The woman who smelled of wee…

She stinks, what do I do now?


So yesterday we arrive at Christies hospital to visit my dad and as we turn the corner into the Medical Assessment Ward, we’re hit in the face with a smell. I worked in a nursing home for long enough to know that smell when I find it – it’s wee. And since all the patients on this ward are mobile to some degree or another, it must have come in on a person. I’m praying that it’s on someone on the other side of the ward.

Which turns out to be a futile waste of energy.

When we get to my dad’s bed, the man in the next bed isn’t there. We sit and chat for a bit and then we see him approaching, accompanied by a woman who I think is his mother, she’s a reasonably turned out woman, make up on, clean hair, clean looking clothes. As she passes by to get to the bed next to my dad I notice something odd.

I’ve gone cross eyed and I can’t breathe. The smell of ammonia wafting off this woman has sucked all the air out of the room. I look around, my mum is trying really hard, it has to be said without much success, not to laugh at my expression. The girl visiting the man across the way has gone white. There’s a nurse staring at the woman in appalled fascination. SHE SMELLS OF WEE and it’s horrific.

Once she’s sat down things inprove because you only get an ammonia backdraft when she moves. We carry on making conversation and I carry on getting told off because I keep muttering about stinky women and the need for showers which mum thinks is indiscreet. How is is she is classing it as socially unacceptable to mutter about someone but not socially unacceptable to wander round a ward full of sick people smelling like the gents urinals at a third division football match after half-time? And then the woman gets out a can of deoderant.

Hurrah, I think.

No. She sprays the tiniest, stingiest amount of this stuff onto her neck. Tiny amount. Barely even pressed the spray top down. Don’t stint on it love, SPRAY DAMN YOU!! Spray until the air is white and we can all breathe again. Don’t stop spraying until the can is empty. I’d rather go out in a cloud of Sure for Women than the pungent aroma of a pig farm.

She was still there when we left, sitting happily in her green cloud of stench, a cloud so foul that even flies didn’t dare approach for fear of asphyxiation. All the way home I was paranoid that the smell had wafted to our bay and I now smelled of wee. Even though I’d had a long shower before going to the hospital, I had another one when I got home just on case. This evening I shall be taking a bottle of super strength deoderant and if she’s there then social niceties be damned, for the health of all patients, staff and visitors on that ward, the stinky witch is getting doused.


17 Responses

  1. A coworker of mine smells of dirty dogs and dog shit almost all of the time.

    “Management” is afraid to say anything to her for fear of offending her and causing a lawsuit.

    WE are afraid to say anything to her because she’s a raving lunatic bitch … and some of us are quite fond of our testicles.

    I only have to deal with her – when I have to deal with her – for a few minutes a day. I can hold my breath that long.

    • Dog shit? Really? Do they have a kennels at home or something? Or are they just not fans of the soap and water? She does sound like she might be more than a little mentally unstable. Perhaps you could all gang up together and turn the fire hose on her as she walks out the door one day…

  2. Just a wee problem then?

    I used to have a member of staff whose breath stank like a hot Sunday afternoon at the slops yard in a brewery.

    I prefer wee.

    • You wouldn’t the way this woman was wafting it out I tell you. It could have taken tiles off walls. Ah the smell of the functioning alcoholic, delightful. All you want is for them not to speak anywhere near you. We had a teacher at school with gum disease so bad that her breath could knock you over.

  3. The poor cow – she can’t possibly know, surely?

    • I suspect not. She wasn’t wincing, grimacing or gasping for breath so she clearly wasn’t clocking it the way I was. My dad says there are conditions you can get that cause you to excrete urea through the skin and she may well have had one of these, in which case I do feel mildly evil for having ripped it out of her but it was really really strong. I’ve cleaned stables out and worked in a nursing home for seriously mentally challenged people and I’ve never smelled anyone like that before. Odd thing was she looked very smart. My dad also clocked that she seemed ot have orthopaedic shoes on which suggests some kind of water inbalance problem that may have been the cause.

  4. We had the same experience recently. I do not want to grow old…

    • D’you know, she really wasn’t that old, looked to be early 60s, very well presented but absolutely reeked of wee. Most bizarre.

  5. How could I not read this blog post with a title like this?

    Nice one Vicola. I hope it gets picked up by HSR.

  6. I wonder that her relatives/friends don’t mention it to her. I suppose that’s difficult to know how to approach though – “hey, did you wet your pants?”

    Once we invited an older man we’d met at the Smithsonian to come for dinner and bring his wife. Unfortunately she had a really awful “old lady” smell about her – sitting at the dining room table trying to eat was bloody hard! Usually we sit there for ages as the chairs are pretty comfy – this time I was quick to jump up and say “let’s move to the loungeroom” and then I sat as far away as possible. She was such a lovely lady but it would be kind of someone in her family to let her know of the odour.

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