A few weeks ago I was working in the ER helping out in triage. A woman strode into the emergency department waiting room. After a few clicks on the check-in kiosk, the nurse and I could see her chief complaint pop up on our screens-abdominal pain. A common presentation in the ER, we didn’t think much of her complaint. That is, until she stepped back in the triage room to have her vital signs taken informing us she was carrying with her a Tupperware full of her own stool.
My threshold for ‘gross’ is pretty high, but there are still a few things that get to me. Number two’s are probably number one on the gross scale in my book. I don’t want to see it, I don’t want to smell it, and I certainly don’t want to peer into that large plastic container you just pulled out of your purse.
People are obsessed with poop. Mothers frequent the emergency department concerned about the color, consistency and frequency of a child’s stool. Elderly patients seem to believe that any, any change in bowl habits is a sign of certain doom. Or, at least warrants and enema STAT (you can buy them yourself at Walgreen’s, you know…). Even outside of work, as a runner I understand the obsession. Miscalculate your bathroom schedule and you just might find yourself 5 miles away from a restroom with exercise-induced intestinal motility.
Given our apparent natural human tendency for concern with crap, I’m not sure why I was surprised by the number of apps dealing with poo. Here are a few mobile resources your patients might find helpful for tracking their number 2’s.
More Medical Selections…
GI Buddy, an app designed for Crohn’s and ulcerative colitis patients, helps track diet and disease symptoms. Information entered into app is easily accessible helping you determine the next best steps for your patients struggling with gastrointestinal illness.
Designed with the concerned parent in mind, the PoopMD app created by John’s Hopkins University helps moms analyze the color and consistency of little one’s stools. The app helps allay concerns about abnormally colored baby poop reminding parents that most of the time anything but red, black, or white is normal. This app is a must-recommend for the first time mom who calls your office with a daily baby BM report.
Bowel Mover Pro
This digestive journal allows users to track the number and texture of bowel movements as well as other health factors influencing digestion like diet, stress level and water intake. The app even auto-populates a poop calendar showing a red ‘X’ on days without a bowel movement. Helpful for the number two obsessed.
What is your poo telling you? PooLog can help. The app contains a clever mix of bathroom humor and legitimate medical information allowing users to track digestive activities. Fun app features include a poo timer and poo pastimes becasue, well, everyone poops.
Just for Fun…
This app has no value to the medical field whatsoever, but I simply couldn’t resist including it in this list. Poop Salary tracks how much you are being paid to go number two at work. Simply enter your salary and the amount of time you spend each day atop the porcelin throne. The app calculates how much your employer is forking over while you’re working on bodily functions rather than actual work.
It’s hard to get comfortable enough to do a number two in an icky restroom. Charmin’s SitOrSquat app aims to solve the problem for poopers on the go. The app helps users find public restrooms nearby. Restrooms are rated for cleanliness, a helpful ‘heads-up’ when you’ve gotta go.
Poop the World
I almost can’t look at this app without gagging. Poop the World allows users to track their bowel movements in real-time noting descriptors like odor, quality and quantity…and share with friends. TMI if you ask me.
Because You Can’t Overlook Urine…
While Run Pee has no utility in the medical world, it’s quite practical. After downing an extra-large Coke during movie previews, it’s inevitable you’re going to have to take a leak right as the film reaches it’s climax. Enter Run Pee. The app has a carefully selected list of Peetimes for movies. It recommends a few three to five minute windows for a quick restroom run so you don’t miss crucial plot twists or exciting action scenes.
What apps do you find helpful in your practice?
You Might Also Like: The Most Depressing (or Inspiring) Health App Ever?