Posted by: stillironic | May 5, 2010

A Public Hazard. Who Me?

There’s one thing worse than throwing up: throwing up in public.

Helpless and mortified you may feel. But, damn, your stomach has stopped hurting. And what a relief that is. But it’s a relief you have to hide. Because you’re IN PUBLIC. People are walking by, trying to skirt this disgusting mess you’ve made. What are you doing walking around sick, anyway, selfish bitch? Contaminating one and all. And then spewing the contents of your stomach all over the floor.

So all right. I’d had a cast on my right arm and wrist for five weeks. A result of surgery to fix carpal tunnel syndrome and remove an arthritic bone. I had an appointment at the hand clinic to have the cast removed. And I wanted that cast off. God knows what creepy things were going on underneath that cast. I had incisions. Didn’t they need air to heal?

So even though I’d had an upset stomach all day, I drove 20 minutes to my appointment uptown. I burped a couple of times in the car and took that as a positive sign I was getting better. I was being an optimist. So shoot me.

I walked in the building’s ground floor lobby, used my left hand to scratch my name on a clipboard, and the next thing I knew I was puking. There was a split second when I tried to keep my mouth closed. A split second before that I got that feeling when you know the dam’s about to burst. At that point you just want to get it over with, no matter how much you hate to throw up. But you’re usually sitting on the bathroom floor in the privacy of your home. Not in the lobby of a public building.

There were some things in my favor: the floor was tile and I didn’t spew on anyone else. And my consumption that day only consisted of a plain bagel, water, and ginger ale. So it wasn’t like I was blowing lunch, as there was no lunch to blow. People probably thought I was an alcoholic at the end of an all-day bender.

A nice woman dragged a chair for me to sit on. She brought me a wastebasket in case of an encore. She also handed me some paper towels with sanitary spray on them. I had puked on my ankles and shoes.

The entrance guard called for someone to transport me to my second floor appointment. I sat and waited for a wheelchair. I made sure to hang my head in shame. It was the least I could do for my performance. I needed for my public to think I was contrite. I needed to deserve that wheelchair. A tiny part of me thought I deserved a kick in the butt, to be sent up the elevator on my own speed.

Then I got coned. Yes, ladies and gentlemen, someone placed orange safety cones—the ones that signal hazard—around me and the mess I’d made. I was officially a hazard to the public.

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Responses

  1. OMG! That happened to me several years ago, and an ambulance came and took me to the ER!
    After golf, I puked in the country club grill, with all my friends there! I sort of passed out and they called the paramedics and my husband. They took me to the hospital, and during the ride, one of the EMT’s kept saying, “I wish I could get a pulse!” Well, that was certainly comforting, let me tell you!

    After I got to the hospital, they put me in a room in the ER and then THEY LEFT ME THERE! I kept puking and calling for help, and finally the relative of one of the patients grabbed a nurse to check on me. She was pissed that I had made such a mess on the floor!

    After many hours, they let my husband take me home. Their diagnosis was “low potassium.” Later that night I had a raging fever. LOW POTASSIUM MY ASS! I had food poisioning from the bad eggs I had had for breakfast!

    Listen up! Check the date on your egg cartons!!
    If they have expired, THROW THE BASTARDS OUT!

    • Thank goodness for that neat freak! Sounds like the hospital where I had surgery some years ago. It was night and I needed pain medicine. The nurse was talking right outside my door for at least an hour. Supposedly she couldn’t hear me calling her, even after I got hysterical. Meanwhile, my roommate’s doctor, who was paying a visit, ignored me as if I didn’t exist. When she left she even stopped and chatted up the nurse. I finally had to call my husband–by now it was 2 a.m.–and he drove half an hour to the hospital. By the time he got there, the nurse and I were screaming at one another. He got her to shut up by repeating calmly, “don’t yell at the patient.”

  2. wow….what an experience…

  3. Normally my husband would have stayed with me, but he had to go home and rescue our golf cart from the course. I had thrown up so hard that I had wet myself, and didn’t have my phone to call him and ask him to bring me clean clothes. I made him walk close behind me to the car, hoping no one would notice that I was soaked with pee.

    Your husband is really special to come to the hospital at 2 in the morning. And that nurse! Well, that nurse should have been throttled soundly for leaving you in pain! I hope you reported her to the administration!!

    • You really had an ordeal! Sandra Bullock could play you in a black comedy. My husband is great. And I reported the nurse to the head nurse, who reprimanded her and ordered her to stay away from me. Since the nurse was such a wacko–she sprayed each patient with a fragrance, as if we were her play dolls–I regret not reporting her to the hospital administration. The head nurse asked us not to in exchange for guarantees. I was in the hospital for a month–got an infection 6 days after major surgery–and went with what seemed like the best option at the time.


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