Thursday, April 29, 2010

I Need New Underwear

I reached into my underwear drawer and grabbed the ratty, elastic stretched, thread worn, holey, navy blue boxer briefs. There was quarter sized hole by the waistband in the front and a one inch tear down the right groin seam. There was a newer pair of white boxer briefs in the drawer. It was a Sunday, most of the laundry in our house gets done on the weekend so my choices were limited. I was going to be working a trade show all day so I stuck with the blue briefs. I figured comfort would be important since I would be on my feet all day. I finished getting dressed and I went downstairs.

I drank some coffee and talked to Wyatt about the birthday party he was going to that morning. It was the first time in his 3 and 3/4 years that he was ever invited somewhere without his older brother. Wyatt was very excited to be going somewhere by himself. I was very happy for him, he needs his own friends. I took the last few sips of my coffee with a pill I sometimes take for my herniated discs. My back and neck were stiff and aching from the 3 yards of mulch I shoveled the day before. I kissed the family goodbye and I drove towards the trade show.

Two minutes before I entered the turnpike my scalp started to itch really bad. My face felt flush, I could feel my ears start to burn. I opened the window to get some air. My feet and hands started to hurt and I could see my wedding ring getting squeezed by the flesh around it. I looked in the rear view mirror and gasped. My faced was completely red, my eyes bloodshot and my lips were puffing up. I was having another allergic reaction.

I turned around and drove home. I could barely walk to the front door my feet were so swollen the laces and seams of my fake wingtips were bulging. I walked into the kitchen and called out for Lauren. She looked at me and made the same face she makes when she sees me naked. She was horrified.

"I need to go the hospital." I told her.

"Oh my God. What happened?" She asked.

"I have no idea. The only thing I did different this morning is that I took one of my pills. My tongue and lips are tingling and I need to go to the hospital."

"Let me call someone to watch the kids." She said as she picked up the phone.

"No. Wyatt needs to go to his party. I will drive myself."

"What? Are you crazy?"

"No. I don't Wyatt to miss his party. He needs this party."

"Bill, He is three. There will be other parties."

"Maybe we should call 911." I said. "No. I don't want to scare the kids. I will drive myself. I want Wyatt to go this party and I don't want him to miss it because his dad has allergies."

"Oh but it will be okay if he misses his party because his dad died?" Lauren said always trying to make her point even though I may have been dying.

I left and drove myself to the hospital. I called Lauren to let her know I was safely in the ER. A nurse asked me to walk back through the triage area. I could hardly move, my feet were so badly swollen.

"Why are you hobbling?" The nurse asked.

"My feet hurt."

"Take off your shoes." She said.

"I can't. I think my feet are stuck in them."

"Do you want me to cut them off of you?"

"No. These are the only dress shoes I own. I will get them off but it will take some time."

The nurse helped me onto the bed and she instructed me to take off all my clothes except my underwear. My ratty, torn, hole filled underwear. I was embarrassed. As I took off each article of clothing I discovered the most hideous rash I have ever seen covered my entire body. I was more mortified at my underwear. A doctor and another female nurse entered the curtained exam room. They looked at me and winced, maybe from the appearance of the rash, but I thought it was because of the holes in my boxer briefs.

The doctor asked me to stand up so they could examine everywhere. The two female nurses helped me out of the bed and then the three of them all used flashlights to inspect my back side and inner thighs. The doctor decided I needed a epinephrine shot and a bag of IV fluids with steroids. I was also to be placed on a heart monitor in case anything bad happened.

The two nurses worked quickly and in sync to get everything done. One prepped one side of my body for the IV and heart monitor while the other sorted through the various equipment. They chatted together the entire time talking as if I was not even laying there completely exposed except for my really bad underwear. Once the heart monitor was hooked up and beeping they inserted an IV into my left arm and injected epinephrine into my right arm. The nurse on my left stood next to me holding the IV bag above my head. They asked me to scooch back in the bed a bit. As I did I could feel the holes in the front of my underwear shift a bit exposing certain parts of my anatomy. I asked for a blanket.

The nurse on my right, finally acknowledging I was there, said that everything looked okay and that they would keep me for a few hours to observe. She nodded to the nurse on my left who was fiddling with the IV bag and asked, "What are you doing?"

"This one does not have a big pole. How come I am always stuck with the ones without any kind of pole."

I then cleared my throat and said, "I know you just inspected me with flashlights and that my underwear is full of holes but you didn't even get a good look there so please do not insult me."

It took her a minute but then she laughed.

Later when she was removing the heart monitor clips that were taped to my chest, I think she took pleasure in ripping sticky pads from my body.

This is kind of what my reaction looked like except my entire body was covered. This picture is a reaction to the type of tape they use in the hospital. The good news is I do not think I am allergic to chocolate like I thought before. The bad news is I am allergic to the medicine I am supposed to take for my neck pain. I am also allergic to hospital tape and nurses ripping hair out of my chest.


teri said...

Jesus! First of all, I'm glad nothing really bad happened and that you were wise enough to go to the hospital. Did they find out what it was from?

Second, did your mother's voice go through your head when they always say "wear clean underwear, you might be in an accident"?

Meegs said...

Jeez... you just can't win, can you?! Feel better!

eclectic said...

Dude, the whole unfortunate sequence of events could have been avoided simply by wearing the tighty-whites. Lesson learned then, eh? I don't want to have to talk to you about this again. ;)

Beta Dad said...

Now you always have that story (and pictures) to share with your boy. "Remember that time I almost died so you could go to a party?"

Anonymous said...

I like the word scooch.

Barb said...

Seems you always do things with drama and flair! Glad you survived the allergic reaction. Did you get an epi pen to carry with you?

Jen said...

Bill, am I also allergic to adheasives. Next time you go to the hospital (hopefully you won't have to), ask for paper tape. It will give you less of a reaction. This can also be caused by using bandaids, so try not to need them. (Yeah, that's what my allergist told me . . . I was like "um, I'll try.")

If you haven't already, you should get tested by an allergist and discuss getting an epi-pen. Just from what you've said here, it sounds like your reactions are getting more severe. :(

Hope you get some relief from both the allergies and the back!

Anonymous said...


Melissa said...

did Wyatt, that sweet boy, have a good time at the party?

you are a heck of a dad...and a heck of a patient.

glad you are doing well!

SciFi Dad said...

When I broke my ankle I wouldn't let my wife call 911 until I had pants on. The first thing they did when I got to the ER was cut my pants off.

However, I'm more curious about how your gitch would help your comfort level with standing all day... I mean, if the nurse didn't think you even had a pole it can't be THAT, so...

Karen (formerly kcinnova) said...

Scary stuff! Glad you have discovered the problem with the meds, now stay away from that hospital tape! (They have another kind to use if you ask them -- I have the same problem.)
Should we send you new underwear, or is that being taken care of?

Anonymous said...

Am I the only one that is surprised that your underwear did not have any superheros on it?

Melinda said...

Get an Epi Pen! You may not make it to the hospital next time.
You may consider carrying a spare pair of knickers with you, in case of another hospital emergency. hehehe

Glad you lived to tell the tale and Wyatt got to go to the party.

Anonymous said...

Being a nurse I would just like to share that we LOVE "fuzzy" patients and covering them with tape and stickers MWAHAHHAHA!
Glad you're doing okay and sorry they insulted your "pole" heh


Anonymous said...

That rash looks like one of those Ink blotch tests.

I see a Phoenix.

Anonymous said...

I see a woman with large breasts.

James (SeattleDad) said...

Lol! Glad you are ok. I like your blog because I learn so much from it.

Headed out to buy new underwear. I could totally see that happening to me too. I have two 16yo pairs from before I met my wife. They are my emergency backup pairs.

inklenaomi said...

Husbands all over the country are getting new underwear... thanks to you.
A moment of silence please.
and where are the car keys? the mens department is about to get another visitor.

Glad you're ok. get an epi pen and call 911 next time! That is what they are there for!

My friend had an allergic reaction to a bee sting while on a bike ride with her husband. They made it out of the park and to my house to request a ride home and I called 911. Two police cars, three volunteer firefighter friends, oxygen and an ER visit later she carries an epi pen. everywhere.

Take care of yourself. No one else can make milk squirt out of my nose every time I read their blog!

cathy said...

Wow! Men have period knickers too!!!
I always thought that I kept ratty undies for that time of the month and would have only lovely fresh new ones if I didn't menstruate. Guess I was wrong.

Get some emergency meds for allergic reactions in your house and I'm glad you made it but it was really stupid driving yourself.

( "man gue" is my word verification and I just found out I have a dirty mind.)

House of Pugs said...

Glad you were ok. As stated by others, you should get an epi-pen. I would like to say that we have the opposite problem in my house. I swear my husband is the Imelda Marcos of socks and underwear. The drawer is stuffed full!

Oh btw, my verification word is fartr (tee hee)

Sheri said...

Because everything ended up OK I can tell you I laughed. When my husband had a stroke, he was in the same underwear state. It was Sunday. Who puts on their good undies to goof off? Little did we know how the day would end. Again, everything turned out OK, so now I can laugh.

Unknown said...

OMG that's horrible! Glad you kept your sense of humor.

mamabrown said...

Goodness sakes, I laughed until I cried. Glad you are okay now and do watch those allergies. I drove myself to the ER when my throat and tongue were swelling shut. The ER doctor was none too kind about my stupidity when he found out. Live and learn... I know I am late commenting...but do ALL men have ratty underwear they save forever? Why? Do you really need it? Really? My otherwise wonderful husband keeps underwear until they are literally wastebands atached to two strings to go around the legs....I mean, why bother at that point? That can't even be "comfortable". Come on guys...what gives? He has ample new underwear that he "saves" so it can't be that the laundry isn't caught up or he only has two pair or something. It's a deep mystery why the good undies are in the drawers and not on the body!!!

Anonymous said...

I keep my underwear until the elastic band stretches, then I throw them away! I wear fruit of the loom, briefs. They last longer than any other tighty whities that I have wore.