As a mother, the list of biological events with potential to repulse me has long since dwindled to almost nothing. I have survived the following with grace: vomit splashed down the neckline of my shirt, infant stool jetting up the back of a onesie and beyond, nares perpetually flowing with green discharge, and potty-training errors on carpet.
Between the two professions, I've got almost all offensive agents mastered. Almost. There are a few holders-on whose power to disgust me I can't dislodge:
- Soiled bandages. Whether it's gauze peeled from a surgical incision or a tiny band-aid ring that's fallen from my daughter's toe, there's something about absorbed drainage that I find revolting.
- Eyes. Specifically: globe rupture.
- Earwax. Cerumen being flushed into a little basin in my office is acceptable. Q-tips dropped into a wastebasket without being shrouded in Kleenex is not.
- Collections of cheesy substance in body creases of those who don't wash with due diligence.
- Vermin. I'll examine insect bites with interest, but bedbugs scuttling from the cuffs of a patient's shirtsleeves across my desk is too much.
- Prolonged coughing or throat-clearing where the sputum is clearly substantial in amount but difficult to expel.
Tell me yours.