Step Two: Open the green-top SAF collection tube. Using the spoon in the cap of the tube, pick up several portions of stool from contrasting areas in the collection tub. Be sure to collect any blood or pus and samples from areas of different color or texture. Add sufficient stool sample for stool and tube liquid to reach the red “fill” line, as shown on the label. DO NOT OVERFILL!
Now, I’m not sure just what happens if the collection tube is overfilled, but I was not ready to find out, so I really tried not to rush things during this stage. So, in a nutshell, you unscrew the top of the collection tube and it has this little spork attached to it. The idea is to jam the spork into your freshly-laid logs, seeking out the bloodiest and pus-iest turdlets available. At this point, I was starting to feel pretty good about whatever was ailing me because there wasn’t any visible blood or pus anywhere! I mean, how bad could things be? In fact, my leavings had quite a uniform texture and color, with nary an irregularity to be seen.
So, without any obvious malignancies to target, I just sporked the thing willy-nilly. It was kind of like playing with Play-Doh, if the Play-Doh were made of shit. I’d spork out a dung-ball, dip the loaded spork into the collection tube, swish it around to disengage the bolus, and then repeat until I reached the red line. I DID NOT OVERFILL!
I wasn’t quite sure what to do at that point. I twisted the cap back onto the collection tube but I was still left staring at the poop-filled collection tub. I figured that, before moving on Step 3, I should empty that tub as soon as possible before the air in that bathroom turned to mud. So I picked up the tub and turned it upside-down over the toilet bowl.
Nothing happened. It was stuck. I anxiously scanned the Random Stool Collection kit but there was absolutely no “unsticking” tool to be found. I thought about running to the kitchen for a spatula, but unsealing the crap-chamber I was in could potentially kill the entire crabbyfamily, so I was forced to dislodge the dung manually. I started tapping the bottom of the tub with my free hand like I would a ketchup bottle. Five minutes of well-placed thumps later, the giant log finally tumbled headlong out of the tub and splashed into the bowl like a baby beluga being rereleased into the sea after being studied and tagged by a boatful of marine biologists. Swim! Be free, little one! You’re just a little brown whale on the go!
Step 3: Mix and mash the specimen with the spoon until the sample is thoroughly mixed and is as smooth as possible.
Okay, now they’re just being fuckers. I mean, I get pissed off when I have to stir in all the oil in a fresh jar of all-natural almond butter. And at least I get to eat the peanut butter. Fuck you, Genova Diagnostics.
Step 4: Recap the tube and check to ensure it is securely capped. Then, shake well until mixed thoroughly.
Genova Diagnostics is definitely the James Bond of Random Stool Collection – they prefer their stool samples shaken, not stirred.
Step 5: Write your name and the date the specimen was collected on the tube label.
I really wish I had written my name and the date on the tubes before stuffing them full of my shit. It just makes more sense. I mean, at this point I felt like I needed a day long shower and now they’re making me hunt around the house for a pen? And then I have to write in all this information on these tiny lines on the side of the tube? Assholes. So there I am, squinting and holding the tube up close to my face as I’m writing, watching the fecal stew slosh around on the inside of the tube. Oh, and that’s another thing – clear tubes? Really? You couldn’t make the fuckers opaque? We all know what’s in there – it’s not like it’s a fucking mystery.
That’ll go on my “Helpful Hints for Genova Diagnostics” list:
- suggest that stool collectors write in name and date BEFORE filling tubes with shit
- make tubes opaque
Step 6: Be certain cap is tight for shipping. Place the filled tube in the Biohazard bag corresponding to the day’s collection. Seal the bag securely. Do not freeze the sample. Discard glove and used tub.
Glove?! What glove?!?! I was supposed to be wearing a glove?!?!
I dumped the box out, looking for the mysterious missing glove and found nothing. Then I rechecked the bag that contained the “Day 1” collection tubes and, sure enough, there was a single latex glove jammed in the bottom of it. Great. That’s definitely one to move up on the list:
- find well-hidden latex glove and put it on BEFORE you start shitting into the plastic tub and then jamming said shit into your tiny, clear shit tubes
I love how the shit-stuffed vial is a “biohazard” only after it’s placed into the “Biohazard bag.” Not a biohazard while I’m sporking it and stuffing it into the vial, mind you. Only AFTER it’s securely capped and placed into the bag. Nice touch, Genova.
And why would I freeze the sample? Is that something people accidentally do? “Hmm… my shit’s all nicely packed into the vial and secured in its “Biohazard bag.” Wonder what I should do with it now? Uh… well… I suppose I could put it in the freezer. Yes. That is what I’ll do! I’ll just make room for it next to the ice cream sandwiches and the leftover chili. Into the freezer it goes!”
Now, as far as discarding the “glove and used tub,” that was a toughie. One can’t just toss that kind of thing into the garbage can. At least, I couldn’t. I put the collection tub, and the unused glove, inside an old Ziploc freezer bag. Then I put the freezer bag in a plastic grocery bag, tied it closed, put that bag into a second plastic grocery bag, tied it closed and placed the whole wad into the trash can in the garage. Then I moved said trash can outside, fearing that, within a matter of hours, entering the garage would be akin to entering my colon. Luckily, trash day came and went and the receptacle was emptied. It’s officially out of my hands now. Some day, centuries from now, an archaeologist will unearth this abomination and speculate that it was some sort of offering made to an ancient god. Or they’ll just figure it was some sick fuck’s shit tub.
Tomorrow: The next day...