Sunday, February 3, 2008
Moving through life has disgusted, polluted and contaminated my senses. It's unavoidable. Still, filthy, grimy, visceral memories surface when I think of the foul experiences I have been a part of:
Standing in a shower that doubled as a toilet.
You can imagine my horror when, in a small village in India, I discovered that I was expected to stand where someone had
urinated to have my shower. Yup, the family toilet was one in the same as the family shower. A cement refrigerator-like box with a small cut out at the bottom of 2 of the 4 walls (for drainage) was where urination and bathing happened. Without flip-flops, I decided to forego showering for the 2 nights I was there. I preferred to marinate in my own b.o. than to soak my feet in the family's urine.
Tasting a splash of food from someone else's mouth
As a new Speech-Language Pathologist, I was asked to perform a swallowing assessment on a woman with very advanced stage Huntington's Disease. To begin my assessment, I watched her daughter feed her and realized that this woman was unable to swallow. The woman was also not fully alert, and I was growing concerned. I asked the daughter to stop.
I cringed at the thought that perhaps she would choke. Indeed, she started coughing, and I grew nervously anxious. Leaning in to encourage her to cough forcefully, she did just that - and I got a cheek and lip-ful of her regurgitated food. Instinct kicked in, and I lipped my lips, instantly realizing what I'd done....eeeeewwwwww!!!
Dropping my water bottle in the toilet post #2
The digestive aftermath of a bran-flake breakfast chased by 2 cups of coffee ended up in the toilet. Ahh. Relief (you know that feeling, come on, admit it!). I get up to grab the TP, inconveniently located out of arms reach, and my leg sets the wobbly toilet in motion. Normally, no problem. But today, my water bottle topples over from atop the lid behind me, right into the excrement. Think bran and coffee. I need not say more. Worse, I was in public. There were no rubber gloves, I had no choice but to get in there...
As my mom would say, I've had my share of "gungy" experiences....many involving bodily fluids.