A fairly busy day today, with two interesting jobs – I’ll tell you about one now, and the other I’ll save until tomorrow in case I don’t do anything fun.
For the first time in ages I got sent to a decomposing body. Social housing people had been around the elderly gentlemans flat a week earlier, noticed a bit of a smell, but ignored it. When they came back a week later and the smell was still there they decided to talk to the caretakers. The caretakers beat down the door – looked at what was in the bedroom and called the police.
The police then passed the job on to us, so that we could confirm death.
The first thing that you notice when dealing with a ‘decomp’ is the smell, it’s quite unlike anything else – it settles in the back of the throat and stays there for some time. I was sucking mints and drinking tea for some time after leaving the flat to try and get the taste out of my mouth.
The other thing is the flies. You find yourself in a room with flies that have grown, and fed on the tissues of a dead person. Sometimes they land on you. For hours afterwards you can feel them crawling on your skin (I can still feel them now, about eight hours later). It doesn’t make me feel dirty, but it does make me scratch.
The sight of the corpse isn’t too bad after all that. The eyes are gone, and the skin is either dark brown or black. The thing that makes you realise that the thing in front of you was once alive is the hair. The hair is the same as when the person died, in this case it was white, clean and neatly brushed. The entry points to the body (the eyes, the nose and mouth) are crawling with flies and maggots, and this is the only movement you’ll see.
The patient looked to have died in his sleep, he was laying in his bed and it looked like he had simply passed away without waking. Not a bad way to go.
I can see this being my end, as I plan to outlive all my relatives, I don’t talk to my neighbours at the moment (because, in part, they don’t speak English) and at the rate I’m going I doubt I’ll be married.
I hope I make a really stinky corpse. Perhaps making a young trainee EMT vomit in disgust, so that everyone at their station can have a good laugh at their expense.