Monday, April 5, 2010

We Do More To Embarrass Ourselves by 10 A.M. Than Most People Do All Day

Alternatively titled: "Well, We Can Never Go Back To THAT Doctor Now."

Sam had an appointment with an allergist this morning because he seems to have seasonal allergies that leave him kind of gaspy. Concerned that one day he would just drop dead on me, I've taken him to his pediatrician about it. They said that his oxygen levels are fine, but that he "looks" allergic and we should take him to the allergist.

Done and done.

We arrived at the basement level (this is important) of the building shortly before our 8:45 a.m. appointment. We walked past the stairs, which I briefly considered using before I remembered that the doctor's office was on the 5th floor, six flights of stairs above us. So we continued on to the elevator. Unfortunately, there was a sign taped to the elevator that said, "NO POWER."

Awesome. Back to the stairs.

Hey! Guess what, guys? I'm really out of shape. Also, Sam can run up stairs really fast.

We arrived and were quickly ushered into an exam room. Interestingly, the office had power. The power outage seemed to have affected only the elevator. And the Diet Coke machine I tried to use later.

So we're sitting in the exam room and I start to feel...weird. The nurse took some vitals, including a breathing test for Sam, and then the doctor came in. It was probably the most efficient doctor's office I've ever been in.

The doctor commenced to asking me questions and I could tell that I was answering them with gaping pauses because mostly all I could think about was why the room was so fucking hot, why did my extremities feel all tingly, and whose great goddamn idea was it to put that giant window in the room to let in all that bright sun?

Being a Don't Rock the Boat-er, I carried on, pretending nothing was wrong and figuring that if I passed out from the heart attack I was clearly having that at least I was in a doctor's office. Although I'm not sure the allergist would be able to do a lot for me.

Fortunately, after a few minutes, the intense physical feelings I was having ebbed and I was able to focus a little better. They gave Sam a couple blasts from an inhaler and left us for ten minutes before they were to come back to give him a second breathing test.

I imagine that I was having a blood sugar reaction. I have hypoglycemia (and, yes, I know everyone has hypo-fucking-glycemia, but I was actually tested for and diagnosed with it) and hadn't eaten that morning. I think that combined with the unexpected stair climb and that horrible room that seemed to be situated INSIDE THE FUCKING SUN took me down.

Either that, or it was a panic attack. Is it possible to have a panic attack if you don't feel panicked during it?

About this time, Quinn says he has to go to the bathroom. We ask the receptionist for the key, leave the office, walk down the hall, unlock the door, and go into the bathroom (that looong sequence is important later). Quinn has to poop and says he can wipe himself. Normally I check him, but because I was still feeling unstable, I just leaned on a wall and let him do his thing. He washed his hands and we walked back to the exam room.

At which point I became aware of a terrible smell.

I took Quinn back to the bathroom, wiped him, threw away his underwear because, yeah, I'm not carrying THAT in my purse, and returned to the exam room. Quinn of course is screaming because, "I LOVED that underwear! I LOVED that underwear! Can we take it home?! I LOVED THAT UNDERWEEEEEAAAAAR!"

By this time, the doctor is back in the room and Jack is working hard to either discover all the features of the exam table, including the stirrups, or trying to disassemble the damn thing. I'm not sure which.

They lay Sam down on the exam table to put allergens on his back and leave us alone for another ten minutes with strict instructions to not let Sam touch his back or otherwise scratch it. Thank God for the iPhone and the games on it, is all I have to say.

By the time the doctor comes back in, I'm feeling better and feel like maybe we'll make it through this visit with only a few snafus (for those of you who don't know, Situation Normal All Fucked Up, and yes, that very much describes much of my life).

The doctor tells me that Sam is fortunately not allergic to dogs or cats, but is indeed very allergic to dust mites. Which, I gotta say, Good Luck to you, Sam, because you were born into the wrong house to be allergic to dust mites. Also, Good Luck to me trying to spray nose spray into him on a daily basis from now on. But I was learning what to do and the doctor was writing down various instructions and whatnot when HOLY CRAP, YOU KNOW THAT 30-SECOND WARNING FEELING YOU GET WHEN YOU KNOW YOU'RE GOING TO THROW UP?

I flashed through the process that would be required for me to make it to the bathroom and then compared that with the possibility of the doctor finishing what she had to say before something bad happened.

Neither were a possibility.

I interrupted the doctor, who was telling me something about encasing mattresses—I honestly have no idea; I missed almost all of her instructions—to say, and this is some good stuff, "I'm sorry, but I'm feeling really nauseous and I think I'm going to have to throw up into your garbage can."

Yes. That's what I said. And I wasn't so far gone that I couldn't see the look on her face. Good fucking times.

The doctor was kind enough to leave the room. I hadn't eaten that day yet, so nothing really disgusting happened, but at that point it didn't really matter. And here's something else: I don't think my kids even noticed.

I almost immediately felt better and we bumbled our way out of the office, walked down six flights of stairs to the building cafe and sat there for a half hour while the kids ate M&Ms and I ate a banana.

Some days can only get better.


  1. But you seemed fine tonight. And it was lovely to see you.

  2. I am SURE I could not have been so composed in those sweaty, mouthwatery moments before throwing up to be so polite as to say "Excuse me..."

    I say well done to you!

  3. Did she at least repeat the instructions?

  4. I don't know what it says about me, but I was expecting much worse! And at least you said something/she left the room!

  5. Oh man. Does it help to know I've BTDT? Threw up in the pediatrician's office after lugging my sick kid up and down flights of stairs in the very poorly designed office. It turned out our entire preschool had norovirus (and, I'm sure, the entire pediatrician's office must have as well after that; served them right because I'd asked nicely for help!).

  6. I'm glad you are ok...and re "Is it possible to have a panic attack if you don't feel panicked during it?", apparently that is the KEY to it being a panic attack? At least I am woken up in the middle of a deep sleep hyperventilating like I am going to die, dizzy, naseaus, hot flashes, etc. pop a pill and it takes awhile to get me back to sleep. According to my new um doctor that's how they know I have a "real panic disorder". Oh goody. Anyhow, I have panic attacks like that more when I am so called 'relaxed'. Your morning sounds ANYTHING BUT relaxed. Feel better, and shoot the crap up his nose right before it's time for him to wake up in the AM. That's my best advice, and the closest thing I found for a solution.

  7. Hugs. I sure hope it got better.

    I've so been there with throwing up into garbage bags in front of strangers, worst was in the grocery store when I had an intensely bad reaction to antibiotic I'd just taken. One of those I want the floor to swallow me while I die with embarrassment moments.

  8. I'm so sorry. That sucks. I'm guessing it was your hypoglycemia. Good call on eating a banana after. And, it was an allergists office. This CAN'T be the first time they've had someone throw up. At least you were polite about it.

  9. Oy! Poor you. At least you didn't get any of it on the kids. (Though if you'd gotten Q... I think there would be some cosmic justice to that.)

  10. Unbelievable! This is golden...just golden! H is reading it now. I am sad about the underpants though...poor Quinn...still I've thrown away many a Buzz Lightyear pant in my day.

    Tomorrow will be better, I'm sure!

  11. I would say that "tomorrow is another day," but that might imply I'm wishing you more adventures with body fluids. Instead, I'll just wish you good luck.

  12. Only a mom would manage to do all you did throughout the dr. appt and then at the very end get sick. You held it together! Glad you could get something to eat after the appt. It was fun finally getting to chat to you tonight.

  13. Dude...

    Just dude...

    Take some freaking jelly beans with you will ya?

    {glad you are OK - Boo re the dust mites, why couldn't he be allergic to something bigger. Like elephants?}

  14. I have to say a REAL gal (doctor or not) would have held your hair back for you while you retched in the garbage can.
    But, I am sure that would have only added to the embarrassment, huh?

    I also have hypoglycemia AND an anxiety disorder so basically I am a walking bundle of hungry nerves most of the time.

  15. Hey, if the doc didn't repeat her instructions let me know.... I am allergic to dust mites : )

    Dawn (who still can't seem to get her account to let her log-in to leave this comment)

  16. I hope that you are feeling better!

  17. Look at the bright side, you didn't throw up on her shoes! I think that means you can go back there. Someday.

  18. I had a reaction to a new med and had to throw up in a trash can while I was getting my hair weaved....then I felt like I was going to faint so the whole shop was over with me while all the other customers watched as they got the chair laid all the way back and got me a wet cloth. I had to let her finish my hair but I think she was pretty glad when she could get me the heck out of her hair. I did leave her a big tip...she really earned it that day!

  19. I love that you not only EXPERIENCE the humiliation and trauma of the day but then SHARE it with us! That being said, if your web site ever goes 3-D?? I'm outta here, babe!

    And, um, carry snacks from now on ok? We'd like you to stay healthy enough for other the museum outings and losing your caouflaged kids in caves and stuff. ;-)

  20. Mine happened in a meeting. Maybe a 60-second warning. I interrupted the other two people conversing with "Excuse me. I have to go throw up NOW." and ran out of the office.

    ******* TMI NOTICE ******

    I had a bad stomach flu affecting both my upper and lower GI tract (ahem) simultaneously so I got to sit in our office restroom and vomit into (the bathroom - eww!) trash can.

    Immediately after, the nice cleaning person came in, at which point I apologized profusely for leaving her with pukey trash. Proud moment in my life.

    (hope you're feeling better)

  21. Oh, you poor thing. That might be worse than when your kids vomited on an airplane.

  22. Oh my. You do know how to have fun.

  23. Oh, I'm so sorry. That is horrible. Here's hoping you can find another allergist, I wouldn't want to go back to that one, either.

  24. Oh you poor thing. If this happened to my mom or sister, they'd be all calm like you...I would more likely have thrown up on the doctor.

  25. Girl, everytime you leave the house, it's an adventure.

  26. ok, are you mad at me for laughing? A lot?

    Hope tomorrow's a better day!

  27. I can't help but wonder, by your description, if you went to the same allergist that we go to? On Rockville Pike? Hope you are feeling better now!

  28. I am not laughing at your misfortune. I am not laughing at your misfortunate. I am not laughing at your misfortune.

    (But OMG I am laughing SO HARD at your re-telling of it. And wondering if the same person had to change the garbage bags in the exam room and the bathroom. Heh.)

  29. You ever think of having a camera crew come along with you? There's gotta be a way to make a few bucks off these humorous events, right?

  30. OMG, I feel your pain. That soo could have been me this morning, and unfortunately I'm laughing harder than I should. My excuse is that I've been up since 3:45 am and have taken a child to surgery and back in the last 12 hours. I'm past punchy.
    If nothing else, assume you've just given that poor doctor either the best cocktail party story or the best doctor blog post. ; )
    Hope you're feeling better.

  31. LOL! I want to live with you guys!!!


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