My Challenged Gag-Reflex


I love giant emojis. Beats an actual image of me, gagging.

I was chatting with a friend of mine who is a nurse that had posted about getting called back to work. I told her that I really appreciate her for what she does. I can’t do it. I tried.

About 15 years ago, I wanted to be involved in patient care so much that I thought that I would make a great nurse. I’m a nurturer and care-giver by nature, so I had initially thought that nursing would be a good job fit. I went back to school, got a 4.0 GPA in all the core courses. I stopped just short of the Anatomy & Physiology course because it became glaringly obvious that my gag-reflex is weak. I’m talking REALLY weak. Weak gag-reflex does not a good nursing student make.

Hell, I can’t even cut up a raw chicken without heaving over the sink. What made me think I could deal with torn HUMAN flesh is beyond me.

I have been pooped on, peed on and thrown up on by my human kids and never even broke a sweat. Figured, after that? I could deal. NOT! Let one of my fur kids barf on the floor and I am done; gagging and sweating to the point that J shoo’s me out of the room and just handles it.

The absolute turning point for me was phlegm.

Several years back, when I still saw my ADN as a reality, I was shadowing an employee who was working in Environmental Services. I was writing her annual evaluation, and needed to see her job performance in that department. We were assigned to ICU. I was fine most of the morning, cleaning rooms with and without patients. Then we got to THAT room.

It had one of those suction canisters in the wall. It did me in, and badly! In said canister was the king of all lung cookies. 🤢 I was done. Totally done. I’d never even CONSIDERED hockers to be a part of nursing. Let’s just say that was the final nail in the nursing coffin.

Fast-forward to last month while I was training to move patients. I went up to Dialysis with one of my second shift guys, D, to bring an ED admission to his room. Our patient had come up by stretcher, so it was an easy transport. We got him to his room. He was ambulatory, so he was able to walk with assistance from the stretcher to his bed. D and I got the patient up, and caught a whiff of what inititially smelled like stale cigarette smoke. The two of us got him into the room and that is when the poo-smell hit us like a shovel to the side of the head. We got him onto the bed, and God bless him, he started cussing up a blue streak! His ¥€^+  &$*# colostomy bag had broken.

He was pretty much mortified, and I was doing all I could to not visibly gag. D, my partner, thankfully, did all the talking while yours truly did a lot of nodding and swallowing. Somehow both of us made it out of there without anyone being more embarrassed than some of us already were.

Another shining example of my lack of cast iron stomach happened just last week, here at the house. Now, don’t judge us. Seriously.

Plenty of people have stuck things in their ovens to get them out of the way and then completely forgotten about them until they pre-heated the oven the next time. I had a friend that lost some plastic bowls that way.

That said, we pre-heated the oven to 350 to bake potatoes. I figured I’d put them in before the oven was totally pre-heated, because they were massive and would take forever.

OMG! There was the pizza pan with the remnants of pieces-parts of the chicken we’d had the week prior. We’d carved the bird and put the carcass back on the pan we ‘d brought it in from the grill on and had to run out after dinner. We put the pan in the oven to keep our big dog, Petey, from snatching it off of the stove top while we were gone, because chicken bones+canine=a probable trip to the vet. So because we are both a little ADD, we forgot about it, and out of sight is out of mind. Right?

Let’s just say that the odor of what was left, when I pulled it out of the oven left a taste in my mouth that probably will not be forgotten for a while.

What makes you gag? Have you ever stuck something in the oven and forgotten about it? Share, please, so I don’t feel like a total freak of nature!

Until next time….

About Julie the Workaholic

Mom of three (grown) sons and one (grown) step-daughter, wife of one, friend of many, and owned by seven 4-legged critters, writer, photographer, friend, huge fan of life, and most of all, lover of all things beautiful .….Getting healthy, and hoping to make a dent in the world in a most positive way! (And then there's my alter-ego, the Workaholic, who is me, just unfiltered.)
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2 Responses to My Challenged Gag-Reflex

  1. The most horrendous gagging moment I had was after my daughter’s basement apartment flooded during our October Storm, when power was off for more than a week. She got out but had to leave left everything there. A week later, we went back to get her stuff, which had been under 2 feet of water the whole time. I was Ok until I walked into her kitchen. Her garbage can had been overturned by the flowing water, and the contents were strewn all over the floor. Imagine the smell of week-old kitchen garbage – wet, week-old kitchen garbage. Getting that kitchen cleaned up was the hardest thing I’ve ever done, gagging the whole time.

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