27 June 2008

Sans Culottes

Back Story:

Last July I was driving home from work on I-35W Southbound, when rush hour traffic came to a complete halt. Not surprised in the least (as I have gone through more brake pads than husbands since moving to Texas) I slowed my car down and came to a comfortable stop behind the black pickup truck. I could hear my drivers ed instructor's voice saying "wheels to pavement, always stop where you can still see the wheels of the car in front of you meet the pavement". While I was reminiscing in my head, my poor little PT Cruiser lurched forward from a rear-impact. My jaw clenched, I held down on the brake – only to feel a second impact. Seriously, did she just hit me again?

So, I pulled over, walked back to see the lady on her cell phone. I called 911 and asked her if she was injured. She shook her head. I asked for insurance info, and immediately called her insurance company. To make a long back story short – the bitch tried to say I cut her off – which was a lie. And her insurance company tried to fuck me. . . which was dumb. So, now I have a litigator and am seeing an orthopedic specialist for the non-stop pain I have had since the accident.

Like the attorney said to the claims adjustor when he tried to justify his ridiculous settlement offer, "Don't worry, you'll have more medical bills arriving shortly. Have a nice day!"

So, fast forward almost a year to yesterday. Now that I am back in Omaha, I have to see a specialist here AND return to Physical therapy. Woo hoo!

I arrived at the Spine Center with 5 minutes to spare. The lady at the front desk was very cordial. I was surprised. I handed her all my paperwork and she gave me a few other forms to sign. I did not bother reading them. So, if some guy shows up asking for a kidney – It'll be my own fault.

I sat down, after snagging a tootsie roll and a caramel square from the glass jar on the reception desk. I was flipping through Newsweek – when I hear my name from across the room. Startled, I grab my purse and follow the "patient escort" to another waiting room, where she weighed me on a very modern scale and recorded my height. I was asked to have another seat until my room was ready.

A few moments later, she brings me into a room and hands me a very short and worn cotton/poly blended hospital gown. "Leave your undergarments on, but everything else, including jewelry needs to be removed. The gown ties in back." Then she was gone.

UH-OH. Houston, we have a slight problem. The Good News is that I actually wore a bra yesterday – so that awkward moment was evaded. The Bad News is that, um, I really did not want panty lines yesterday. Bloody Hell! I have never had to disrobe for the damn orthopedic specialist before. What kind of operation were they running? What to do. . . what to do. Well, the gown was short – and no panties really was not going to be an option. I am looking around in desperation.

Maybe I could create some with the tissue paper that covers the patient bed. Wait – no, that would be really embarrassing. It'd crinkle every time I walked. My watch was ticking loudly (not really, but I am adding some dramatic license). That doctor was going to walk in while I was panty less – nothing to be done.

WAIT! My tank top. If I slide my tank top down, it could serve as an undergarment/skirt like thing. Better than nothing. Just in time, I took a seat on the exam table, and there was the quick 'knock then enter' that doctors tend to do. You know the one. . . where even if you were half naked – there is nothing stopping him from walking in – because you don't have time to respond to the knock.

So, in walks a young PA. He introduces himself and starts asking me lots of questions. I answer them all to the best of my ability. He asks me to stand up and face away from him. Now, I have heard that line before – but, I was hoping that this offer was on the up and up – if you catch my meaning. He then proceeds to shift the back of the gown so he can look at my spine. Now, whether he noticed that my panties were really a tank top, I cannot say – but I can tell you that I was a little confused when he asked whether I was Italian or Irish. But – my genius brain caught up with the convo and I responded Irish – remembering the Irish flag on my back.

He told me to have a seat again and that the X-ray tech would be in shortly. Sure enough, she arrived and asked me to follow her. I was all nervous walking around in this damn gown that I was pulling on it to cover myself better. OR NOT! She grabbed my hand and said, "oh, honey, don't pull that way." Apparently, I was opening the gown in back instead of pulling it closed. Fantastic! My tank top/skirt creation was flashed to the whole office. I turned bright red and walked without touching the gown again.

She took lots of x-ray pictures, which always make me nervous because she is behind a steel wall, and I am being inundated with radiation. The giant "If you are pregnant, tell the technician" sign was a flashing beacon across the room – reminding me that she could indeed be frying my ovaries while taking these silly radioactive pictures.

She escorted me back to the room at a quick pace, so that I could sit there twiddling my thumbs for fifteen minutes (I love all the waiting time in doctor's offices). By the time Dr. Fuller walked in, I had almost forgotten why I was there. He hits me with a mallet –comments on my impressive reflexes and suggests that I may be a little tense. Really? You think?

Then the nervous energy kicked in. Not only could I not shut my mouth – but I just kept babbling on about my accident and how fidgety I am and how I dislike taking meds and how I don't understand the abuse of pain killers since Vicodin makes me vomit – and that I don't plan on living here permanently – just for a while and dear God – it was like psychotherapy with one exception – he would look at me with this intense stare and be silent (making me talk faster and louder). He must think I am a lunatic.

Finally – it was over. I asked if I could get dressed, and he said yes, but that I need to refrain from stealing the gown. I think he was joking. Hee hee

End Result:

I get to do PT twice a week for 6 weeks, then return to see him again. I have a feeling that I will wear panties next time.

Eidetic Vision

Main Entry: ei·det·ic Pronunciation: I-'det-ik Function: adjective : marked by or involving extraordinarily accurate and vivid recall especially of visual images - an eidetic memory Merriam-Webster's Dictionary, © 2002 Merriam-Webster, Inc.