Let’s face it, hospitals suck.
Yes, they fulfill a vital role in our civilization, but they’re also a reminder of the fragility of life and the dangers of bureaucracy. In fact, you could fill an entire book with rants dedicated to the evils of the medical profession. The food alone warrants a chapter or two!
Hmm, maybe I’m onto something here…
At any rate, this particular entry is dedicated to that sensation you encounter when first you step through those automated doors; that all too-distinctive hospital “fragrance”.
If it doesn’t hit you at first – perhaps the smell of the lobby Tim Hortons or the flowers in the gift shop are overpowering – it definitely strikes once you enter a ward.
There is no escaping it.
- It crawls into your nasal cavities and nests there!
- Your eyes begin to water and you feel nauseous; it feels as though you just finished watching a Meg Ryan flick!
- You want to run in the opposite direction before you have to check yourself in!
That combination of ammonia, body odor, colostomy bags and unidentifiable elements forms a potent stench that cannot be ignored. Medical professionals have to be built of stronger stuff than us mere mortals just to walk into a hospital every day, to say nothing of working there!
So what can you do? Good luck opening a window – they’re usually harder to crack than a safe – and even then, unless you’re standing right beside it the entire visit, you’re unlikely to achieve sufficient relief.
No, all you can really do is try to put the smell out of your mind and concentrate on comforting the patient who has to deal with it – and so much more – long after you’ve gone.