what she was doing to him, her probing finger entered his back passage and explored within. John was relaxed when she did that as he was used to his mum inserting colon tubes and enema nozzles there, after first lubricating him with a well greased finger encased in rubber gloves. "Well done, John!" exclaimed the doctor, "Most boys would have made a big fuss about my doing that." "It didn't hurt me, miss, so why should I?" After removing her gloves and apron and washing her hands, she ruffled his hair, telling him again that he was a good boy.

She asked John to sit on the couch and lifted the back so that he was sitting up and supported. "John, I know you've been in this hospital before and you've been kept in nappies the whole time. Things change in hospitals and the nurses on this ward are trying out whether it is better to keep their patients in nappies or to allow them to use the toilet, bedpans and urinals like adults would if in hospital. All of the younger children will be in nappies still as we find that the stress of being in hospital makes them wet the bed at night and sometimes during the day as well. For the older children such as yourself, we're giving the choice. It's entirely up to you. Would you like to wear nappies again both day and night, or just at night or not at all, unless you have an accident and wet the bed, in which case you'd be put in nappies at night? If you chose to wear nappies, we'll be trying a special anaesthetic which we give as a small enema." John was nodding to show he understood what an enema was. "Oh yes, you've had enemas before, haven't you?" "Yes, doctor," came John's reply. "Well John, it's up to you. If you do decide to have nappies, then you'll stay in nappies until you go home." "Please doctor, can I wear the nappies? I like being looked after in my nappies when I'm in hospital. I don't feel so scared and lonely and the nurses changing me makes me feel like my mum's looking after me." Oh yes, John. Your mum is a district nurse, isn't she. Well, yes, I can understand that. Nappies and rubber pants it will be! Just to check, some of the boys and girls your age won't be wearing nappies and rubbers. They shouldn't tease you for wearing them and the nurse will stop them if she hears that, but you wouldn't mind?" "No, doctor, I'm sure!" "OK, John, come with me and we'll find your bed."

The doctor led John by the hand to the sister's desk and whispered, "Nappies for John, please!" The doctor then handed over the paperwork and pointed to her decision that John should also be circumcised. The sister smiled, as she was very much of the 'old school' who felt that keeping the children in nappies and rubber pants was an excellent idea and saved work for the nurses as they only needed to change the children four times a day and that as part of a ward routine. Some of the newly trained nurses felt the same way so the half of the ward where John was to be nurses was staffed by a mixture of both younger and older nurses. The doctor left them and sister spoke to John, "I'm sure the doctor has told you about the special anaesthetic we're trying here. You won't have to breathe gas through a mask to go to sleep. We'll give you a small enema on the ward and you'll go to sleep up here and wake up again back on the ward. We think that it should be less frightening for children, but for your second operation, we'll put you to sleep with the gas and you can tell us which you think is better." "I can still wear nappies, though?" John blurted out before he'd realised what he was going to say. Sister smiled, "Oh course you can, John. That's not a problem. What I must tell you is that we want your stomach to be completely empty so I'm afraid no food today nor tomorrow before your operation, but you can drink as much as you like today and test your nappies for us! We'll also need to give you a laxative. I see you've had castor oil before. We'll give you that again this afternoon and a small enema this morning when nurse puts you in your nappies." With that, taking John's case in one hand and John in the other, she led John over to his bed and one of the nurses. "Free fluids only, nurse, castor oil this afternoon, a glycerine enema this morning and, of course, nappies and rubber pants for John!" "Certainly sister. Let's get you sorted, John."

With that, sister left and the nurse pulled the curtains around John's bed. "Would you take your gown off and get into bed. I'll be back in a few minutes with your enema, nappies, rubber pants and some large pyjamas which will hide your nappies for you." John was helped off with his gown and put into bed. The nurse left and came back, decked in ankle length rubber apron and gloves, with a thick pile of nappies, a pair of rubber pants and a pair of plastic pants, a pair of pyjamas, all over her arm, and an kidney dish. "We're trying the plastic pants, John, if you don't mind, and I'll put the rubber ones in your locker for later. We're trying the plastic ones as they're a lot cheaper, and we want to know what our patients think. Would you roll on your left side and bring your knees up, please?" John assumed the position which he knew so well from his mum's care at home. The nurse placed all the items down on the bed beside John and walked round to face him. She lifted a chrome plated brass syringe out of the kidney dish. It had two rings for fingers to support the barrel and another ring for the finger to work the plunger. The metal tip had been covered by a rubber tip. "This is full of glycerine. You're had the suppositories before, but this works better and faster. I'll lubricate the tip with a little glycerine, ask you to take a deep breath and the tip should slide straight in. I'll inject it fairly slowly so don't worry." She did as she said and, as soon as she'd got the glycerine into John, rolled him on his back to put his thick soft terry towelling nappies on his and his plastic pants. These were see through in clear plastic and had elastic around the legs and waist which cut into him rather than the flat wider rubber leg and waist seals on the rubber pants he was used to. John immediately decided that he preferred the rubber pants. The nurse dressed him in his hospital pyjamas which had a drawstring waist to enable the large pyjama bottoms to hide his nappies, although, as John discovered, the plastic made a different kind of rustling noise to the 'swish' of the rubber pants which he was used to. He was led off to play with the other children, but very soon the glycerine started to cause cramping. Very soon, John, who hadn't 'been' to the toilet that morning as he had become slightly constipated from his nervousness at his impending hospital admission, voided the contents of his bowels into his nappy in response to the effects of the glycerine enema he'd been given. He sat down on his bottom, feeling the warm mess squeezing up around his front, back and sides of his hips. The nurses would have 'fun' cleaning him up later, he thought to himself. He was called with the others to the lunch table where they were given the typical hospital fare of mashed potatoes, minced meat and watery vegetables. John, because of being on free fluids, was given two glasses of orange juice, preceded by a large quantity of castor oil designed to purge him thoroughly before his surgery in the morning. After the others were starting on their syrup sponge and custard (just like the hospital mashed potato, full of lumps), John was led away to be changed into clean dry nappies for the afternoon. He'd also wet himself during the morning – after all, what were nappies for?

During the afternoon, the children were encouraged to play after their lunch, then lie down for an afternoon nap. The blinds were closed, making the ward darker and John obediently went for a lie down as he thought he wouldn't sleep. He was right. Not long after he had got into bed, the castor oil started to cause the cramping he'd got so used to at home. Shortly afterwards, his nappy was filled in the seat region with the oily mess of expelled stool. When the nurses opened the blinds, the children who were not confined to bed were got out of bed and sat down for tea. John felt the nappies pressing the oily mess up his back and front, and he added to it without conscious effort by emptying his bladder. Again tea was for him was a glass of orange juice and this time a large glass of Epsom Salts in orange juice. "We want you nice and empty for tomorrow, John!" After tea, the nurse took him aside and told him that she'd put two more glasses of orange juice on his bedside table and that he was to drink them an hour apart. She stopped for a moment and John smiled at her, "Yes, nurse, I can tell the time!" "Good boy, John. As you'll be drinking a lot, let us know when you need changing as I'm sure you'll need an extra change before night. Just before visiting time, as the Epsom salts had gone through him like the proverbial dose of salts since the castor oil had opened the way for a quick result, his nappies where hang down between his legs with the weight of all the urine and watery diarrhoea he'd been passing. "It's a good job I've got the rubber pants on, nurse," he said as she stood him in the bath to shower him off before creaming him thoroughly with zinc and castor oil cream, and applying clean nappies. "I think you're right, John. I prefer the rubber pants as they stretch to fit snugly around legs and waist. I don't like the plastic pants as much and they get hard and brittle too. Still, they're a lot cheaper, so I suspect that we'll be changing over to plastic ones as the rubber ones wear out."

John's mum and dad came to see him that night at visiting time. John was more contented now he was actually in the hospital and he'd had a visit. He found to his surprise that he'd actually slept through the night, although his nappy was very wet in the morning just about 5.30 am when the two nurses woke him to get him ready. He was lifted out of bed and escorted to the bathroom where he was stood in the bath and showered clean. He was then lifted onto the changing table by the two nurses who were preparing the children for theatre that morning in the order they were to go down.

One of the nurses explained to John that she was going to put a little tube in his bottom and blow up a balloon on the end of it so it wouldn't fall out. The tube would be taped up his back with the end just above his rubber pants. The nurse held up the tube. "Oh, you mean a Foley catheter," said John. "I bet you forgot his mum is a district nurse," the other nurse said, "I expect he's seen those in his mum's bag!" John's back passage was lubricated with a water soluble gel and the catheter inserted. The 30 ml balloon was filled with water and John could feel the cold heaviness of it in his back passage, A piece of adhesive plaster was placed to hold the catheter in place in his anal cleft and very, very thick nappies were put on him. The nurses said that he wouldn't need changing for a long time as he probably would be feeling a bit sore after the operation. John was taken back to bed wearing his nappy, rubber pants and theatre gown. He had a large green rubber bib placed around his neck and tied around his back and a matching green rubber shower cap to keep his hair clean. He was left there behind the curtains to wait his turn. He felt the tube running down between his buttocks into his bottom through the rubber pants and nappies and wondered what it would feel like. He didn't have long to wait, The curtains opened to admit a lady doctor, not the one who'd admitted him, and a nurse. The doctor was carrying a kidney dish which she put on the bed, while the nurse was wheeling an oxygen cylinder and mask. In the dish, John noticed, was a syringe much like the one he'd had the glycerine in the day before, but this time there was no rubber tip. There was also a tapered bung in the dish. "Roll on your back, please John, and turn your head to face me. That's a good boy." The nurse pulled back the sheets and opened the back of John's gown to expose his rubbers and the tube. "I'm just going to put some liquid into the tube going into your bottom. It may fell a bit strange at first, but don't worry. Nurse here will stay with you and take you down to theatre." She connected the syringe to the catheter and slowly injected the liquid into John's bottom. The nurse pinched the end of the catheter as the doctor removed the syringe and then the doctor inserted the plug to retain the liquid inside him. "Just lie still and relax, John. You'll be fine!" said the doctor as she slipped through the curtains around his bed. The nurse sat down by John and began to stroke him gently, John could hear another child screaming as the doctor injected the fluid into her. "Silly girl," thought John, as he began to fell warm and sleepy, It doesn't hurt a bit!" The sleepiness overwhelmed him as he drifted into unconsciousness. Once he was out, the nurse spoke to him and shook him gently, but got no response. She placed the oxygen mask over his face and turned the gas on, and sat there, checking John's pulse and breathing every five minutes while she waited for the porter to take John down to theatre.

John woke up some considerable time later back in the ward with a very sore throat. As soon as he was able, he had sips of ice water to ease his throat and was then given an ice cube to suck. He found that really helped. Later he was allowed to drink iced water in quantity and did so as he was feeling very thirsty since he'd been nil by mouth since the night before. The lady who put him to sleep came to see him to ask how he was feeling and also about the anaesthetic. John whispered, due to his sore throat, that he was very happy with it, having drifted off to sleep in the ward and woken back up in the ward. The doctor told him that he had been a successful patient, but some of the children had made a big fuss about it.

A little while later, one of the nurses came with a rubber tube, bucket, funnel and jug of saline. She plugged the rubber tubing into the catheter still in John's back passage. "I just need to wash the remains of the anaesthetic out of you, John. I'll put some saline into you and then drain it out again." She poured the saline from the jug into the funnel and let it flow into John until he said he felt full. Next the nurse inverted the funnel over the bucket and let the water drain into the bucket. This she repeated twice more until the washings returned clear. She removed the tubing and put the bung back into the catheter.

John stayed in nappies for the next couple of days with the nurses trying whenever possible to use the rubber pants on him, knowing that he preferred them to the plastic ones. Even though his throat was sore, he enjoyed the ministrations of the nurses. On the third day post operatively, he was nil by mouth again and wearing a gown and a green rubber shower cap to cover his hair and the same sort of rubber bib around his neck, tied around his waist, with a nappy tucked between his legs. He was lifted by a porter onto a trolley and covered by a blanket. He was accompanied down to the theatre by one of the nurses who held his hand and smiled at him in the lift. He was wheeled into the operating theatre, as first on the list and lifted up onto the table. He found this far more frightening than the enema of alcohol, chloroform and ether (ACE) which he'd been given in the ward. All of the people in the theatre were wearing green gowns, head coverings, white masks and rubber gloves. This was scary! A voice behind his head said, "I'm going to put a mask over your face. Take nice deep breaths for me." The rubber mask, smelling strongly of ether, was placed over his face as his head was tipped back to extend his airway and his jaw was held as the mask was held tightly to his face. Nitrous oxide and ether were added to the oxygen flowing through the mask and John struggled against the overpowering smell which made him feel as if he was choking. He hated this and wished he could have had the anaesthetic enema again for this operation. He had no choice but to breathe the gases as his face was held firmly against his nose and mouth and started to feel his consciousness slipping.

He awoke feeling very sore between his legs where he had been circumcised and aware of the very thick nappies between his legs and the slickness of rubber pants over the top. Suddenly he felt sick and, before he could inform the nurse who was helping to escort him back to the ward, he had been very sick. He realised why he was wearing the rubber bib and had been placed on his side. The nurse heard his retching and stopped the porter. There was a kidney dish on the trolley and a cloth which she used to wipe up the worst of the vomit. "Poor lamb! Don't worry. That sometimes does happen with the anaesthetic. Have you finished or is there more to come?" "I think I've finished at the moment," said John as suddenly he retched again. This time the nurse was quick enough to put the kidney bowl under his chin and catch the bile which John brought up. The nurse wiped his mouth again and mopped his brow which was covered in sweat.

Over the next few hours back on the ward, John was sick again and again until nothing more would come up. He was given sips of water and he had his face washed to remove the vomit and sweat. He was also given several mouthwashes to remove the foul taste. Eventually he was able to drink again and was encouraged to keep drinking. He was left very weak by the sickness, so common when ether was still used as an anaesthetic and was allowed to rest in bed. He was pleased he'd got his nappies and rubber pants on as he didn't have to worry about his bladder filling and the wet nappies provided him with some comfort during his sickness. He had been left in his rubber shower cap to protect his hair and his rubber bib, so he was wet with sweat from the contact with the rubber clothing. The nurses kept making a fuss of him and he began to appreciate the positive sides of his sickness. The doctor came to see him and asked which anaesthetic he preferred. John had no hesitation at all in preferring the enema to the inhalation anaesthetic. Unfortunately, as the doctor told him, the advantages had been outweighed by the fuss some of the children had made to the enema anaesthetic, although others had made an equal fuss and bother about the inhalation anaesthetic. The doctor explained that John was able to stay in nappies despite the circumcision operation as the incision had been well coated in petroleum jelly dressings to keep the urine away, just as would be done for a baby! John was kept in hospital longer than the other children who had similar operations because of his extreme reaction to the anaesthetic. When he went home, he was fortunate enough for his mother to baby him when he got home. He'd begun to enjoy being cared for by the nurses and liked the attention he'd received from them. Perhaps, he mused, he'd be back in hospital again one day?

In the next installment, John ends up back in hospital and finds that nappies are going to be very much part of his future!


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