It has been said that our sense of smell is the most powerful sense we possess. It can bring back so many memories, both positive and negative. I have been vacillating about telling this tale, it is so incredulous that most people can’t believe that it’s true.
I’m choosing to tell it now, because last week, bringing a patient into the ER, I smelled him before I saw him and I knew it was time the tale be told. My partner and I came across him on a sweltering day. We were dispatched for the “intox on main.” There is a section of strip malls there and on a hill behind one of the stores is where the “illegals” congregate to drink and hang out.
When we arrived, the “path” that they use to climb up the hill, was littered with urine and beer cans. My “patient” was lying on one side, his head in his hand, so drunk he couldn’t walk, waiting for us to rescue him. Two steps up the pathway my nasal passages were ASSAULTED by a combination of alcohol, body odor, urine, feces and rotting flesh. A decision was made to call the poor fire department and have him extricated via a stokes basket. The police managed to make their way up the hill to clear out the rest of the people.
The fire department brought the patient down and placed the whole basket on the parking lot between two dumpsters. This patient was dressed in in multiple layers of clothing and had been using his pants as a toilet, for days! I made a decision to decontaminate the patient in the field. The fire department brought over a small fire hose and we began to cut through the layers of clothing. The stench was enough to make my eyes water, and my mask couldn’t filter out the odor. It’s difficult to believe that an otherwise “normal” person could allow himself to get into that state and not give a damn.
My partner cut off the last layer of his jeans and I could see part of his scrotum where his underwear had rotted away, I picked up the waistband to cut through it and at first glance, it looked like someone had dumped a quart of white rice down his pants. That’s when I realized that the “rice” was actually moving. (I have seen a lot of things in my career, this was the first and only time I had to step away and vomited on scene!)
We completely disrobed this man and he was covered in maggots. From head to toe!!!! There were maggots eating his “junk” and he was completely unfazed by his current state. As a matter of fact, he was more pissed off that we hosed him off, thereby sobering him up. We wrapped him in multiple layers of blankets, which did not prevent the smell from permeating the ambulance on the way to the hospital.
There are multiple shelters and facilities in the area where homeless people are welcomed to have a hot meal, take a shower and get clean clothes. All for free! Well, at no cost to THEM anyway. There is no earthly reason why this man was in the state he was in, other than that he preferred to panhandle for enough beer money, and then just drink himself into oblivion. Definitely not one of the “dreamers” that a certain party wants to not only protect, but bring more of into our country.
This man spent 6 WEEKS in wound care at the local hospital, during which he was fed clothed and provided with regular meals, showers, tv and the best medical care provided. All at taxpayers expense because he was here illegally and had no means. His hospital bill ran into the MILLIONS!!! Not to mention the resources it took to extricate him on scene. The hospital offered to transfer him to an alcohol treatment facility. Not a big shock to find out he declined.
He was picked up two weeks later, not in as bad of shape, but still drunk and dirty. You learn a lot on the streets, and the homeless all talk. Now “maggot man” knows the lingo. You call 911 and a whole bunch of people show up. Even though we know its BS, you say “chest pain” and you automatically get a free ride. Over and over and over again. This man has been picked up and transported, intoxicated and dirty, EVERY SINGLE DAY for the last 8 days! He gets a change of clothes and a warm bed, free meal and even a free taxi ride right back to where he hangs out. Want to know why the healthcare system in this country is so messed up? Want to know why we are the laughing stock? Want to know why these illegals laugh at us behind our back, because we work our asses off to pay for healthcare, and pay fines if we can’t afford it? To take care of the future democratic voters!