Friday, March 23, 2007

The question "What is this shit?" can now be answered with authority

There are those who, in fact, can't tell shit from shinola.

Now there are online resources for those seeking to answer the eternal question, "What is this shit?"

The Bristol Stool Form Scale

According to the the very nice folks - they don't seem very stuck up, at all - at the International Foundation for Functional Gastrointestinal Disorders (IFFGD):

Developed at the University of Bristol, U.K., the Bristol stool form scale is a recognized, general measure of stool consistency or form. Using this scale, you can help your physician sort out patterns or changes in bowel habit. Remember, this is intended as a general, not exact, measure. Use this guide to complete your diary and worksheet, and share the information with your physician.

The Standard Euro-turd
Dr. John Crippen, writing in his award-winning
Best Medical Weblog, Best Literary Medical Weblog, Best Health Policies/Ethics Medical Weblog
diary ("Dr John Crippen's weekly diary. The trials and tribulations, the pleasures and pitfalls of family medicine in the modern British National Health Service"), here recounts his "rite of passage" with an elderly patient.
I now digress to tell you about the statistical phenomenon of discontinuous variation. The height of the population is an example of continuous variation; there is a gradation of height throughout the population. Discontinuous variation is something that is either "on" or "off". For exampale, some people excrete asparagus in their urine. Some do not. You will know if you do.

The pastime of inspecting your stools after a bowel action is another example of discontinuous variation. Some people do. Some people do not.

Patricia does not. And even if she did, she would never talk about it.

Now, for the first time in her life, in order to win her pads, s
he not only has to examine her stools, but she has to classify them from 1 – 7 according to the Bristol Stool Form Scale:

Patricia is horrified.

Horrified or not, she is a meticulous sort and wants to get it right. She is baffled by the classification and is uncertain whether her stools are Type 2, 3 or 4. So she needs to consult an expert. She thus arrived with her Bristol Stool Form Scale chart and a Pyrex bowl with cling film across the top. Inside was a stool. I was able to tell her that it was unequivocally a Type 3 stool.

I know these things, because I am a doctor.

Later, I phoned the Turd-Commissar and told her that Patricia was elderly and upset. All she needed was nursing input and pads. Sorry, that is not on the protocol. Her stools must first be categorised and classified.

I think it must be Brussels. We have the Euro-sausage and the Euro-banana. Soon we will have the standard Euro-turd.
All quite hilarious in that typically British fashion.

If you are still confused, try the revised Bristol Stool Form Table

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