Tuesday, February 27, 2007

Achilles' heel

Everybody has one. What's yours?

Working in health-care, there will always be one particular kind of human leakage that gets to you, even if the others don't.

I love to watch a good drainage, and I am looking forward to squeezing/cutting/draining the pus out of things. Blood doesn't bother me any more, and neither urine nor faecal matter phases me in the slightest. As long as it isn't moving in my general direction with any kind of velocity, I don't care.

I don't mind bile at all, and find the colour interesting. I love watching an ERCP when they cut the ampulla slightly so that the stones and bile come gushing out. Fantastic!

The noise a patient makes when they are struggling with the fluid during a bronchoscopy does make me wince. But it is out of empathy.

But dribble. Ugh.

I'm not talking about the dribble from a baby, or an adult with poor oral control. Hearing and watching a patient spitting heavy phlegm into a cup makes me mildly uncomfortable. But stringy spit makes me dry-retch.

I can see the most awful things in ED. But that scene from Big Daddy where Adam Sandler dribbles out his own spit and sucks it back up makes me gag. Typing about it makes me gag. I'm sorry if you are like me and reading about it makes you gag. Ugh.

It is funny, the little things that get to us.

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