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How Smells Make Us Feel Sick or Well

It never matters the cause that brought you there or time of day or night, every single emergency room has the same complex emotions and energy inside those sliding glass doors and all of them smell the same.

It’s like a chain restaurant that always has the same menu offerings and smells the same no matter which location you visit.

I remember the last time we had to take our son to the emergency room.  I remember the rush of getting him from school and racing to the emergency room, hearing him cry and seeing blood all over his little face. I remember how hard it was to find a parking space and how full the emergency room was when we walked in.  We circled that lot 2 or 3 times looking for a spot and me saying oh great we can’t even park, how are we going to get our son in there!

Guiltily, I remember thinking to myself too, how thankful I was he is not the child who is constantly getting hurt or sick where we have to come here often.

waiting room

Those feelings of concern, anxiety, sadness, grief, inpatient and being scared and uncertain easily fill the rafters of any hospital emergency waiting room. Those feelings are mixed with the high energy, quick responding nurses and doctors trying to prioritize the cases and help all those waiting. It is a perfect formula of difficulty and challenge in some of life’s most stressful situations.

The feelings we have in these situations can be amplified by the setting and place we are and what our senses consciously and unconsciously notice from what is around us.

Have you ever heard the saying, that a hospital is just a place that keeps the sick people sick?

We are surrounded by aromas and scents all the time. Some of these are pleasant and some  not so much. When we smell something, it can trigger experiences, reactions and memories.