“Okay…not a doctor but my lack of showing pain got me more than a few funky looks. I set myself on fire after trying to throw a pan of grease that had caught fire on my stove out the back door. The wind hit at just the right (very, very wrong) moment and threw the flaming grease back on me.
My polyester pants melted onto my skin on the outside of my right thigh. My arm was flame. I got it out. And pulled myself together to drive to the ER. Parked my car and walked calmly in.
I DID hurt. I hurt so bad that I feared I’d lose my cool if I even dropped a single tear. The triage nurse was looking down at his computer and without looking up, asked what I was there for. -M, me N, nurse
Nurse: ‘And how can we help you tonight?’
Me: ‘I got a burn that probably needs to be seen.’
Nurse: ‘There is a clipboard and pen right here. Fill it out and bring it to me. (Still has not looked up)’
Me: (now I have what I refer to as the great southern guilt, I’d die if you thought I was a bother to anyone, even in this state I assumed he was just super busy and maybe someone needed his attention more than I did) I took the clipboard and walked to the side to fill it out. I couldn’t take the pain of sitting. A few people walk past me with absolute horror on their faces. I try to sink back against the wall, finish my paperwork and make my way back to the desk. Before I can the ER door swings open and a doctor is standing there walking someone out. He takes a look at me, smiles. I smile back, he looks again and goes ghost white.
I tell him, ‘I’m sorry, don’t mean to be in the way just taking this back’ waves clipboard
He tells me we will worry about that later, screams at the nurse to get my name and get me into a room RIGHT NOW. The nurse takes one look at me and I start to apologize. I tell him I’m sorry I didn’t mean to get him in any trouble. He gets red-faced and looks like he’s about to cry.
Nurse: ‘YOU ARE AN EMERGENCY, YOU ARE NOT A PROBLEM. DID YOU DRIVE?!?’
Me: ‘I did.’
Nurse: looks me over
My guy takes me to a room… I think it was a trauma room. It only felt like a minute tops, but by the time I got there, at least three nurses and a doctor were in there in gloves and a gown. One of those nurses asked my name and what happened, then asked my pain level, I hurt so badly I couldn’t even think at that point. I just stared at her. I distinctly remember her saying ‘Honey, how bad is the pain?’
‘Bad’ is all I could say.
Someone, the first nurse, the doctor, I don’t know who said ‘He drove here, like THAT.’
I promptly passed out in a slow, echoing darkness of throbbing pain. I apparently did scream once as they were scraping my melted pants out of my thigh. I never stopped to look at myself but apparently, I look pretty freaking bad. I have since found my ‘testicular fortitude’ and rarely suffer from the great southern guilt. That was 15 years ago. Thankfully I only have 1 hardly noticeable scar.”