Hebrews 12:1-2

"..let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us. Let us fix our eyes on Jesus, the author and perfecter of our faith..." - Hebrews 12:1-2

Friday, March 26, 2010

Out of Control at the Doctor

I had the pleasure of working from home today. It was a beautiful day outside and all was right with the world. I had been looking forward to this day for several weeks, as I was scheduled for an appointment with an ENT (ear, nose and throat) doctor to discuss the possibility of surgery on my deviated septum (broken nose).

I knew nothing about this doctor other than what I had read on the internet and wasn’t referred to him by anyone in any way. I just knew I wanted to see about getting my nose fixed and he was accepting new patients, took my insurance and was located close to our home. While this may not be the recommended method for choosing a doctor to operate on your face, I felt comfortable and confident in his abilities based on his credentials and past experience.

I arrived for my appointment 10 minutes early and filled out the necessary paperwork. I was called into the examination wing and directed to a small room, where I waited for the doctor to arrive. The doctor and I spoke briefly about what I was hoping to have done and then he examined my nose. The good news is that it appears that my deviation is at the tip of my nose, which should be fairly simple procedure.

I was beginning to get warm in this little room, so I took off my jacket while we were talking. The doctor was asking me different questions and making sure I knew everything I wanted to know about the surgery.

And then I was being shaken and had the doctor and nurse in my face.
What!?!??

Evidently, I had passed out while the doctor was finishing up his paperwork. One minute we were talking and the next minute he said my eyes were rolling and I was really pale. Needless to say, the doctor and nurse were quite shaken with this sudden development, and I wasn't that comfortable with it either.

I explained that I have a serious fear of needles and have passed out while giving blood and after getting an IV inserted, but that I had never passed out just in conversation. They both stated several times that they had never had anyone drop on them in a consultation. Well, I guess that makes me special.

After a minute or two of sitting there telling them this and drinking some water, the doctor and nurse went into the hallway to discuss what they should do with me. Suddenly, I felt the world closing in on me and couldn't muster up the energy to speak. This time I knew I was about to pass out. And I did.

So again I came to with them both in my face. A third lady was in the room bringing some smelling salts (which incidentally I could not smell at all). They were trying to find me a soda to drink and I was covered head to toe in sweat. This time they stayed with me and kept asking me how I was doing. I felt incredibly tired. It was determined that I would call Lisa to come pick me up, as they were afraid I might pass out on the ride home.

So I called Lisa and she was on her way to save the day. After I drank most of the soda and had stayed upright for several minutes, they led me out to the small waiting area outside the examination rooms. As I sat there trying to figure out what had happened, I noticed that my pants were wet. Suddenly, the embarrassment and shock of passing out twice in a consultation was no longer such a huge deal and was no longer my focus.

I was desperately trying to figure out if I had peed my pants while passed out. Could that happen?!? Of course it could, I suppose, since your body is crashing and relaxing all at once. Wouldn't it make sense that your ability to "hold it" might also take a break? Oh my word. How can I check to see if this is what happened?!?

I casually rubbed my hand along the wet spot and slyly snuck a sniff under my still-broken nose. I didn't smell anything! Happiness! Joy! Panic! I hadn't smelled the smelling salts either after passing out, so perhaps my sense of smell is still on vacation. Perhaps I am sitting in this chair smelling up the joint. Perhaps I smell as bad as a urinal in the 7th inning at the Cardinals game on a hot summer's day.

So, I checked again, using the same method. Nothing. How can I be sure? I took the can of Sprite I was finishing off and took a sniff. The smell of lime has never been more welcomed in my life. I was pee free! God had granted me mercy and had spared me this embarrassment! But why were my pants all wet? At this point I recalled that I was drinking a small cup of water when i had dropped the second time. The mystery has been solved!

So I sat in that space, in my wet pants, waiting for my wife to come pick me up from my pre-surgery consultation where I had just passed out twice for no reason and wondered what those around me were thinking. From my vantage point, it was clear that everyone in that area had been alerted to keep an eye on me. I was famous for all the wrong reasons and didn't like the peering eyes.

I also came to realize that although I knew why my pants were wet, there is virtually no way anyone else around me knew the reason. So, it would seem a natural conclusion to think 'Man, that guy passed out and peed his pants!". So not only was I the guy who passed out, i was also the pee guy. I was demoralized.

Finally, Lisa showed up and the doctor and nurse came over and talked about what had happened. At last, I was saved from the torture of staying in this place and we left for home. I had a hard time staying alert on the way home, as I was incredibly tired. When we arrived home, I went immediately to our room and crawled into bed where I promptly fell asleep. Two and a half hours later I woke up feeling a bit better.

This day that had started out so great, with such great expectations, had exploded on me in the most unexpected way. I was thankful to be home and, although the day's events had been a bit traumatic, I was still looking forward to getting the surgery done in two weeks.

I remembered seeing this video and felt that it was a good depiction of my doctor's visit. And then, incredibly enough, several other people mentioned this very same thing as well:

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