Tuesday, August 18, 2009

- Wash Your Mouth Out

Izzy and I are sweating. It is HOT outside, and the sun is beating me down like I'm a red-headed step child.

"I's sorry I said you wasn't my real pop, Mr Sun! Please stop a-beatin' me!"

Izzy looks at me sidelong from the driver's seat in the unit. Whoops. Must remember to keep internal monolouge internal.

We are on our way to a call in Backwater, a call for a 50 year old vomiting blood. I grab a pair of gloves and we haul out stretcher to the front door. The new power models are heavier, but going up and down stairs is a breeze. I complain a lot about working at XXXX but this thing sure is nice. They do take care of us.


We walk into the front and there is a skeletal, geriatric looking man staring blankly at us from a chair in the living room. Dispatch must've gotten the age wrong. He has the smell of someone who has not bathed in several days. I run through an exam. He has been vomiting for several days, and states he hasn't stopped drinking since he was 18. His stomach and throat hurt. I a little worried about the possibility of varicies. He states he is 52. I can't believe it. He is so emaciated, and looks like a concentration camp survivor.

I am kneeling, attaching wires and when I look up, Izzy's eyes are crossed and she is stepping back from the patient. She had been grabbing a BP for me.

She is quickly turning green, and as I ask another question and look at the man, I get a blast of his breath.

I thought I've smelled stank before. I've been around decomposing bodies. I've smelled a thousand nursing home rooms. I even smelled my own belly button, once.

But I've never smelled anything like this.

It makes my eyes tear up, and I come the closest I've been to puking while on a call in my whole EMT career.

Words can't describe the stank. They are too flimsy to encompass the enormity of the rot and gross.

I barely manage to keep my gorge from rising and shut my lips, and think to my self DONT PUKE DONT DO IT over and over again for 15 seconds.

When I raise my head, I motion to Izzy and we load the patient. After getting an IV going and running an EKG, I sit behind the patient for the trip to Metropolitan Hospital, with my face in the module window half the time to catch the fresh breeze. Normally I sit next to the patient because I think it reassures them with the added advantage that I can keep an eye on them, but the module smells like raw sewage mixed with carcasses. We transfer care upon arrival and I walk back out.

Izz is spraying down everything, top to bottom. I know we had just refilled the bottle but she is already a third of the way though.

"My God," I say to her. "That was horrible."

"Oh, I know. Worse than that poop waterfall."

"I've never seen someone's teeth actually rotting inside their skull before. Let's get the fuck out of here before they make us take him to the dentist."




Anonymous said...

My hubby is a cop and says the ones with the worst breath are also the ones who don't respect personal space.

Ckemtp said...

Ahhh, the sickening smell of tooth rot mixed with flammable breath mixed with funk and blood-vomit.

I think that we should add a new word to the English lexicon to describe it..

The word verification is "phersi", how's that work?

NYC EMS said...