Monday, June 11, 2007

squeamish

Are you? I'm soaking and rebandaging my toes every morning and I can hardly bear to do it. I don't know how nurses can stand dealing with wounds. Not sure why I thought those toenails would just lift off to expose smooth, sleek skin beneath.

I'm squeamish about other things, too. Worms writhing on the concrete in the sun. I can't touch them, but I can run get Mike to throw them onto the grass so they don't burn up. Dead animals by the side of the road. Just. Can't. Look. Any effluent from just about any orifice (just about) gives me the willies. The sound of particularly wet and virulent coughing wherein something might be rising up out of the lungs. Heebie jeebies.

I will never forget a kid I sat next to in first grade. He was always sniffling and hacking. I could see up into his nose when he stood to read and there was a horrid green solid block that split open with each breath to expose a red interior, like a slit opening into hell. I couldn't take my eyes off it, though it made me sick.

You? Are you squeamish about things or can you simply view blood and gore as if it's nothing?

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12 Comments:

Anonymous ewe said...

I took a break from nursing school but the second semester i had to clean a mans foot whose big toe was removed. There was a huge cavity in the space that the big toe used to be. All the bandages had to come out and i had to stuff the new bandages in carefully and make sure the surfaces did not scab. there is a word for it but i forget. Anyhow, things changed in my life and that is on hold but i did find it fascinating and it did not flip me out. It would have, however, if it was me without the toe and a huge hole in my foot. Good luck.

June 11, 2007 8:55 AM  
Anonymous tater said...

"like a slit opening into Hell"
LOL! My first thought upon reading that was "vagina". :)

Fluidous things are squeem inducing, especially pus and snot. You already know how I feel about the word "moist". What really creeps me out are cockroaches. Anything that fast, dexterous, and creepy looking, just scares the bejesus out of me. I'm a little Nelly when it comes to creepy crawlies.

June 11, 2007 9:29 AM  
Blogger Beula said...

After twenty plus nursey years I can look at and deal with almost anything. Funny thing about peoples wounds. It takes a while before they "own" them. As the nurse it is like the wound or the incision belongs to you and the patient is just along for the ride. Is sometimes very difficult to get people to look at and then touch the wounded site.

I can't listen to descriptions of friends and relations wounds. I get light headed.

June 11, 2007 9:31 AM  
Blogger Big Ass Belle said...

haha!!! tater :-)

LOL! My first thought upon reading that was "vagina". :)


one man's heaven is an other's hell. spoken like a true gay boy, honey. smooches.

June 11, 2007 9:41 AM  
Blogger more cowbell said...

I don't get squeamish at all if the wound/problem is on other people. I'm usually the one to deal with medical emergencies or wounds or whatever. And I can eat dinner while watching one of those surgery shows, no problem. If it's a serious problem with me, however, then it can get to me, if it's serious. I think it's because if there's something wrong with ME, who's going to keep a level head and deal with it? I feel really out of control if the problem is with me, and for some reason that can give me the willies.

I did a short stint in nursing school, worked on the cadavers. A lot of folks couldn't deal with that part -- you had people feeling faint, gagging, even all out puking. The squeamish factor didn't bother me at all, what got to me was that I would obsess about who the person was -- what kind of life had they lived, who was their family, what were their accomplishments, fears, who did they love, did they have a dog ... whatever.

June 11, 2007 10:03 AM  
Anonymous Crixi Van Cheek said...

I'm squeemish around straight sex. Ewww.

June 11, 2007 10:40 AM  
Blogger SubtleKnife said...

My first thought was "I'm looking forward to the comments, what with all the gayers hanging around here..." And Tater proved my instincts right.

(Unrelated except it deals with instincts: I almost had a laughing fit yesterday when this friend - a beautiful gay man, inside and out - asked "Is he gay?" of one of the staff of the bar we were at. Besides it being a gay bar, it was just so OBVIOUS to me.)

Get back on track, now, dear...

I'm not squeamish about anything that flows or oozes out of people and I can also enjoy my food while someone is holding a beating heart in their hands on TV. In fact the absolute worst thing I ever saw was something completely clean and bloodless. It was one of those reality shows about life in an ER and a soldier came in with a broken nose. The doctor had him lie down on a bench and stuck two fingers up this guy's nose to set it.

*crack*

THAT made me feel squeamish.

Other than that... I've wiped up drops of gonorrhea discharge, so I think I can safely claim nothing much fazes me. Much to the merriment of the friend who left it there, by the way, who thought it would be funny if I ended up trying to convince a doctor I caught it from the toilet seat.

June 11, 2007 12:10 PM  
Blogger Dave said...

I once took care of a patient with penile gangrene, which is exactly what it sounds like. I figure if I could handle that, I can handle pretty much anything.

June 11, 2007 2:09 PM  
Blogger evilganome said...

I'm fine with other people. For me the worst was when I got an infected chest hair. After the "site" was debrided (as much fun as it sounds) I got handed a roll of gauze and a gigundus pair of tweezers and told I had to clean and pack the wound every day. Gah! I did it, but Jesus H. Christ on a raft! Sit around every morning before work with a shaving mirror, and poke gauze into a round hole the diameter of a pencil eraser in your chest and it kinda gets the gag reflex working.

June 11, 2007 2:41 PM  
Blogger BigAssBelle said...

ack! tony!! how hideous!!!! and ewe! that empty toe hole. i am feeling all churny-tummied just reading these again.

that's what's getting to me about these toes. they're . . . well, i can't even say it. moist is putting it mildly. ugh.

June 11, 2007 3:32 PM  
Blogger more cowbell said...

EG: hey, my ex had that same sort of deal -- cyst in the small of his back -- he couldn't reach it, so I was the um, packer. (yes, we were already exes at this time) Didn't bother me at the time.

Bothers me now because he's currently sticking it to me, and not in a good way, so I'm thinking, damn, I really blew a golden opportunity there. In hindsight, I could've packed something really interesting up in there.

But you all know what I say about Hindsight.

June 11, 2007 3:55 PM  
Blogger kiltmaker said...

Squeamish. Not so much anymore now that I'm "all growed up." Actually, dead things gross me out. This includes anything served on a plate that still has all of it's parts attached. I once sent back a plate of giant prawns - too many legs.

Also, this made me recall that my mom had told me years ago that the reason she goes by her middle name is because a girl she went to school with, who had "questionable hygene" shared her first name.

June 12, 2007 11:19 AM  

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