3.12.09

Holes. Really Big Holes.

Before there was a girlchild in this house and before I worked from home, I used to roll out of bed at 5:30 am to get myself and the Javinator to our respective places on time. Waking any later than that would result in a mad scurry to get decent clothes on myself and the child (and get breakfast in his gullet) before scrambling to get us on the road.

That mad dash could be epic and usually resulted in mis-buttoned shirts, inside-out bras, and mismatched socks. However, one morning it led me to the most embarrassing moment in my adult life. Had I showered the day before, I would've rolled on in the day before's underpants. Because I had already skipped that crucial step, I knew I need to thrash around with some soap and don a fresh, clean pair of underpants.

I grabbed the first pair I found, completed my dressing and rushed about getting us out the door. I thought I was on my way to another uneventful day, but just as I was dropping Javi out at school, the reminder dinged on my phone. I had an appointment with my orthopedic surgeon for my standard every-six-months scoliosis check-up in fifteen minutes.

I took a deep breath, called into work to alert them that I'd be late, and quickly set out for the ortho. I spent the ten minutes getting there happily ensconced in morning radio as my mind drifted over the day's needs. I arrived for the appointment in plenty of time, settled myself in the waiting room, and passed the time observing those shuffling in and out.

Everything was going so well. There I was, clean and on-time. The child was where he needed to be. No one was waiting on me at work. I was ushered in to see the ortho in record time. The nurse instructed me to strip down to my underpants and put on a thin, starchy medical gown, which was a nuisance but completely necessary for the xrays I'd become accustomed to.

I kicked off my shoes and removed the clothes I had so haphazardly thrown on earlier that morning. My underpants had come down in the process, so I reached to pull them back up. And that's when I felt it. A hole. A gaping damn hole. Right in the side of my underpants. I pulled them away from my body in amazement and realized I could fit my entire fist in that hole. Showing up at a scoliosis evaluation with holey underpants is akin to showing up for a pap smear with ashy legs that haven't been shaved in a month. It's that bad.

I scanned the room for something, anything, that could fill that hole before the nurse came back. Gauze? Maybe I could wrap it around my belly! No gauze. Paper towels! Just layer them up. But they were brown and my underpants were white. I was becoming frantic. The nurse reappeared and insisted I get into the gown and move along to the xrays.

It'd be okay, I assured myself. I could leave the gown on for the xrays and then I'd strategically position myself so that the doctor never saw the canyon of skin flashing on my side. The xrays boosted my confidence; no one was the wiser. Now just to get through the evaluation. The visit was only to track any movement, anyway, so how bad could it be.

The moment you think how bad could it be is the moment you set yourself up for the fall. I was perched on the exam table ready to hear how my scans showed no movement when the orthopedist came in. He was analyzing my scans with a furrowed brow and pursed lips. I began to sweat a little, but still held out hope.

But then it happened. He said to me, "I need to see how your spine is curving in the bend." Horror rushed through me. That request roughly translates to "I need you to put your ass in my face and bend over." I didn't want to do it. I couldn't! But my body was moving on its own.

I slowly peeled one bare thigh off the table and eased my way to the floor. I bunched the gown on both sides of my body and pressed it tightly against my underpants. I held my breath. The minutes were melting slowly as I struggled not to blush or stammer out a confession.

He said brusquely, "Let the gown drop so I can trace your curve." I pretended not to hear him. I focused on breathing. The hole was burning against my skin. "Let's go ahead and let the gown fall," he repeated. I forced my fingers to let go of the bunches. The gown ballooned down from my neck, the strings tugging slightly where they were tied at my neck.

The hole gaped at him like a wide, toothless smile. The sleeve of his coat brushed against the bare skin showing through it. He ran two fingers along the curve of my spine, walked over to the scans, and then made notes. He left me in the center of the room, bent at the hips, garish hole blazing. After a few more long minutes, he told me he'd step out so that I could get dressed and that he'd be back to discuss my movement.

I flew into my clothes as if my very life depended on it, my face flaming. I don't remember much of the ensuing conversation. Something about a something-inch movement, a something-degree curve, a follow-up appointment in some short period of time ... but all I could think was, "A hole! A really big ass hole! In my underpants!"

He left and I scurried to pay for the visit. The frontline staff encouraged me to set the follow-up appointment, but I couldn't think. I knew only that I had to get out of there. I tore out of the office and parking lot on devil's wheels. My humiliation gave way to uncontrollable giggling as I called both my mother and my best friend to relive the story.

And then I found a new orthopedic surgeon. What else could I do?

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This post was written for the (W)rite of Passage challenge created by Mrs. Flinger. The challenge is designed to inspire bloggers to write, to hone their craft and tell better stories, rather than to chase page views and followers. The challenge is open to anyone, so join if it speaks to you!

5 comments:

  • Hadiyah

    Oh no! I feel your pain. I think my face is red with embarrassment for you! I would have went to a new doctor, too.

  • Kelly @ The Miller Mix

    Hadiyah - My mother said she would've left the minute he asked her to bend over. Can you imagine explaining it to him?

  • melissa

    i could feel your embarrassment in this story!! awesomely told!!

  • { L }

    You are such a talented, captivating writer! You had ME nervous and I'm just reading, lol. Did you really find a new surgeon after that though? lol

  • Kelly @ The Miller Mix

    Yes I did! Are you kidding? Part of it was that incident and part was I thought the guy was an ass (hardy har har) even before that.

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