Thankfully, I do not go to the emergency room often. I have very healthy, sturdy kids. For my own health, I have been less than ten times in my 32 years, and most of them were for food poisoning or some other intestinal atrocity. When I do have to make an ER visit, for whatever malady I've found myself stricken by, I cry at the realization that I have to go, in full-on titsackery.
I went once in college because my back hurt so bad I had trouble sitting through classes, and was treated by a chiropractor for years for a pinched nerve. I'm familiar with that pain, so when it returns, I use some Advil, a muscle relaxer and some Icy Hot to relieve it. It was under these conditions that I found myself in last Thursday, only the drive home from New Orleans in the car that evening had made whatever inflammation was occurring more severe. I took a muscle relaxer and put a hot pack on it. An hour later I could no longer sit comfortably, so I took some Advil to reduce the swelling and went to bed. Within another hour, I was in excrutiating pain in stasis, and I was so afraid of the electrifying pain that occurred with deep breaths that I was breathing in shallow pants and crying steadily. I took a narcotic painkiller and called a 24-hour nurse line, which directed me to the ER for trouble breathing. Corey was worried that because the pain was off-center and not directly on my spine, something could be wrong with my kidneys.
At 11:00 we called my sister to come home while the boys slept so Corey could take me to the ER. After the muscle relaxer/Advil/narcotic regimen I'd taken, he did not want me driving myself. By 11:30, we were checked in and seated in the upright chairs of the ER waiting room. Within an hour, I was in a room, sitting on a bed. The medicines had relieved the constant pain, but it still hurt to breathe.
At this point the story gets fuzzy, because I was high, so I recollect it to the best of my ability. Also, we're going to talk about ladyparts, so leave now if that scares you.
I'm going to call the physician Dr. Baywatch. HE was young, tan, with bright white teeth and blue eyes, and his dirty blonde hair was long enough to sweep across his forehead and show the lines from his baseball cap. He came in and began asking questions, poking around on my back, making me yelp and asking "does this hurt?" Then he said
Are you experiencing any anethesia in your vagina?
This is like when I had an attractive OB/GYN in college and had to break up with him because his attractiveness made me very uncomfortable when he was clinically fiddling around down there, and I really did not expect, nor was I comfortable with, Dr. Baywatch asking me questions about my Business, so I looked at Corey, who repeated the question.
He wants to know if you are experiencing any anethesia in your vajayjay?
Because I find that word takes the sting out. This still did not register with me, because in my narcotic-induced haze I had heard Dr. Baywatch and my husband ask me if I was experiencing any amnesia in my vagina and I could not wrap my head around how one's vajayjay could forget things and why that information would be pertinent if I was experiencing severe back pain. And my confusion registered still on my face, so Corey again jumped in to help Dr. Baywatch.
Is your Business numb?
OH! No, it's not numb, thanks so much for asking. Dr. Baywatch said he was going to order some Xrays and a urine sample, and people would be back. After he departed, I told Corey I was very thrown by having obnoxiously attractive doctors ask me questions that have the word "vagina" in them. And by thrown, I mean wishing I was dead or invisible.
Xrays were uneventful and then Nurse Wratchet (who was really around 13 years old) came in an announced it was time for my urine sample. I asked for the cup and directions for the bathroom, and she then told me that she would need a sterile sample. There are probably people in the medical field reading this blog, or people who have had more exposure to medical procedures with which I am unfamiliar, so you probably know how one goes about collecting a sterile sample. I did not, and was expectedly horrified when she held up a syringe with a little tube attached to the bottom of it, and I heard the word catheter.
The next part of this story horrified people I've shared this with, and not because of the procedure itself. Because I gave Corey the Death Stare, told him that I was so very mad at him for making me come to the ER and then directed him to the OTHER side of the curtain. Apparently this amount of modesty is unusual and nonsensical to other married women I know, but.....no husband of mine is going to watch me go bare from the waste down while someone puts a tube in my ladyparts. I would expect the bloom to fall off the rose en masse, all at the same time, leaving a rather unattractive flower, and that vision would be tough to shake at very opportune times in a marriage.
I argue that since Corey and I have not yet experienced childbirth together, he has not been privvy to my bottom in various medical procedures, and I'm just not sure a couple returns to The Way Things Were after procedures are performed on the business. This is the same logic I use for not inviting Corey to my yearly Pap smear. And why we've already agreed that he will remain by my head for the birth of our future child, coaching the pushing, while an appropriately-sized tarp shrouds the lower gruesome activities from tainting the Fanciness that is Me.
So, on the opposite side of the curtain he remained during the donation of my sterile sample, all while I remained indignant that he had forced me into an ER visit against my will. I am positive this directive did not cause him any insult. Junior Nurse Wratchet did ask me if she was hurting me, and I assured her that while she was causing me no physical pain at the moment, I was certain the injury to my dignity and pride was irreversible.
After all of these indignities were finished, I was diagnosed with completely healthy kidneys and a muscle injury to the back, given shots of muscle relaxer and anti-inflammatory and prescriptions for both and sent on my way at 3 AM.
This means that the next time I am coerced into an ER visit to seek medical attention for something that cannot wait for my regular female physician, I will remember Dr. Baywatch's invasive inquisition and the humiliation of the sterile sample, and feel completely justified in reverting back to childlike indignance while crying and declaring "I don't wanna!"