swirling air going into a nose

Certain Smells

There are certain smells that trigger different emotions. As you all know, I spent over one year in the hospital dues to complications with ulcerative colitis and Crohn’s. As much as I try to put it all behind me, there are smells that would never go away.

Triggered by the smell of an alcohol swab

IV Saline- This metallic tasting liquid is what the hospitals use to clean out IV’s. Before the nurses would inject a medication, they would “flush,” my line out. Not only did the saline solution smell like alcohol swabs, but it also had a distinct taste.

Yes, you heard me correctly, I could taste it. It had a metallic taste, and a little bit salty. I would always laugh about it with the nurses. Yes, they thought I was crazy. When I give myself my Humira shot each week, I can smell the alcohol swap, and it brings back those memories.

The smell of ampicillin brings back bad memories

This IV antibiotic had a terrible smell. This one I could smell from time to time when walking down the street. It’s weird. It smells almost like rotten eggs. 

I remember using this medication in my PICC line when I had Listeria. The worst side effect of this medication was increased diarrhea. Go figure, right?

I had terrible Crohn’s, and this just added to the number of times that I would run to the bathroom. It has such a bad smell that I cringe every time I hear the name. 

To make things worse, when I smell that foul odor, it brings back terrible memories. Having Listeria was terrible. I strongly believe that it was Listeria that made my Crohn’s worse.

Remember, Listeria is a foodborne infection from bad lunch meat. It is predominantly popular with women who are pregnant and people with compromised immune systems.

When they sent me home, I had a PICC line. The infusion company set me up to get my ampicillin four times a day. I remember one time, the bag broke, and the medicine shot on the wall. It actually left permanent spots that were black.

It also brings back a time when I had to hang my medicine for an infusion from a pillar in the middle of a bunk house at camp. I had to take the medication several times a day. The thought of those “dark” days make me tremble.

Certain bathrooms bring back memories of the hospital

Certain bathrooms (even at the houses of family members) remind me of the hospital. I do not know if it’s the cleaners used but it sure does bring back memories. The memories are from the numerous bathrooms in Temple’s emergency room. The smell also is the same as the hospital room’s bathroom once I was admitted.

Triggers causing memories of the past

I do recognize that this is all in my head. I can admit that it is a small problem that I have. I try not to think of my past, but certain things just bring back those memories. I have spoken to professionals about it, and not much can be done. I just have to take one day at a time and maybe find some “smells” that bring back “good” memories.

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