My brain says, "So what?" but my body says "Bleargh!"

Today was quite the day for cleaning up bodily effluvia and other icky stuff. First, on one of our walks around the barn, Dottie found a chipmunk carcass the cats had left behind, and promptly snagged half of it. I grabbed her and shook her to make her drop it, then put her in her pen while I scooped up the three or four sections of chipmunk parts and buried them. Later, not surprisingly, Dottie puked on my office carpet. Back into her crate while I cleaned THAT up. If I’d had to get a fresh stool sample for today’s trip to the vet, it would have been the Triple Crown of Disgusting.

Why am I telling you all this? Because I’m wondering if anyone else shares my physiological reaction to poop, puke, etc. I’m a practical kind of person. Somebody pukes or whatever, it has to be cleaned up. No big deal. I’m game. But my body just says “No way, Jose! I’m not going anywhere near THAT!” My eyes tear up and I gag horribly, no matter how much I try to distract myself with happy thoughts, look the other way, plug my nose, etc. I haven’t added my own vomit to the pile yet, but sometimes I come close.

It’s embarrassing. I feel as if it looks as though I’m trying to get out of doing the disgusting deed – but I’m not. I’m perfectly willing (in my brain) to deal with gross stuff, but my body protests violently the whole time. Mr. S, bless his heart, understands, and if he’s around, he’ll take care of it for me. (He was sleeping today, so I didn’t bother him.) Perhaps it helps that his allergies often block his sense of smell. But regardless, I wish I could get over this!

Please, somebody tell me that you have this problem too!

My mother and I have this problem! Witnessing someone throw-up, smelling a bad smell, or even mentally recalling a triggering situation or smell causes us to vomit. I’m guessing we just have a very strong aversion to bad smells or even imagined bad smells (maybe a evolutionary reminder to avoid disease?), not a craven motivation to get out of cleaning up messes.

I don’t have that problem exactly, which is fortunate considering I work in a hospital lab with all sorts of gross fluids and whatnot all day, but I do sort of know what you mean. After nearly fifteen years of doing this stuff I still have to work to keep myself from gagging while processing a sputum. Yuk.

Yes, I’m pretty much the same way. It doesn’t stop me from doing what needs to be done, but it does make it harder.