Tuesday, May 22, 2007

Stinky Feet

Two nights last week I almost lost it. And it was for the same thing on two different patients.

It wasn't the appearance of the toe. I can handle the appearance. It was the smell of the toe.

At first I was just breathing normally. I figured that my olfactory adaptation would kick in any minute. Nope. Some things are just too powerful to adapt to.

So I started breathing through my mouth. Nope, that won't work, either. Now I can taste it.

So I start breathing very shallowly, first through my nose, then through my mouth. Nope, just as bad, only now I'm getting hypoxic.

"Ma'am, I'll be right back. I, um, need to check on something in the fresh air, I mean the nurses' station."

**Opening door, gasping for breath, crawling down the hall for the outside door, like a slave lost in the Sahara, searching for an oasis.......**

One Marlboro Menthol later I was back in the room trying again. This time my olfactory receptors were stunned into unconsciousness by the shock of:

A: Nicotine (I quit smoking in November)
B: Menthol (I hate menthol)

Gangrenous toe goes to surgery. Much post-patient bitching and moaning ensues. Consequently, when new gangrenous toe comes in the next night, guess who gets to play? Yup, yours truly. At least this one was in an open room, not one with a door. I couldn't have handled Marlboro Menthol two nights in a row........


Jessica Loff said...

I'm telling you... that crap will stunt your growth.... Oh, too late. :)

The Platypus said...

I lump odors into two general categories: (1) those that leave with the patient, and (2) those that linger long after the host has gone.

ERnursey said...

Yellow paper mask with ever so small dab of oil of peppermint, not to much or you'll burn the inside of your nose with fumes. Perfect. I tell the patient I have a cold and all I smell in peppermint freshness.