Changes, continued...

Marty washed Thomas’ stomach, and noticed the fading “six-pack” under the cloth. As before, she rubbed oil into his skin. She smiled softly as she massaged his still-flat stomach, running her hands down to the top of the blue diaper, and then just under the edge. The lower she moved the hotter Thomas’ blush blazed. He had forgotten about the diaper. He closed his eyes.

“Are you okay, or are you getting cold?” Marty asked.

“I’m okay.” Thomas whispered, opening his eyes only to look at the ceiling.

Marty placed the back of her hand on Thomas’ exposed shoulder.

“You’re a little cold. I’ll be right back.” Marty pulled the blankets up to his chin, and plucking the hair clip off the curtains, snagged her hair into a rough bunch, and secured it as she pushed the chair aside with her knee and opened the door.

“Don’t go anywhere; I’ll be back in thirty seconds.” She smiled. She had debated between getting a warmed blanket, and just finishing the bath, but he really was chilled, and she knew that was adding to his stress.

Marty headed straight for the Physical Therapy room, where the warming bin was located. She pasted what she hoped was a distracted smile on her face and prayed no one would stop her to chat. She also hoped the saline warmer wasn’t on the fritz. Several times she had opened the warming bin and found only bags of saline. Today, however, she was relieved to find several blankets, folded and warmed to a little over 100 degrees. She took four.

As she passed back by the nurses’ station, no one even looked up. In the brief lull between afternoon meds and dinner, most were busy charting. She checked the clock. She was surprised to see that they had forty minutes until supper was brought up.

Marty knocked softly before re-entering the room. She tried to see with an objective eye whether anything looked out of place. She decided the room looked normal. She placed the chair back beside the door, careful to not block the door completely, and opened the curtain.

Thomas’ eyes were shut, and appeared to be sleeping, if one didn’t notice the way his pulse jumped at his temple.

“Are you still okay?” Marty said quietly.

“Yeah, you only took twenty-seven seconds…”Thomas smiled.

“This should feel pretty good.” Marty said as she pulled the sheet and blanket down to his waist.

“Compared to what?” Thomas started, and then moaned loudly in pleasure when Marty placed one of the warmed blankets over his chest and arms.

“Told ya. Almost nothing feels better.” Marty smiled.

“Yeah. Almost nothing.”

Marty rolled the remaining three blankets tightly together, and laid them in the chair next to the bed. Marty took the basins to the bathroom and rinsed and refilled them with warm and hot water respectively. Then she closed the curtain, and re-secured it with her hair clip.

“Now, we only have a little time left, so I’m going to work faster, okay?” Marty asked as she pulled the blankets down to the foot of the bed.

“Have your way with me...” Marty could hear the false bravado in the catch of his voice.

“I’ll just do your legs and feet for now.” Marty knew he dreaded her removing the diaper.

She unfolded the slowly cooling blanket and covered his upper legs, and pulled the bed-tray to the foot of the bed. She reminded herself that she didn’t have all night as she picked up his left leg. Thomas blushed again and closed his eyes. She didn’t try to make conversation. She knew he had forgotten about the TEDS, too. The tight, white compression stockings to prevent blood clots made his legs seem even thinner than they were.

Marty felt the heat rise in her own face, as she slowly removed the stockings. She was glad for the powder on the night stand. As difficult as they were to remove, TEDS were an absolute bitch to put on.

She washed his feet thoroughly, feeling her temperature rise as she massaged oil into the softening soles. She picked up, and washed and dried one leg, then the other. Feeling the weight of him against her body nearly drove her to distraction, but she knew she was pushing the time envelope as it was. Thomas’ eyes remained closed.

Marty quickly washed his upper legs, trembling as she ran her hands over him. She then massaged oil into his legs, concentrating on his knees and ankles. While she worked, she checked carefully for any redness that could indicate the beginnings of a bedsore. The insides of his knees were a bit red, but when she pressed them lightly, her worry was alleviated. They went white and when she relieved the slight pressure, the blood came back. She made a mental note to make sure that he had extra cushioning there, however, and to note the redness on his chart. Her breathing was becoming quicker, shallower, and she wondered again at her reaction. She paused for a moment, feeling his course hair under her soft palm. She shook her head and mentally urged herself to continue. “Thomas.” She whispered. She paused while Thomas slowly opened his eyes. “I need to roll you a bit, to get your back.”

“By yourself?” He looked worried.

Marty could only imagine the feeling of being rolled back and forth in a flurry of re-positionings, baths, and vitals checks.

“Yes, by myself. I told you, this is not my first day on the job.” Marty flashed a cheesy grin. She knew this was where most aides called for help, but Marty had a preference for working alone, and had developed a knack for it.

She positioned his right arm across his chest, placed two pillows against the left rail, and bent to check and make sure the tubing from the catheter was straight. This small act, one in hundreds she performed each day, suddenly had her burning. A quick flip of the edge of the blanket, a reach for the ½” tube that ran to the bag hanging at the side of the bed, making sure there were no kinks or twists… suddenly she wanted to follow the tube up, to the connection where it attached to the much narrower tubing that went… she stopped. She still had to do his back, and she only had a few more minutes. She was grateful her back was to him at that moment. .

Marty moved to the other side of the bed, and adjusted the head and foot of the bed until Thomas was level, laid flat. She double checked to make sure she had all the bedding and pads she’d need handy in the chair next to the bed. She moved the warmed blankets to the side and pulled the bed-tray up to the side of the bed. Finally, she pulled the sheet loose from the corner of the bed both at the head and the foot on his right side.

She lowered the rail, and grasped the sheet and pads that lay under him, one hand at his shoulders, one at his hips. She lifted her right knee up onto the bed, under the sheet, and tightened her grip.

“Ready?” She asked. Thomas merely nodded.

Marty gave a firm tug, but not too hard to avoid shearing his skin, and as Thomas’ weight shifted, she lifted and pulled, gently rolling him the opposite direction, onto his side. The pillows were simply a precaution. Marty had done this maneuver so many times, she could gauge exactly when a patient had reached what she called the “balancing point”. She stopped pulling, and tightly rolled the bedding up and pressed it against, and slightly under his back to prevent Thomas from rolling back the other way.

“Okay?” Marty asked.

“I guess…” Thomas answered, slightly breathless. “Come on, that wasn’t so bad, was it?” Marty frowned, a little worried.

“No, not SO bad.” Marty could hear the smile in his voice, and relaxed again.

Marty removed the now cool blanket, and could now see his scar. She quickly washed and dried his neck and back. She ran the cloth along his rib cage and spine. She washed down to the blue plastic diaper. She could see the gooseflesh pricking up, and felt a response of her own.

“Are you getting cold again?” She asked.

“A little.”

“We’re almost done.”

Marty poured out some more warm oil, and gently rubbed his neck and shoulders. Thomas tilted his head back in an attempt to meet her eyes as she massaged him. Marty felt the scar under her palms, and gently pushed his head forward. She ran her thumbs along the muscles in his neck, pressing hard enough to elicit groans.

“God, that feels so good.”

Marty smiled, “Yeah, I know…”

She continued to massage oil into his skin. She ran her hands up and down his back and right arm. Thomas’ arm jerked as she crossed over his line of feeling again and again. He moaned in pleasure. Marty was perspiring, both from her own arousal and the physical work of bathing Thomas.

Marty knew in any other bed bath, she would have released the strips from the diaper, washed the groin, and then rolled the soiled diaper and tucked it in with the pads and sheets, before she ever rolled him onto his side.

This time, however, she’d waited. She knew it would be the hardest part for Thomas, and she’d wanted to pleasure him as much as possible before changing him. She fitted a new sheet over the bare corners of the mattress, and smoothed it down, placing new pads over the top. She then pulled out a new diaper, and opened and placed it in the approximate location. Finally, over the whole thing, she placed two chux, overlapped top to bottom. She rolled the whole pile toward her, and gently pressed the roll as far under the old bedding as possible, without pressing too hard into Thomas’ back.

“Now, for the fun part. I’m going to roll you back, and over this bump. It’s a bit harder than the first roll, but it’ll be over in a flash.” Marty could tell by his clouded gaze that he didn’t quite believe her.

To be continued...