Caregiving Vignettes: “Something Stinks”

(Above) The frog is my sponge holder and the kitty is my spoon rest.  I was just about done doing the dishes and I notice just how it appeared that the frog was looking big eyed at the bathing kitty.  So of course I snapped the picture, sudsy hands and all.

…and now to..

Caregiving Vignettes  “Something Stinks”

Getting to the bottom of what stinks in a person’s bedroom is something I don’t want to be good at until I need to do it. Mike came out of his room stinking last night so much so that I asked him to take a shower and get all new clothes on.  Easier said than done!

Before each shower I’ve been having to go over the importance washing well and the most important part: with soap. I could hear myself having said the same words to each of my three children as I am standing there reminding him where the shower is and where the soap sits. And, I flashback to having to send the teenagers back to do it again when the first time didn’t work. They were mystified how I knew they didn’t use soap. Then as they reach a certain teen age you can’t impress enough that there is a water shortage.

He always comes to show me that he is all clean. The shower seemed to work and had tired him out so I suggested, although it was only 6 PM, that he get in bed and we’d see him tomorrow. 

This morning I realized that whatever was stinkin’ was something that was rotten and or dead. And it was located in his room.  I did a search but couldn’t readily find anything so I loaded up a laundry basket with a trash bag, a bucket of sudsy warm water, some rags and some rubber gloves so that I could do a 360 degree quick cleaning. Loading up with trash and dirty socks, dirty underwear in his beside drawer and fleshing out all the dirty laundry he had rehung in his closet and towels and blankets he had carefully hung up on clothes hangers. I didn’t trust anything if it didn’t look pristine and I warily sniffed stuff to see what it could possibly be.

Has anyone invented a stink detector/locator? Maybe it could run off an app and pinpoint just where the odorant originates. Maybe nothing as good as a mom nose.

I carefully checked pockets of his clothing thinking there must be something there, under the bed and last, the bathroom. I scrubbed the tub and the sink and the toilet, the floor.

But it was almost the last place I looked – a plastic bag full of something I will never know what because I just wanted to dispose of the grossness. He had carefully placed it under his toothbrush and toothpaste right next to his sink. That was the source of the smell. I kind of wondered if he had brushed his teeth with it? But I didn’t really need to imagine much more because the problem is now solved. 

It was helpful that several months ago I simplified his bedroom, closet, and bathroom … not to make him our family’s first minimalist … but so he would have less to confuse him, and less for me to have to sort through.

The “buzzer” which is a little tune that plays on our new dryer just melodically sounded his last laundry load. Things are now sweet smelling.

Caregiving is an art, a career, a science. Don’t you think?

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