Ever noticed when you are at work that you are completely surrounded by the same thing over and over again?
Me too. This story happened a long time ago, in my ER faaaar far away…
It started with me having a few patients with similar complaints
I had two nice ladies both with knee problems on the same shift.
That’s where the nice patients stopped.
I then had two angry drunk individuals who both enjoyed loudly screaming at nobody.
Not only that, but BOTH of them had soiled themselves.
They had crapped their pants MULTIPLE times. I would like to say this happens infrequently, but I told myself not to lie to my readers.
We’ve all been there. You get so drunk that you feel like nothing else matters… but come on! I mean, even if you DID go once, you’d want to clean up before the next go around? Right? RIGHT??? My urine soaked friend was somewhat similar. However, all of the coverings in excrement led me to an interesting discovery. Peppermint oil.
This magical oil is used in the ED to mask the occasionally overwhelming and nauseating odors we encounter.
I personally rarely use the stuff, since not puking is one of my super-powers (the kryptonite to this is of course is my sea-sickness, but I’ll get to that in another post). However, many of the techs and nurses were getting kinda ill with the wet-dog/urine/feces/BO heat waves emanating like a noxious mustard gas from our drunk friend. We were slammed that night, thus before the patient could be adequately cleaned up, we attempted to mask the smell.
As I walked by, I noticed a peppermint oil soaked gauze around the guy. Then I noticed a few more. Then I noticed many many more. Eventually he had what appeared to be a shrine of saturated gauze shrouding the edges of his gurney while he slept off his booze. As I walked by the man with his multiple peppermint talismans surrounding him, I felt like bowing.
Finally, he sobered up enough to leave. I bowed respectfully to my drunken master and wished him fair weather and strength, as he lumbered away to what I would guess would be the closest liquor store.
I still love my job.