Wednesday, January 21, 2009

What Goes "Bump" In The Night

OK, I'll admit it. I'm something of a "classist." Didn't think I was. Thought I was pretty much rock bottom, socially. Until I moved to Virginia.

Now don't get me wrong, Virginians are a salt-of-the-earth, wonderful people. Southern hospitality, small town hominess, friends helping friends, old-fashioned neighborliness... you can find them all here.

And then there's the trailer park.  Or the "Tornado Magnet," as we like to call them.

I was pulling a shift the other day in the Hospital for my clinical rotations, and one of my patients took my breath away as soon as I opened the curtain... she was about 500 lbs on the hoof, and looked as if she could seriously provide her own gravitational pull.

And she was just CONVINCED that she was pregnant.

So? Not that uncommon, right? (Except, of course, for the obvious question that popped into my mind as to how that union was logistically consumated... which forced me to run screaming, mentally, to my Happy Place).

As the nurse and I started to talk to her to get a history, she informed us that she had 4 children, one of whom was there with her and her hubby... who also weighed in at around 400. Both of them looked like they had crawled, literally, on hands and knees right out of Frog Level, VA, in the burrow pit, after a long rain.

Turns out, she hadn't missed a menstrual period... at all... even though she had missed them when she was pregnant before (some people just don't miss them, for some reason, until sometime in their first trimester). She was certain that she was "3 weeks pregnant."

We asked how she knew that, if she hadn't missed a period. And she then said, and no, I'm not making this up... "Well, I can feel it move right up here..." at which time she pointed to the TOP of her very large, very rotund belly.

The nurse and I looked at each other, and I started to lose it, to which the nurse gave me a threatening glare and a hard pinch on the soft underside of my upper arm. She patiently... and sweetly... tried to explain some basic A&P to them (anatomy & physiology) about how big a fetus is at 3 weeks, WHERE it would be at 3 weeks, etc. Blank stare.

The patient was not convinced. Neither was her husband, who was QUITE indignant, and insinuated that we HAD to be idiots. "What else could make her titties bounce up and down?" he demanded... hands on very large hips.

I had several thoughts in response to that question that were entirely inappropriate, but decided to let discretion be the better part of valor and kept my mouth shut. At least until later.

The nurse assured them that we would do both a blood test and a urine test to see if she was pregnant, which seemed to pacify them... a little. Of course, they came back negative.

When we left the room, the nurse grabbed my arm and RAN down the hall with me in tow... when we reached a safe distance at the other end of the ER, we both BURST out laughing, until tears were streaming down our cheeks...

Unbelievable. And remember... these people reproduce... and VOTE.

1 comment:

  1. I loved reading these. You should post more stories. :)

    Thanks.

    ariel

    (ps, we've never met, but I've heard much about you. hope you're doing well.)

    ReplyDelete

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