If you have a weak stomach, don’t press forward…

Welcome to TMI Thursdays! As LiLu always says: Join us all in humiliating the crap out of yourself every Thursday by sharing some completely tasteless, wholly unclassy, “how many readers can I estrange THIS week??” TMI story about your life. Or hell, about someone else’s!

The following story should not be enjoyed while eating breakfast… You have been warned! Now, another edition of TMI Thursday, ER edition.

I started thinking about the concept of TMI Thursday and one simple thing is missing, the gross. Most people think gross is puke, piss, or the occasional poo. Not at the Gospel! I am often asked, JP what is the grossest thing you have ever scene? Easy answer, exploding foot.

Things that go boom

Things that go boom

Let me paint your palate with something new. I came on shift and inherited a patient from the day shift. A homeless man about 45-50 years old. He had diabetes, MRSA, and Gangrene; his foot was rotten. He had been admitted for antibiotics and a minor amputation of said foot. For a guy in a really bad condition, he was in good spirits. Spry almost and very eager to get back out into the world and get face first into a 40 oz.; we at least had one thing in common.

Now, for those not familiar with gangrene it is nasty. It is a gnarly complication of  necrosis, characterized by the decay of tissue which becomes black or sometimes green. If you are lucky (the health care provider) it will remain a closed wound. But if that  bad boy opens up the following scenario will ensue:

I took the guy up the surgical floor in a wheel chair, because obviously walking is not the preferred choice. I get him to his room and as we turn in he looked at me and said, “I got it!” Before I could even think about the statement, he was up and walking; bandages unraveling. He took one step out and his left foot hit the floor and I heard ***SQUISH!*** followed by a light ***SPLATTER*** like that sound water makes when it hits a shower curtain, yea; accompanied by a light dusting of stank. I looked down and saw what looked like a splatter painted canvas with hues of red, green and a mauve white. But that is not the worst part.

borrowed from fabricattic.com

borrowed from fabricattic.com

The smell of rotting flesh, freshly painted across the floor is something no one is prepared for! AT. ALL. Imagine, a potpourri-esque flavoring of meat that has been locked in a warm cooler for a week, topped with eggs that have been pickled and sat out in the sun, combined with a caustic tequila tinged toilet smell, fresh in the morning after a bender. Now, I will let that marinate in your brain for a minute.


Imagine that scene combined with smell and JP locked inside an isolation room with it all. I was scratching the paint off the wall to get out of there! So, I politely said, “you are fucking insane” and pissed of out of there. The nurse I was “talking to” at the time rounded the corner and before she saw me, she said “what the hell is that smell.” We meet our eyes lock and without skipping a beat I said, “that wonderful smell is me and your new patient whose left foot is now all over the floor.” Her response, “well I guess you won’t be sleeping at my place in the morning.” Yea, I was the billboard for sexy!

I get back down to the ER, went to the break room and stripped to my boxers. Put on a patient gown and b-lined it to the surgical scrub in area. I could not escape the skank! I was rancid. Seriously it was so bad I was turning green and had to go home and use Gojo pumice hand cleaner to scrub myself. I scrubbed my skin raw with that damn soap to get that stuff off.

Gojo hand cleaner to take off auto grease

Gojo hand cleaner to take off auto grease

Around 6 am I get a call from the nurse I was “talking to” to tell me that she couldn’t stop puking after she dressed his wounds and they sent her home too! My reply was, “well I guess you are not coming over here then” and proceeded to laugh my nuts off.



That ladies and gentlemen was the worst full sensory experience of my life!


Filed under TMI Thursday

27 responses to “If you have a weak stomach, don’t press forward…

  1. You painted a truly vivid picture with that smell….bravo. My question: how did he “get it”? Did he pop it?

    It sprayed out when he stepped down on the infected foot. He couldn’t feel it, because the necrosis had eaten away at the nerves. Leaving his foot a literal pile of goo.

  2. I never thought I’d hear this phrase uttered: “a minor amputation of said foot”…

    On that note?


    Well done.

    Thank you. It really was a minor procedure, hell you can lop a foot off in no time flat.

  3. Once I walked into a subway car that smelled like someone had died in it. I don’t know why I rationalized no one else being on it. Before I could get off, the doors closed, and I had to wait until the next stop to get off. I threw up, a lot.

    I imagine your situation was worse. And while I know, there were warnings, I don’t think I’ll be eating the eggs that are sitting there waiting for me in the kitchen.

    Sorry to ruin breakfast for ya. I tried to warn…

  4. I didn’t read it. I totally pussied out. The phrase “exploding foot” will do that to someone.

    It will do that. I wish I could have wussed out.

  5. Matt


    I used to work as an EMT and I know what you’re talking about. One time I took a call from a guy who got an electrical burn that went in his arm and exited through his R shoulder. There is nothing more rotten than the smell of burnt flesh.

    There are some smells like death, infections, and rotting flesh that will never leave your olfactory senses. EVER!!!

  6. I am utterly disgusted.

    But you know you still love me!

  7. Just A Girl

    I’m strangely fascinated by this. I don’t know why. I was reading a thing about debriding a foot using maggots and it seemed kind of cool. I’m SUCH a pussy normally, but I almost want to see it.

    It is definitely worth seeing, but totally old school. They are using leeches in some test cases now.

  8. Oh JP…
    we work at the same place…but different states.

    I had a guy who game in, who also had foot amputated, but had to come back to get stump amputated further up due to driving around with bottle cap ( I believe it was Coors) embedded into stump for 3.5 weeks. I was actually surprised it didn’t just fester out…but that is the miracle of thy body…

    gross..just plain ass gross…all of it….
    yet oh so fascinating isn’t it?

    It is repulsive and fun at the same time.

  9. This is foul. Just foul.

    Thank you for the breakfast warning.

    I know. Like a train wreck!

  10. f.B

    this belonged in one of the “Saw” movies. translation: your work is cinematic.

    I feel a FB JP collaboration coming on…

  11. This is not cute. HILARIOUSLY gross, but not at all cute.

    I put the warning out there that I was going gross today.

  12. Someone took a power dump in the bathroom by my office about 5 minutes before I read this and stunk it up SUPER bad, so not only did I enjoy the ridiculous imagery and description, but a minute version of the rank ass smell. Perfect timing, I’m gonna go puke now.

    This is the first time I’ve read your blog, and I believe you’ve nearly outdone all the TMI thursday’ers.

    Lol, I go with what I know. Plus, I just dropped the kids off and scared off the cleaning guy. It was gnarly…

  13. Ugh, that sounded awful. That’s why I’m an office drone. We don’t generally see that.

    I’m glad I didnt’ make my TMI debut as the story I didn’t get to would not hold a candle to this one. Next week tone it down so mine can be bad.

    Sorry bro, I will knock it down a few notches next week.

  14. holy hell, dude. that’s…. seriously foul. well done 🙂


  15. k8

    Um. I can hardly bag up the biohazard waste and get it out the door without getting the smell in my nose. I gagged while i was reading, which meant you did an awesome job.

    I am proud I made you gag…Hehehe

  16. Awww dude. That was the grossest thing I’ve ever read! (I still laughed heartily though!) YUK!

    Thanks for dropping in.

  17. Ugh. My stomach is cartwheeling from reading that. The best part was he was in such a light hearted mood. Something to be said for positivity.

    That guy was acting as if nothing happened.

  18. ew ew ew ew ew

    not much can gross me out, but that totally did.

    My job here is done.

  19. i think i just threw up a little bit.

    Hold it in girl!

  20. Wow, that’s really gross. I mean loads of people do the TMI Thursday thing, but your are by far the grossest. By. far.

    I really wasn’t trying…

  21. this brings to mind some of the backyard dogs people like to bring into my animal emergency clinic. smelly, smelly animals…. i’ll have to recount last week’s cat who came in with puss in lieu of an eyeball sometime. it was pretty awesome.

    I agree, a bit gross, but cool at the same time.

  22. Jen

    Holy crap. You’re the winner of this week’s TMI. By far. I’m only half-way done with the list…but this…is….ugh!

    Hope you enjoyed your stay, feel free to return any time.

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  24. i wish i had heeded your advice and not pressed forward. fuck.

    I tried.

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