I arrived at the ER as a trauma patient. (I found–and still find–this label disconcerting. Trauma evokes blood and guts, which I of course had, but on the inside in their proper places.)
When you arrive at the ER as a trauma patient, they want you naked as soon as possible. They don’t even offer to buy you dinner. Just, hello, get naked.
So they transferred me from the ambulance stretcher to the ER bed (more one-two-threeing) and then cut my clothes off. Except for my jumpsuit, which they pulled off, and I am ever so grateful. Once the jumpsuit was off, I had on a bra, a tank top, and some lovely new underwear from Aerie.
There’s a reason for getting you naked as soon as possible, NT informs me. It’s so they can find all possible injuries.
My mother used to say that I should wear nice underwear in case I ever got in an accident. Half of Hoffman Bros. says that his mother told him to wear clean underwear for the same reason. But whether your mother told you the nice underwear or the clean underwear version…
Lies, all lies.
The reality is that nobody gives a rat’s ass about what your underwear look like. I’m pretty sure the ER doc wasn’t saying to himself, “Oooh, nice lace number,” during the 0.7 seconds it took him to slice through them and yank them off.
Oddly enough, it didn’t bother me being naked because I was wearing a sheet. Also because there was, by that time, a significant amount of morphine involved, not to mention serious cognitive dissonance related to being in the ER instead of packing my parachute and getting ready to jump again.
About a minute later, NT walked into the room. HHB was there, too.
I cried because they were there, and here’s why.
You know that weird trust-building game that employers and conference facilitators sometimes make you play where you have to fall back and let the person behind you support you?
You know how you let yourself fall for about six inches, not really knowing for sure if they’re going to catch you or not? I mean, they sort of HAVE to or they look like total tools, but you’re not sure if they’re going to grab you hard or let you fall a little more before they put on the brakes.
OK, well, I had already fallen. Way more than six inches. I was in the “I’ve fallen, and I can’t get up” category of fallers.
And I absolutely knew that they had caught me.