The one where I remember where it came from.

I had an update on facebook that went something like:
I am convinced everytime I come to the doctors office that I am going to have my feet cut off, and then I’m going to go blind before exit.‪#‎thejoyofirrationalfears‬

And others responded, glad that they had no such fear. One thought to offer a trigger event about this fear. Nice though the thought was, I remember when I gained my fear of hospitals and doctors. I was twelve.

My aunt (gone many years now) was an enormous woman. Tall, wide, majestic like a mountain… literally. She had been hospitalized with unknown unexplained ailments that still left her talking and breathing, and she was kind and she was nice, and so I was eager to visit her in the hospital with my mother. It turns out my Aunt had advanced diabetes and had not dieted, exercised, or taken insulin.

At all.
I remember walking into the room and the first thing that hit me was I thought of as ‘changing station sheets’ all over the floor. They are the little absorbent pads nurses used when I had a newborn family cousin to catch any spills when changing the little sucker. These, however, were on the floor, and they were as thick as a carpet. In the middle of the space between the beds there was a chair toilet. The other toilet was simply feet away, but the use of this wheeless wheelchair with a tub in the seat became clear from the bloody sears all over the pads.

I remember very clearly the pattern of gore all around the bed, lavatory chair, and staining the sheets. I started to breathe fast, and that was a further mistake. It stunk and nearly made my eyes water. Well it was at that moment my Aunt came out of the bathroom (the chair was too uncomfortable for a woman of her girth to use regularly) and hobbled into bed. The smell that was simply a hint underneath the antiseptic hospital fog and full time venting of the room detonated like a dead dog left in the sun for  a few weeks.

My aunt had feet the size and shape of footballs, massive, swollen and disfigured. The surface was pockmarked with sores, deep crater like things that oozed blood and pus.Have you ever been around someone who had an abscess drained? No? Let me tell you that the smell of pus is like the antithesis of everything living, and it was everywhere. Every step pressed more out of her feet, and the moment it hit the air it did nothing else but travel into the lizard parts of my brain and hit the “Run away” button so hard it broke. Permanently.


Yes, I kissed and hugged my aunt, and said all the things visitors say to people who are guests at the hospital. But after, I spent most of my time wandering the halls, away from the smell, not understanding the injuries I had seen, nor that the reason for them was a genetic hiccup that ran in the family.

I didn’t understand much, but I understood the smell. I understood the button.
Every doc who has seen me since I was 15 thinks I have high blood pressure.
Wonder why? 😉


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