Tuesday, November 10, 2015

Holiday blues

Last week, Jenny Lawson, aka The Bloggess, tweeted about having an embarrassing encounter while on travel.  What ensued were hordes of tweets about the embarrassing things or awkward occurrences that others have had.  Jenny has an awesome following and the tweets they shared are absolutely hilarious.
You can see them here or here.

I attempted to tweet about one of my most disconcerting experiences EVER, but alas, my mortification is such that it cannot be condensed into a 140-character synopsis.
My story begins shortly after Christmas, some time in the early 90s.

Jeff and I had been out somewhere.  It was really, really cold and wet and nasty out and Jeff had gotten a chill that he couldn't shake...so he decided to hop in the shower when we got home.

Jeff: Marianne!  Come here!

Me: What? What's wrong?

Jeff (pulling the shower curtain back and tilting his left upper body out): Look at my left arm and chest!  It's all blue.

Me: Ohmygod!  Do you feel okay?

Jeff: I dunno...it kinda feels a little tingly or something, I think.

Me: Get out and dry off!  I'm calling an ambulance!

Jeff: No, don't do that.  Hold on.

Me: Hold on!  Hold on?  You could be having a heart attack.  How does your chest feel?

Jeff: Well, now that you mention it...maybe it does feel a little funny.

Me: We're going to the hospital!

Jeff: Well, don't call an ambulance, we'll just drive.

Me: You are NOT driving!  I will.

So he gets re-dressed and we bundle back into the car.  I drive like a bat-out-of-Hell lunatic to the hospital.  The whole way is like:

Me: How are you doing?

Jeff: I dunno.  I think I feel a little funny.

Me: Anything hurting?

Jeff: No.  But I think I might be a little short of breath.

More acceleration

I practically skid into the Emergency Room parking lot sideways, pull up straight to the door and go in and grab the first medical-type person I see: "My husband is having a heart attack!" They grab a wheel chair and unload him from the car.
I quickly slam into the first parking space I can find and race into the ER where they have him on a gurney and are taking his blood pressure and temperature.
Then a nurse comes up with a bag of  saline and tells him to take off his shirt and put on a hospital top so that she can start an IV.
She gets everything set and takes his arm to put the IV in...gets out an alcohol prep and disinfects the crook of his arm with it. She also rubbed the blue off.
She held the swab up  so we could all see with a look of "Huh?" on her face.
That's when it all clicked.
My grandmother had given Jeff a brand new Tommy Hilfiger shirt for Christmas.  It looked a lot like this:

Jeff had worn it for the first time that night in the cold rain.
He hadn't washed it prior to wearing it and the indigo dye had rubbed off on his skin.

Jeff and I looked at one another across that ER triage room as we both came to the same realization.
Jeff calmly took the blood pressure cuff off of his arm, the oxygen sensor off of his finger and changed back into his shirt.  He got up off the gurney.  As he walked past me, I handed him the car keys.  He never uttered a word.
I was left there to explain to the doctor and two nurses what had happened and to close out the paper work.
I am sure that it is a story that they still tell to this day.  Luckily, they were all chortling so hard, they didn't charge us anything for our whirlwind visit.
So even though Jeff was the primary focus of this tale of chagrin, it was still pretty embarrassing to have to apologize to the Emergency Room staff for not washing my husband's new shirt before he wore it.