Yesterday, or more precisely around 2:30 am this morning, I had another one of my many awkward moments. This one involved me, a male nurse, a full bladder, and a disabled door toilet that I thought I’d locked but I hadn’t.
It was the end of a long but productive shift. I’m a lot faster than I was in the beginning, when I would take about 2 and a half hours trying to decipher what exactly was wrong with the sweet little elderly lady with dementia who had a carer with her who had only just come on shift and consequently, knew as little as the elderly lady about what happened that evening.
I strolled out of the bay, tired but satisfied. All my prescription charts were written, I had handed over safely to one of my colleagues and none of my patients had made it to resus. I ended the shift with a well deserved loo break.
I breathed a sigh of happiness as I looked around at the vastness of the loo. Nothing like a a hospital toilet. As I proceeded to do the dreaded deed, I was startled as the door began to swing open . “No!No!!No! No!” I shouted as my favourite nurse Adam* materialised, mouth open and eyes quickly shut. “Sorry! Sorry! Sorry!” he exclaimed as he stood there eyes closed and face red, and quickly slammed the door.
I hung my head and sat there, on the loo, at 2:30 in the morning. And instead of feeling embarrassment, a giggle started in the my pit of belly and quickly came out as a fit of laughter.
This was an all too familiar situation for me. I am clumsy and socially awkward. It used to bother me – I would feel frustrated when I watched others apparently seamlessly work a room, or float through life perfectly coordinated and refined. I’m just not like that. Life happens to me. And it often happens in ways that make me look like a complete idiot and make everyone else uncomfortable.
Lavatory-gate is the last in a list of many awkward moments. There was the time my wig fell off before a paediatric handover as I tried to take my jumper off behind a filing cabinet, and left a consultant terrified at my magical moving hair. There was the other time my other wig fell off onto my shoulder and I only noticed because my left shoulder felt slightly heavier than it did a few moments before. There was the time someone noticed a beetle had got stuck in my afro (It was summer, there were low lying tree branches, that’s my only explanation). There was the time I got startled coming out of a shower and completely dropped my towel onto the floor. We both screamed. There was that other time in medical school when my scrubs fell down as I walked into my first operation. (Are you noticing awkward hair moments and various states of accidental undress are a running theme?)
At first, I used to wonder, why do these things happen to me? Am I being punished? Is there just an essential part of human existence that I haven’t grasped yet? Does this stuff to happen to everybody and I just don’t know about it? Why don’t other people’s scrub bottoms fall down? Didn’t I tie them tight enough?
I’m slowly beginning to believe that there was a period during my childhood I failed to meet my appropriate developmental stage in regards to planning basic tasks. I also have no sense of direction. It has taken me 2 months to find my way around my department. That’s 8 separate weeks. It’s not whole hospital – it’s a department within a hospital.
But I don’t care anymore.
I’ve just come to accept that once every few months, these things will happen to me. And I can write a blog post about them.
Anyone else as awkward as I am?
*names have been changed for confidentiality. LOL