There can be few things in life as sickening as the slow realisation that the chair you’ve just sat in in the nursing home was slightly damp and that someone else’s urine is now slowly soaking its way through your trousers and underwear headed towards your snuff dry thighs. You spend the rest of the day with a uriniferous odour invading your nostrils at intervals. Is it really there? Do I really smell like a public lavatory in late July? Is it just my imagination? Does the word ‘uriniferous’ really exist?
Many ‘do I smell of stale piss?’ hours later you head home desperate for a shower, a change of clothes (and a change of nursing home). Many of us working in the caring professions will have similar contamination incidents to recall which is why I now purchase trousers impregnated with Febreze cotton-fresh and wear PVC underwear to cover all eventualities.
In recent weeks however, I’ve been able to revert to the much simpler tactic of wearing full sou’wester on sorties beyond the confines of the surgery. Perhaps unsurprisingly, the Met’ Office inform us that we’ve had a summer that’s wetter than a Cliff Richard Christmas song and happily, waterproof clothing is now available in tweed. The ‘fallout’ from Vera’s urinary tract infection as well as that from clouds more dark and foreboding than the prospect of compulsory attendance at a two hour fire lecture are now amply taken care of.
Our dog Jack doesn’t seem to mind the prospect of a walk in the rain which is surprising considering that he’s hairier than a female wrestler from the Ukraine and soaks up water like a giant canine microfibre cloth. This afternoon we came home with horizontal rain blowing in our faces – me gritting my teeth and adjusting the visor on the mobility scooter and Jack happily trotting along, occasionally sniffing my trousers for some reason. Once dried off in the porch he looks like Toyah Wilcox on a bad hair day – but that’s easily fixed after an hour with the GHD straighteners. (I was joking about the mobility scooter).
This year, on the one hand, we’re all thoroughly disappointed with what passes for our “summer” because we feel cheated that day after day we suffer endless dark skies, wind and rain. On the other, we’re delighted that we can commiserate with each other, moaning endlessly in the way only the British can. And do.
Last week a patient dashed into the surgery exclaiming: “I got caught in a shower – I’m piss wet through!” Believe me – until you’ve sat in the ‘throne of urine’ in Vera’s nursing home, you have no idea what ‘piss wet through’ means.