Embarrassing Medical Exams

We’ve all had them…

My most embarrassing moment was when I was getting a shot of penicillin for tonsillitis. I knew I was getting a shot. I knew it was going be in my right rump. I watched her start to give me the shot.

And then I slapped the nurse’s hand away. Not tapped, but slapped with an audible WHACK.

I have no idea why I did it.

When I apologized, she just laughed and said, “You’d be surprised at how often that happens.”

Here are some embarrassing medical exams from the medical professional’s point of view. (Thanks to Carol for sharing these on Facebook!)


cabA man comes into the ER and yells . . .’My wife’s going to have her baby in the cab.’

I grabbed my stuff, rushed out to the cab, lifted the lady’s dress and began to take off her underwear.

Suddenly I noticed that there were several cabs – – –
and I was in the wrong one.

Submitted by Dr. Mark MacDonald, San Francisco


At the beginning of my shift I placed a stethoscope on an elderly and slightly deaf female patient’s anterior chest wall.

Stethoscope patient(3)

‘Big breaths,’ I instructed.

‘Yes, they used to be,’ replied the patient.

Submitted by Dr. Richard Byrnes, Seattle, WA


image2One day I had to be the bearer of bad news when I told a wife that her husband had died of a massive myocardial infarct (heart attack for us non-medical types).

Not more than five minutes later, I heard her reporting to the rest of the family that he had died of a ‘massive internal fart.’

Submitted by Dr. Susan Steinberg


During a patient’s two week follow-up appointment with his cardiologist, he informed me, his doctor, that he was having trouble with one of his medications.

‘Which one?’ I asked.

‘The patch. The Nurse told me to put on a new one every six hours
and now I’m running out of places to put it!’


I had him quickly undress and discovered what I hoped I wouldn’t see.

Yes, the man had over fifty patches on his body!

Now, the instructions include removal of the old patch before applying a new one.

Submitted by Dr. Rebecca St. Clair, Norfolk, VA


old-hands-300x189While acquainting myself with a new elderly patient, I asked, ‘How long have you been bedridden?’

After a look of complete confusion she answered, ‘ Why, not for about twenty years – when my husband was alive.’

Submitted by Dr. Steven Swanson, Corvallis, OR


I was performing rounds at the hospital one morning and while checking up on a man I asked . . .’ So how’s your breakfast this morning?’

‘It’s very good except for the Kentucky Jelly. I can’t seem to get used to the taste,’ Bob replied.

I then asked to see the jelly and Bob produced a foil packet labeled ‘KY Jelly.’


Submitted by Dr. Leonard Kransdorf, Detroit


A nurse was on duty in the Emergency Room when a young woman with purple hair styled into a punk rocker Mohawk, sporting a variety of tattoos, and wearing strange clothing, entered. It was quickly determined that the patient had acute appendicitis, so she was scheduled for immediate surgery.

When she was completely disrobed on the operating table,
the staff noticed that her pubic hair had been dyed green
and above it there was a Tattoo that read . . .’ Keep off the grass.’

Once the surgery was completed, the surgeon wrote a short note on the patient’s dressing, Which said, ‘Sorry . . . Had to mow the lawn.’


Submitted by RN with No Name


As a new, young MD doing his residency in OB, I was quite embarrassed when performing female pelvic exams.
To cover my embarrassment I had unconsciously formed a habit of whistling softly.

The middle-aged lady upon whom I was performing this exam suddenly burst out laughing, further embarrassing me.

I looked up from my work and sheepishly said … ‘ I’m sorry. Was I tickling you?’

She replied with tears running down her cheeks from laughing so hard . . ..

‘ No, doctor, but the song you were whistling was, “I wish I was an Oscar Meyer Wiener”.’

Dr. Wouldn’t Submit His Name


My New Hill Trails

Sophie and I took off yesterday to find a new place to go for a walk and/or jog.

The one we tried a few weeks ago just didn’t feel right. I think we found a good fit yesterday…

It’s at the Eagle Sports Complex which houses a lot of sport venues including a skateboard park, bike trails and a BMX course.

A few random pictures from our virgin hike…

It has just the right amount of ups and downs and curves and swirls.


The views of the Treasure Valley are pretty spectacular.


The myriad of trails are well marked.


There is a lot of wildlife as indicated by huge badger holes. Didn’t see one thankfully, but I did see a jackrabbit. Sophie only smelled it and stopped in her tracks to figure out what was going on.


Some of the bike trails were indicated as MOST DIFFICULT.

When I saw these bridges to nowhere, I never thought anyone would jump off of them…


But I was very wrong.  This is where they land about 15′ below the bridge. 

There were lots of bicycle racers competing for prizes. 


And there are lots more trails to explore next time we go…



Idioms + Missing Ziva

The AmateurI’m in the middle of listening to a Robert Littell book called The Amateur.

His books almost always deal with the CIA, and he’s most famous for The Company, an excellent book about the birth and history of the CIA.

The Amateur involves a cryptographer, Heller, who avenges is fiance’s death by terrorists by hunting them down in Czechoslovakia.

Elizabeth, an operative he meets there, is entranced with all things American, including American idioms.  Hearing and laughing to Elizabeth’s mangling of these idioms makes me realize how difficult it would be to understand idioms in a non-native tongue.

For example, Elizabeth says, “It’s like finding a thread in a haystack.”

Heller says, “You mean needle.”

haystack“What?”, Elizabeth asks, confused.

“The saying is ‘a needle in a haystack’,” says Heller.

Elizabeth retorts, “What difference does it make? Both are incredibly hard to find in a haystack…”

Elizabeth’s idiom trouble and her logic reminds me of the Ziva David character on the CBS show NCIS. Her distortion of idioms was delightful! I have so missed Zima since her character left the show…

zivaHere are a few Zima idiom distortions…

Ziva: We hit a shamu.
Susan: Did she mean a snafu?

Ziva: Bah hum-bog.
Tony: What?

Ziva: We have come to sit on the baby.

PS For those of you who are NCIS and/or Ziva fans: There are rumors (again) that she’s coming back . Here’s hoping…

I’ve (Only) Got Gallstones

Over the last three weeks I’ve had a bit of a health scare. Everything’s fine, but it’s been an ‘interesting’ time…

During early September, I experienced what is called ‘gross hematuria’. You can Google it if you really want to know what it is, but, in a nut shell, it’s one bodily fluid that IS NOT supposed to exit your body coming out with another bodily fluid that IS supposed to exit your body.


I had it once before almost a year and a half ago, and at that time I attributed it to a new medication I was taking because it was listed as an uncommon side effect. I had the requisite testing and nothing was revealed. Eventually the side affects disappeared and all was well, so I attributed it to the medication that didn’t agree with me.


But I’m not on that medication now, so I was a bit surprised and bummed when gross hematuria happened again.

I went to see my family doctor who diagnosed a probable urinary tract infection. I had never had one before, so I was a bit surprised.

I was placed on antibiotics for a week, but I got a call a few days later (after test results came in) and was told, “Lo and behold–you don’t have a UTI.”

Kidney stones were suspected, but I didn’t have any of the normal symptoms associated with them–the INTENSE pain, nausea, fever, etc… (If you’ve ever experienced or talked with someone who has had them, you know how awful they are!)


I figured that the stones weren’t quite mobile yet, and I didn’t really want to have another MRI to determine what was going on because how much could change in 18 months. Besides, the gross hematuria wasn’t THAT bad…

However, I had some other symptoms that were a bit worrisome. So I asked our wonderful friends Dean and Lil, a gynecologist and nurse, if I needed to see a specialist.

Dean said,  “Yes.”  He said that if men have gross hematuria once, they need a full urinary tract workup. If women have it twice, they need to.

While that was bad news for me because this was my second episode, I did giggle a bit to myself because, once again, something that involves penises is much more important than whatever a woman has.  🙂


(I’m sure there is some anatomical and/or biological reason for the single vs double reasoning, but it still made me giggle…)

Long story short…

I went to see a specialist, and I am fine.

I do not have anything visible in my kidneys, and,  most importantly,  because it’s what I thought I had, I do not have bladder cancer.

He tested this and tested that. He looked up into this and looked around at that.

Everything came back negative. (D = True Negative)


I learned a lot throughout this month. For example, I didn’t realize that bladder cancer is so prevalent.

Men are about 3 to 4 times more likely to get bladder cancer during their lifetime than women. Overall, the chance men will develop this cancer during their life is about 1 in 26. For women, the chance is about 1 in 90.

I also learned that bladder cancer is often caused by exposure to chemicals including smoke (I was around a lot of second hand smoke for twenty years, but then again–haven’t we all been around it.) and arsenic (The water where I lived for 30 years had lots of arsenic in it.)


The good news for me was that if I had bladder cancer, it wasn’t really my fault. I couldn’t help the fact that my parents smoked, and I couldn’t help the fact that the water had arsenic.

Sounds stupid, but I’ve always felt that my health issues since my bicycle fall were my fault because I should have not fallen or I should have launched myself off of my bike so that I landed on lawn instead of asphalt.

Regardless, I was so very, very relieved when the doctor told me that he saw no tumors in my bladder.

But that relief only lasted a few seconds, because then he said in an accusing tone, “But you have LOTS of gallstones!”

'Ever have one of those days when you can't tell a gall stone from a kidney stone?'

Gallstones are usually caused by high cholesterol which is often caused by a diet too high in fat. That’s partially true for me because I’m not the healthiest eater, but endocrine changes to my body after my bicycle fall also contribute to my high cholesterol. So the gallstones ARE my fault.

That being said, I’m still so relieved that I ONLY have gallstones and (fingers crossed–so far) they aren’t bothering me a bit. 🙂

A Day in the Life of Sophie

Sophie’s a busy dog…

Her day begins early in the morning, when Rich gets up to start his coffee brewing. He lets her out of her crate and she comes up on our bed to sleep with me a bit longer.

After a few early morning stretches…

0920150804b… she is on high alert watching for squirrels.


Sophie discovers that she made a mess of her bed last night and tries to lure me to straighten it up.


“What are we going to do today?”


“How about we play with my cupcake toy?”


As I go out to the garage, Sophie asks, “Are we going somewhere?”


And then decides if we are, it would be best if she untied my shoelaces because that’s what her job is… Day in and day out… Every time we go somewhere…


At this point she’s not sure if we’re going for a walk or for a drive. It’s best to see if the car door opens magically.


Once she’s in the car, it’s not quite as fun as she thought it would be.


Back from our drive, she needs a nap.


Nap’s over. “How about let’s play with my cloth Frisbee.”




“Wait a minute. I think I heard the UPS guy drive by…”


“Time to fix dinner.” Sophie’s always VERY nearby to help.


She thinks if she looks pathetic enough, she’ll get more treats. Rarely works with me. Works well with Rich.  🙂


Especially at the dinner table.


And then it’s TV time on the couch.


Long Journey

I just finished reading Wild: From Lost to Found on the Pacific Crest Trail by Cheryl Strayed.


The book is a 2012 memoir describing her 1,100-mile hike on the Pacific Crest Trail in 1995 as a journey of self-discovery. Her mother had just died, and Cheryl was struggling with her life in her mid twenties. She decided to hike the PCT to shed her grief and atone for years of destructive behavior.

The book is well written, but I don’t think I’m alone among readers who struggled to read it all the way through.

Cheryl makes a lot of mistakes, and some of those mistakes she makes over and over again.

But in reading her journey through the 1,100 miles, readers get to know more about her and understand why she makes those mistakes.

Here’s a quick three minute video of the PCT:

And, for me, here are the best lines from the book:

Cheryl remember talking with an astrologer before the hike, and they were talking about her father.

The astrologer asks if her father, who was in the military, was wounded.

“Perhaps not literally. But he has something in common with some of those men. He was deeply wounded. He was damaged. His damage has infected his life and it infected you.”

“Wounded?” was all I could manage.

“Yes,” said Pat. “And you’re wounded in the same place. That’s what fathers do if they don’t heal their wounds. They wound their children in the same place. ”

“The father’s job is to teach his children how to be warriors, to give them the confidence to get on the horse and ride into battle when it’s necessary to do so. If you don’t get that from your father, you have to teach yourself.”

Very true, not just of fathers but of mothers…

And I love this quote because so often we automatically say NO to things that perhaps we should be saying YES to.

What if YES was the right answer instead of NO.

And the last sentence of the book, summed it all up.

How wild it was, to let it be.


The Offending Trend

I love how Mike Rowe’s mind works.


Y’all know him. He’s the Dirty Jobs guy–the first reality show ever! And now he’s on CNN with Somebody’s Got to Do It.

I follow him on Facebook, and while he doesn’t post things all that often, when he does they are usually doozies.

Yesterday’s post was no exception.

Someone asked him to comment on this week’s controversy about The View hosts vs Nurse/Miss America contestant.

If you haven’t heard about it, here’s the gist…

One of The View‘s hosts criticized a Miss America contestant who was dressed in her work scrubs and gave a monologue about why she loved being a nurse. The host said she was basically just reading her work emails. Another The View host added insult to injury by asking “why is she wearing a doctor’s stethoscope?”


Here’s part of Mike’s Rowe’s take on what happened after the show aired:

The fallout was fast, furious, and utterly predictable.

– The twitter-verse exploded with righteous indignation.
‪#‎nursesunite‬ was immediately announced.
– Facebook exploded with righteous indignation.
– An apology was offered, but not universally accepted.
– Two advertisers left the show.
– Additional apologies were offered.
– Three more advertisers left.
– Thousands are now demanding the offending hosts be fired.
– Nurses are getting some fantastic and long overdue publicity.

And that’s a very accurate and succinct report of exactly what happened.

And below is why I love the way Mike Rowe’s mind works.

He cuts to the honest-to-goodness raw truth of the matter and tells it like it is…

This is how PR works in 2015. Thanks to social media, America now has the ability to express her outrage instantly, in 140 characters or fewer. With the press of a few buttons, we can summon lightening bolts from on high, and call for the destruction of anyone who dares offend us.

Unfortunately, this technology has come at a time when the whole country is just waiting to be offended. A flag, a comment, a candidate, a stupid joke…the slightest of slights are all fair game, and ripe for umbrage. The Offended are now a daily part of the 24 hour news cycle – a cycle driven by hashtags and hurt feelings and a thousand different agendas. Thus, a silly comment during a silly show becomes an opportunity for nurses to unite. And that opportunity becomes headline news.

And I agree… 100%.