Have you ever said something and as soon as it left your lips, you would have given your eye-tooth (I don’t actually know which one that is) to have your words back again? Failing that, you’d like to dissolve into the woodwork and never be seen again?
I have. On more than one occasion.
We’ve all had moments when we’ve had to try to bandage our dignity as we extract our foot from our mouths. Share them! I’ll go first. (You’re next, though. Misery loves company.)
Foot in Mouth Disease
Once I did it with medical professionals, which might not be the worst crowd, considering. I mean, they’re smart anyway, and have probably seen and heard a lot of things. Plus, aren’t they sworn to keep our names out of it when they make fun of how dumb we are at their parties?
When my Lyme disease was at its worst, my doctor decided I needed IV antibiotics, which meant having a PICC line (peripherally inserted central catheter) inserted. I was a bundle of nerves going in. The procedure should have been intimidating, but I actually found all the medical imaging technology fascinating. Curiosity outweighed anxiety, and I started asking questions and learning about my vascular system. For instance, when they had trouble inserting the line, they showed me how my vein had a little crook that they had to navigate.
Watching my heart beat on the monitor was a bit surreal, as if I were watching a documentary on television instead of a real-time monitor of my own medical procedure. I was so entranced by watching the line make its way up my arm and towards my heart, I forgot to feel freaked out.
But that quickly ended when I noticed what I believed to be a severe problem that the nurses and doctors were taking with a little too much nonchalance. Instead of steadily beating, my heart stood still.
“Um, guys….” I said, trying to hide my panic, “Should I be concerned that my heart stopped beating?”
As soon as I said it, I realized it was ridiculous. You’ve probably figured it out, but I needed an explanation. With a nearly straight face the nurse explained to me that they had simply taken a still photo of the PICC line in place. As the still shot was saved, the monitor froze for a few seconds. I was about to give her credit for not laughing in my face, when she made eye-contact with her colleague. With this crowd, there was no waiting until I was gone for them to start having fun at my expense.
I couldn’t really blame them. Luckily, I never had to see any of them again.
Okay, I know it’s happened to you. When have you put your foot in your mouth? Do tell!