Tuesday, 10 July 2007

The most disgusting thing I've seen

Days to unemployment=22

Last night, I went out with a friend and I met his new girlfriend for the first time. She’s a nice enough person and we were chatting away amiably when she asked me “What’s the most disgusting thing you’ve seen at work?”

Now, as you can imagine, these eyes of mine have seen quite a few things that would make your stomach turn, but after taking a few seconds to ponder, I told her the story of what I believe is the most disgusting thing I’ve seen at work – nay, the most disgusting thing I’ve seen EVER.

I was working in A&E and I went to see a man in his mid-fifties called Steve. Steve looked like an old hippie, you know the type – long hair, beard, wearing tie-dye and several “ethnic” necklaces. I introduced myself and asked him what I could do for him.

Like many of people, Steve didn’t like hospitals. Steve also didn’t like doctors very much, in fact Steve didn’t like the entire concept of modern medicine and was a great believe her in alternative therapies. This is all fair enough, we’re all entitled to our opinions and I must say that I have no strong feeling either way when it comes to alternative therapies.

Steve, however, hadn’t done his research and Steve was trying to treat his diabetes with yoga. In my opinion, yoga is great, anything that encourages people to do some exercise and stretch their limb a bit is surely a good thing but, unlike Steve, I really don’t see how on earth it could have any impact on improving a poorly-functioning pancreas.

Unsurprisingly, Steve’s self-therapy with yoga wasn’t working and Steve had come to A&E because of a problem with his feet.

“Let’s take a look at them,” I say and Steve slowly unlaces his big black boots and pulls them off.

I think the stench hits me first. My stomach literally turns over as the foul, fetid funk of rotting flesh reaches my nostrils. Steve’s foot was rotting. The end of it and his toes were non-existent. Instead, they had been replaced by a black, putrid, squishy, partially liquefied stump with maggots crawling in and out of it. His other foot was even worse.

I took a couple of steps backward, told Steve that I think he needed to be seen by the surgeons and walked back to the ward station as quickly as was dignified.

To this day, I can’t believe that Steve allowed his foot to get into that state.



Canuckian's Evil Twin said...


i think the maggots crawling in and out did it for me.


Xavier Emmanuelle said...

Eeewwww.... I have quite a strong stomach, but I don't think I could have handled that one!

Dr Andrew Brown said...

Rotting flesh is indeed foul. I was once called by the police to confirm the death of an elderly man. It seemed that he had been sitting in his armchair in a closed room with the sun streaming in through the window for about two weeks. The police were a kindly bunch and lent me a mask to help block out the stench, but it was only partially effective.

There was a cloud of flies about his head. His nose had rotted and fallen off, revealing the bone beneath. Maggots crawled in and out of his nose and eyes. His abdomen was tense and distended.

I agreed that he was dead.