Some people have a drinking problem. R has a fainting problem. She faints when she sees a loved one in pain, and has graced the linoleum floors of tattoo parlors and post operative recovery rooms alike. She faints at the sight of her own bodily fluids–blood, exudate from an infected finger–but thankfully urine is exempted. She’s had a lot of painful procedures over the course of the last 9 months and faced them all with such bravado that I thought we’d moved out of the danger zone. I was wrong.
After hours of intense deliberations over the selection of PD3, we headed to the hospital for the HSG. Upon arrival we were handed a sheet full of stickers with R’s medical record number, the last two digits of which just happen to form our lucky number. It was weirdly reassuring, and a clear indication that we’d done the right thing in picking PD3, a church going attorney whose donor ID ends in said lucky number. The radiology tech called us back and handed me the sexiest lead vest you’ve ever seen. It came complete with a thyroid shield. Just what I’ve always wanted! R walked out of the bathroom in a papery gown, no pants, and her hipster sneakers. We were a funny looking pair, and the radiology tech graciously indulged us in some goofy
Kodak iPhone moments.
The procedure looked intense from the spectator seating but R took it like a woman, gripping my hand while the doctor said reassuring phrases like “I’m just going to invert your uterus now,” and “Hmm. It seems like your fallopian tubes are holding their breath with you!” After what seemed like 20 minutes but in reality was only 5, we were all finished. R sat up slowly to the good news that she has patent tubes and a textbook uterus. Woot woot! I was peppering the doctor with annoying questions when R’s face quickly lost its rosy hue. She said she felt “a little light-headed.” I suddenly remembered that phrase and the act that follows. R suddenly fainted. With her eyes open. Yeah. Everyone was relatively calm until R began to slink off the top of the table and then both of her arms shook violently while her eyes rolled shut. I screamed like a little girl. My first thought was that she was having a seizure or an anaphylactic reaction to the radioactive dye that had just coursed through her. I felt faint. I had to sit down. I was happy that I had not revealed that I am a registered nurse.
After a few seconds, R woke up befuddled by the concerned faces peering over her. I took a deep breath and escorted her to the bathroom where she changed clothes, still ashen and confused. After we had both recovered fully the radiology tech handed us a card and thanked us for allowing her to do the exam today. Her sincerity in delivering the company’s new marketing plan was somehow touching in spite of my cynicism. The three of us headed to the exit, and R asked what she was going to do with the sheet full of labels with the lucky patient id number. The tech said they were destined for the garbage, and when R requested them, she kindly dashed down the hall to retrieve them.
Once we’d recovered with the help of soggy french fries and a milkshake I reenacted the day’s events with spectacular dramatic flare. I’m glad we can laugh at these things. It keeps us sane.