I had a bad day, and ninety percent of it was entirely my fault. If only I were a completely different person. That’s my problem right there.
NOT MY FAULT
I was sitting at my desk and took a drink of water.
Yes, it went down the wrong way, and yes, I choked. Only, this time there was no preliminary cough with the initial detour into the woman pouch. Simultaneous with the choke, a wave of fluid burst from my bladder like I was one big water balloon. Also simultaneously: the rest of the mouthful of water spewed out AND snot flew out of my nose. But who cares about that, because I was crotch to knee sopping wet.
(Also, before you start, don’t even think of recommending Kegels to me. I am Kegel Queen. There have been times I have indeed used the Kegels to carry a full bladder like a waiter carrying a loaded platter overhead in one hand. I want to be measured by one of those Mythbuster devices that measure pounds of force so I could document my prowess and enter competitions. I could play the concertina if one was placed correctly inside my vagina. I can power-Kegel through a cough because I know it’s coming. This choking thing gives you no chance to combat it.)
Where was I? Oh yes, covered in pee at work. Thankfully I was in black pants.
I immediately grabbed my purse, stood up, looked at the ass-shaped stain on my office chair, then sat back down three minutes while someone CAME TO MY DESK AND EXPLAINED TO ME AN EMAIL HE HAD JUST SENT ME, WHICH, AS IT WAS INDEED WRITTEN IN ENGLISH, WAS FULLY COMPREHENSIBLE, THANK YOU VERY MUCH.
After he left, I got up, pushed the chair completely under my desk, got into an elevator which stopped on every damn floor and accumulated five other people, and then drove home.
That was the part that was NOT my fault.
Here begins the horrifying sequence of decisions that were my fault.
I drove home, peeled off all my clothing (guilt by association) and tossed them in the wash, and then put on:
More work clothing and
A Poise pad and
I drove back to work.
Normal Person Behavior I could have worked from home. No shame in that. No one would know.
But I couldn’t. Why? Because the Tell-Tale Office Chair was shoved under my desk, and I had to make that right. Otherwise, there would be a reminder for me to sit on every day.
So I was all, “Yeah, this won’t even break my stride. I will go back to work like nothing happened. I had on a black sweater, black pants, and a light pink shirt, now I have on grey pants, grey jacket, and dark pink shirt. No one will notice! And I will take care of this chair problem and call the neurologist and we will get this nipped in the bud!”
Normal Person Behavior I could have swapped out my chair for one of the many unused chairs on our floor, or better yet, swapped it for the chair of someone I might not particularly like.
Yes, that would be normal. Instead, I felt the only ethical plan would be to take my chair to Chair Heaven and leave it with the other chairs that were past their prime. But where is Chair Heaven? I got to work and called Facilities.
Stop me. STOP. ME.
After a few transfers, I alerted facilities that I had a soiled chair.
They said, “Soiled … how?”
“Urine.” Pause. “This is why I want it to go away.”
“Well, it won’t go away. Someone will come out and clean it today.”
(I could just as well have cleaned it myself and fielded the questions from my co-workers, who were almost all absent when I exploded earlier, but were now swarming my area.)
I said, “No … That will not work for me.”
“Well, we can’t just throw the chair away.”
“That’s fine, I just don’t need that specific chair back.”
That’s where we left it, then an hour later the original facilities woman who had transferred me called back and said she had all the details, this has happened more than once, and we agreed that facilities would come in the night and clean my chair. That was the Plan.
Facilities showed up fifteen minutes later.
He arrived with a new chair, and said, “I understand you have a ‘damaged’ chair.”
I said, “Well, that’s a nice way to put it,” as I swapped my still-damp chair with the tidy new one.
And you ask, why, Ellen, why does it have to be so hard? I DON’T KNOW.
Then of course the last thing I had to do to make everything right again was call the neurologist’s office and them him this choking/pee explosion thing had happened twice now in two months, and we need to nip this in the bud.
The nurse who told me a) the neurologist is out all week also let me know b) “this happens to everyone.”
Really? REALLY? I was quite descriptive. There’s no way she thought this was a little giggle-pee. It wasn’t even a cough-pee, I can manage those. This was a choke – pee – snot – barf explosion. Projectile pee.
We agreed I should contact my primary doctor and check to see if I have a bladder infection that might be weakening my bladder. (I wish. I should be so lucky.)
So, here’s my plan. I’ll call the doctor, stock up on the tsunampee sized pads, and I will not wear my white pants the rest of the summer. Adjust, Adapt. Eat slower. Drink less. LIE MORE. Have some SHAME.