Tuesday, April 19, 2005


(Disclaimer: This is gross. Very, very gross. Normal people will move along. Really.)

So, Diana, what's the most disgusting thing that has ever happened to you in the line of duty?

Well, that would be getting hit full in the face with a jet of pus-under-pressure while draining this poor guy's enormous back abscess, a few years ago. I was particularly disapointed that it also dribbled down the front of my shirt, which I was forced to wear for several more hours, with a patient gown over the top, while I finished the rest of clinic. It should be noted that I was particularly grateful that my mouth was, amazingly, closed at the time.

You would imagine that after such an incident, which I am very proud to say I did not compound the horror of by ralphing all over him, I would take great care not to let it happen again.

You would be right. Unfortunately, as happened yesterday, if the pus from this guy's finger abscess decides to ricochet off the nail and bounce backward instead of exiting as expected, in a nice orderly straight-ahead direction, then I can't be faulted. At least it only hit my hair.

What a glamorous job I have.

Today has got to be better. I started it with 2 donuts, both chocolate frosted.



Blogger Mojavi said...

i am utterly speechless.... (mouth hanging open) i have such respect for you on a whole-nother level right now...
and the donuts at the end, priceless

10:56 AM  
Blogger Rozanne said...

Clearly, I am not a normal person, because I have two gross doctor's office/emergency room scenarios (starring me) that I simply must share.

1) I once had a disgusting boil (gack!) on my neck. When the dermatologist lanced it, the pus hit her in the face (so, Diana, you're not the only one this has happened to). She graciously said that it was OK and waved off my profuse, horror-tinged apologies.

2) When I dislocated my knee (the second time), the emergency room doc pumped me full of morphine before relocating it. I was conscious, but have no memory of it. I was *really* doped up. As I came out of the morphine and stood up I projectile vomited all over the doctor and my own shoes. I had no idea I was going to do that. Unlike my gracious dermatologist, this guy was noticeably pissed off and snarled at me, "This has never happened before." Can you believe that? What kind of doctor (esp. an emergency-room doctor) hasn't been puked on numerous times? And while I can't blame him for not being pleased, I would think he could have kept his irritation to himself a bit more. It's not like I wasn't mortified that it happened.

1:36 PM  
Blogger Diana said...

Mojavi- I firmly believe that chocolate and donuts make everything better. As for respect- no, just lacking in fundamental judgement.

Rozanne- Great ones! Nice to know that I am not alone. You make me feel better. I also have to think that ER guy was either not a doctor or he was an intern on his first day. ERs are messy places full of fluids of all types. I admit getting upset with a guy who was vomiting blood on me once, but he was also screaming obsenities at me and trying to hit me. It was in the VA ICU at 3am. Not a good night. He was still alive the next AM when I turned his care over to the ICU team and that was the last I heard of him.

2:09 PM  
Blogger Diana said...

Rozanne- I should have added, NO!, he should not have been upset with you. Asshole. (Maybe he was a doctor at that.)

2:11 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Rozanne~The ER doc may not have been puked on before (esp if he was new. Also many of them sidestep puke while calling for a nurse), but he surely has had blood, pus, BRAIN MATTER, or a few other things on him. What an asshole.

My gross story: I was a nurse's aide in a nursing home for the first 2 years of college. I was changing the linen of a resident who was fed at regular intervals through a feeding tube. Since it was liquid going in him, you can bet it was liquid coming out. As I turned him away from me, I heard the gurgle and quickly pulled the linen up to protect myself, but I wasn't fast enough. He projectile shat all over my face, hair, and clothes. At least I had time to close my eyes.

I could tell you about the time my patient had guacomole poop. It looked like you should just reach down between her legs with a tortilla chip . . . but that's gross so I won't.


2:46 PM  
Blogger The Lioness said...

What does it say abt me that my only thought was "I wish I'd seen her lancing them"? I am fascinated by abscesses. I once did an exam - angiology, the abdominal cavity - on a sheep. I spent the whole time stretched on a very bloated rumen, waiting for it to go POP and for tehre to be viscous ruminal contents all over me (it's unbelievable foul). It didn't, lucky me - but my colleague who was working on the face had to breathe it in every time I moved. I did end up w sheep gunk all the way to my elbows and sheep fat haning from my hair. And a wanderign tick as well - but those were common.

Abscesses are safer, see?

4:21 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Yuk. You guys are soooo gross. Why do I let my daughter play with you?!?!

A bit of advise from the RV world seems appropriate. When emptying your holding tanks, Keep Your Mouth Shut.


4:34 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Linda challenged me to share a gross story:

One evening I returned from work and was positive I smelled anal glands. It's a recognizable smell after a while. I changed out of my scrubs, repeatedly washed my hands, etc., but still smelled anals. After a few hours, I realized that at some point during the day I had shot anal juice straight into my hair, and that's why I was still smelling it.



5:22 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...


In my house we call it "funk" and I was once squirted on THE FACE near MY MOUTH as I shoved my cat off my chest. I guess I got what I deserved what with my shoving nerve (in his mind).


5:36 PM  
Blogger Diana said...

These are GREAT! Are we a twisted group or what?

Linda, I agree, shit is worse, at least in my mind, plus points for large volume. A nurse's aide in a nursing home? What a harsh job! My husband sat in poop once (disturbed student) and I've been small-volume sprayed but nothing horrid. Love those digital disempactions, huh? We had Mexican pot luck at work. Now I am questioning the guacamole.

Lioness- Dahling, how are you? I am rather envious of your disection stories and love it when you relate them. Mine are so dull. 6 months spent with the cadaver of an 87 yr old lady with no muscles. No exploding anything. Sometimes some bits of fat stuck in the hair but nothing worse. Certainly no blood sucking arthropods. It vaguely disturbed me that I was hungry afterward, but as class always ran past dinner, figured it was not too ghoulish. Takes a lot to ruin my appetite.

Dad- You were always the one who wanted a doctor in the family, you just didn't stipulate that you wanted a chiropractic physician until it was too late and tuition was paid. (Kidding) Good advice, as always.

Christine- Hi! How are you and Max? I have heard horror stories of The Anal Glands. I have never smelled them first hand and hope never to do so. Nothing like a rousing game of "find the smell" after a long day. The skill comes in handy when hunting down the location of baby puke.

8:25 PM  
Blogger Jamie said...

I love my job. I love my job. I love my job. I love my job. ;-)

Even though I'm safe from grossness in the workplace, I am all too familiar with the dog anal gland smell. When one of them gets a slightly impacted butt gland, they always seem to work it out when they're IN THE CAR and you can't escape. Eek.

9:18 AM  
Blogger Diana said...

Jamie- Oh, the horrors! You just can never get foul smells out of a car, at least we seem to not be able to do so. So very glad neither of the dogs we have had have (yet) had any anal gland issues. Why do I feel that I've just made a grave error in writing that and will soon incur the wrath of the anal gland gods?

10:30 AM  
Blogger Rozanne said...

What a fabulously entertaining bunch of stories! Guacamole poop and anal glands!

I think we all need to take this quiz to find out if we act our age or not: http://www.blogthings.com/whatagequiz/

The quiz says I act like a 28-year-old, shockingly enough. I sort of expected to come out at about 13.

12:16 PM  
Blogger Diana said...

OK, I am 26. I guess that's good because I seemed to miss 26 the 1st time around. (Too bad I don't get to wear the same size.) After that quiz I feel the need for cake, which may be why I no longer wear the same size.

So, how old are the rest of us? Who's next?

12:50 PM  
Blogger Mojavi said...

holy moly I act like I am 20.. who knew.. now if only my metabolism would act that way!!!!

6:03 PM  
Blogger The Lioness said...

To my profound shame, I am 23. Ha.

You envy my dissections?? WHY??? We killed the sheep just for that, the poor things. As we say here, no more wine to that table, babe.

8:38 PM  
Blogger Jamie said...

I came out as 28, too, which is the age people most often guess me to be. But in reality, 28 was not a good year for me...it's much cooler to be in my 30s. :-)

12:13 AM  
Blogger Rozanne said...

And I was so thrilled at being able to pretend I was 28 again. Mojavi, how did you come out at 20? Now I feel old. Jamie and I are the matriarchs.

By the way, Diana, you've been tagged. See my blog for details.

11:05 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Dammit. I just took that age quiz and it said I was 33. Age in real life? 33.

Shoot me, for I am obviously dull, dull, dull.


10:19 PM  

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