Thursday, May 13, 2010

Strange things that you worry about in the ER

A little back drop to the following story.

I have been suffering on and off from mild abdominal pain. I have been gathering anecdotal evidence that I may have a gall bladder problem. The pain usually lasts a few hours and then goes away. I could push through it. Well, not anymore. Saturday night and then Tuesday, I was writhing in pain. On Saturday after about 4 hours, the pain subsided when I placed a heating pad on my stomach and when I woke up Sunday morning I was better. Tuesday night was a different story. I ended up in the emergency room at Rhode Island Hospital shortly before midnight for what would be an all night stay.

After a definitive gall bladder diagnosis became not-so-definitive, I needed a few new tests.

The very nice, attractive but geeky, way too young ER doctor announced that I would have to have a test that would rule out blood in my stool.


Okay, when you hear this a lot of things run through the average person's mind. Is it going to hurt, how embarrassing, is this really necessary, etc. What was I thinking about?

My underwear.

I am not really embarrassed by any medical procedure. After birthing two babies at two different teaching hospitals (read: they called everyone in the rooms and I had an audience), multiple surgeries and a tattoo, I don't really have any modesty left, especially in medical situations.

I do worry about what people think of me.

When I left for the hospital I wasn't really thinking clearly. This most likely was due to the pain and vomiting. If I had been thinking, I would have changed my underwear.

You see, before the onset of this pain, I had been packing for a trip to see my parents in Virginia. So, of course all my sensible, nonchalant underwear were packed. (Because you bring your sensible underwear when you visit your parents.)

So, instead of boring-ol', sensible underwear, I had on the black, lacy, see-through kind that I wear on only two occasions. The first is when there is no other clean underwear. The second is when I know that my husband will be seeing said underwear sometime in the near future.

It is definitely not the underwear you wear when very nice, attractive but geeky, way too young ER doctor is examining your bottom area.

He did give me the chance to decline the test. For a split second I thought, "Oh I can decline." then I thought, "I could be dying and I am going to decline a test because I don't want him to see my underwear!"

It was really a dilemma.

So, to add insult to the injury I let him perform the test. Since he was a very kind, attractive but geeky, way too young ER doctor he didn't say anything.

He did however, give me the wrong discharge papers.

Daniel says this is because the underwear made him flustered.

Whatever it was I am glad he didn't comment because I would have been mortified.

Just like I am now because I know this blog gets emailed to my father.

Sorry, dad.

....And sorry Dr. S. Biegen. I am sure in your career you will experience stranger, more bizarre things (especially if you stay at RIH) but hopefully they won't involve me.


  1. I think I still have some maternity underwear in my drawer. And yes, I still wear it occasionally (but never to the ER).