Friday, June 22, 2007

Terminal Embarrassment

When I first got my mantle cell lymphoma diagnosis , I thought, "Oh my god - this is how I'm gonna' die."

Then I heard about the treatment. You know you're in trouble when your regimen includes the word "hyper," as in "hyper CVAD." For a while, I was convinced that the chemo would do me in.

But when I checked in to Hotel Hope and met the IV pole, the contraption that would be tethered to me 24-7, I sensed that the "pole of death" could place first in a trifecta race to the grave.

In spite of that lousy first impression, the pole and I eventually became friends, gliding gracefully through the halls and pole dancing effortlessly in the lobby.

Until this morning. On the way back from the bathroom, I yanked him over his cord. He came crashing down to the floor and bonked my bald head in the process. I screamed, "Help, help, get him off of me," until two nurses came to my rescue. The whole thing reminded me of a blind date I had in college.

After I regained my composure and nurses checked my vitals, I got right to the heart of the matter, "This isn't going into my chart, is it?"

"You betcha it is," they laughed, as they took off down the hallway spreading the tale.

Forget cancer and chemo. Can a person die from embarrassment?


Karen said...

. He came crashing down to the floor and bonked my bald head in the process. I screamed, "Help, help, get him off of me," until two nurses came to my rescue. The whole thing reminded me of a blind date I had in college.

ROTFLMAO!! Oh my gosh, that's hilarious.

Hope your poor ol' noggin is okay. Were there spectators in the lobby who got to see this little show? ;-)

Karen K

Piper Robert said...

Since you're embarrassed anyway, can we tell everyone why Grandma spanked you?

How's the boa thing going?

Piper Robert said...

p.s. I loved how you played the "cancer card" last night. That pretty much trumps anything. Thankfully, you still have your witty sense of humor.

Mathews Family said...

Dad, tell the spanking story already!!!

Paula Johnson said...

I think it's veeeeeery interesting that you refer to your pole as "him." From now on, I am going to call the apparatus "Lech Walesa."

lilli said...

I never thought I'd say this about someone being admitted to the hospital, but yippee!! Go platelets!

And no, you can’t die from embarrassment. I think the whole thing proves how coordinated you usually are to have gotten this far with no pole crashing incidents. I doubt I could have done as well.

-- Lilli

Susan Carrier said...

The advantage of calling my pole "he," is that I can blame him for things. The accident, of course, wasn't MY fault. "He" stumbled when I was trying to teach him a new dance move.

Judy said...

I know I'd love to hear more about what happened during the blind date in college.

As for dying of embarrassment, it reminds of the time Pete was at the Third Street Promenade and stepped off the curb. His foot turned so awkwardly that for 15 feet he was contorted like Quasimodo, the Hunchback of Notre Dame, until he regained his balance. We laugh about it to this day.

When it happens you can only hope that the people who are nearby are either blind or the Alzheimer's afflicted. BTW, can the nurses be bought off with chocolates?

Lisa C. said...

Reminds me of the time my cousin was lying in a hospital bed after having an asthma attack; I was hugging her goodbye after a visit and I heard "OW! OW!" You're pressing down on my IV in my hand!"


Lisa C.

Paula Johnson said...

I have a pratfall to share, and I can't blame chemo-brain or chemo-coordination.

In the late 1980s, I worked for a company in Pasadena and drove a Ford. One of my co-workers shuttled me to the dealership (named, no lie, LOUD FORD) so I could pick up my car after a service appointment.

She pulled up to the curb, and I collected my purse and briefcase and attempted to exit her rather large truck. The heel of my pump got caught between the side of my seat and the door frame.

I flew out of the vehicle headfirst and used my briefcase as a buffer between my face and the sidewalk. At some point my foot slid out of my shoe. I believe I rebounded slightly upon making the acquaintance of the concrete.

My friend yelled "Are you OK?" and as I looked up to let her know I was fine, I saw several car salesmen directly in front of me. They were standing, agape, on the other side of the dealership's plate glass window.

I started laughing which started them laughing. It was even funnier because I couldn't hear them. Imagine mimes in business suits conveying mirth.

I picked up my things, slipped on my shoe, and tried my best to saunter off to the service department with torn pantyhose and dirty clothes.

I never drove another Ford.

Susan Carrier said...

LOL Paula, I peeked at my in-patient records book and saw that they have a record of you as my "sister" picking me up from the hospital.

By the way, if one truly could die of embarrassment, I would have died a thousand deaths by now.

denise said...

Okay here's my most recent embarassing moment. For those of you, which are most, who don't know, I'm a court reporter, but do depos. Had to recently go to court to do a job. Sitting in the audience, I got up to let somebody by and went to sit back down, whereupon I found myself on the floor with the entire room laughing first then asking me if I was okay. See, the seats flip up when you get up, but don't flip back down when you go to sit!

I told everybody I was hired to relieve the tension and managed to find my seat with my face redder than a ripe tomato.

So glad your plaletes had a party and multiplied.

I'll catch up with you after Shane goes back to school. Stories to tell, but we're fine.

Love ya!

Susan Carrier said...

As these storeis demonstrate, there's nothing like a good pratfall to get a laugh.

Piper Robert said...

Then, there was the time I was at the grocery store. While shopping, I met some friends and struck up a lengthy conversation. After saying our "see you laters", I grabbed my shopping cart and headed for the check out. While standing in line, a lady walks by, looks at my cart and starts laughing. Checkout girl and those in line behind me thought something was funny also. I look down at my cart and it's full of day old bread. Apparently, after ending the conversation with my amigos, I unknowingly got the wrong cart. Sure enough, there was mine in the bread aisle.

Here's one for James. He walks out of the restroom at Krogers with toilet paper hanging out the back of his pants. Awesome.

Karen said...

Glad you're OK after Lech (no, not a soft "ch") pounced on you. Thank goodness now they have plastic bags on the poles instead of glass bottles, the way they used to!

I want to hear about that spanking.

My most embarrassing moments:

Walking into the boys bathroom instead of the girls the first day of high school.

Laughing uncontrollably while on stage during an awards assembly at that same high school, while the Principal was speaking, because my mischievous friend Cathy Crawford leaned over and whispered "wouldn't it be awful to start laughing uncontrollably right now?!"

Losing the top of my two-piece swimsuit when I did a cannonball off the high board at the community pool (also in high school).

Stapling a bag to my finger when I was a cashier the summer between 12th grade a freshman year of college.

If you could die of embarrassment, I'd never have made it to college.

Mrs. Duck

Piper Robert said...

Sue's spanking story, once again, shows her resourcefulness, pioneering toughness, courage and intelligence at a very young age. It is a story of international intrigue, humour and a first hand account of the "other side" of life in West Virginia.

Janet Aird said...

The one I remember best was when I was a teenager and used Montreal's brand new subway system for the first time. Trained by the ones in New York City, I ran down the stairs when I heard it arrive, leaped inside - and tripped and fell flat on my face. The door didn't close for about five more minutes. Needless to say, there were plenty of witnesses.

Susan Carrier said...

When something embarrassing happens to us, we can usually take comfort in the fact that we'll probably never see the "witnesses" again. Not so with me.

One time at a movie theatre in Westwood, I did a popcorn-flinging pratfall on the way back to my seat. The next day, while riding the elevator in downtown LA, two total strangers asked, "Were you at a movie in Westwood last night? We saw you spill your popcorn."

Another time, my friend Mary Kaye and I were making fools of ourselves trying to enter the surf at a beach on the north shore of Oahu. That night we went to a Waikiki night club and a whole crew of sailors recognized us. "Aren't you those crazy girls who were trying to get into the surf this morning? We were cracking up watching you."

So I guess that makes me the most recognizable klutz on the planet!

Karen said...

Ohmygod, I think I'd die if hours later someone recognized me and asked me if I was the klutz they'd seen earlier!!! Susan, you have me laughing out loud here at work, which is most unbecoming in a lawyer!

Mrs. Duck