A few months ago I ended up in the hospital, and something happened to me there that was very humiliating. It's taken me this long just to decide if I wanted to share it or not. Here it is, 100% true, with no embellishments.
I had been suffering from a fever for almost two weeks, and my GP couldn't figure out what was causing it. Three days after starting on antibiotics, my fever went over 103 degrees and stayed there. This worried my GP, so she sent me to the ER.
More lab work and xrays showed nothing, so they began to think I had an infection in my heart. I was admitted so that I could undergo a transesophageal echocardiogram (TEE) I was also given an IV antibiotic call Vancomyacin. Apparently it was delivered too quickly, because within an hour I was lobster red and itchy from head to toe, with something called Red Man's Syndrome.
The next morning the EKG Tech showed up with her portable ultrasound to get me ready for the test. As I have said in other posts I'm an xray tech and worked with her, and was glad to see a familiar and friendly face. I also knew the EKG nurse, and had always gotten along Ok with him.
They went over my health history, then explained the exam. They were going to do something called "conscious sedation" with a sedative, and another drug that was supposed to give me amnesia so I wouldn't remember the unpleasant sensation of having the transducer slid down my throat into my esophagus.
Then Joe the nurse hooked me up to a BP cuff and monitor. This required leads to be stuck to my chest, and knowing him made it extra embarassing for me when he unbuttoned my gown and slid it down off my chest to attach the leads. He even had to push my left breast up out of the way to attach one of them. I was relieved when he pulled the gown back up and buttoned it after he was finished
The relief was short lived though because the Cardiologist soon came in to start the procedure. When he saw my all over rash he became worried about me being allergic to the Ativan or Versed, so hequestioned me about this rash and previous allergies. I have several other drug allergies, mostly to antibiotics. He told the nurse that they would need to check all my skin before giving the drugs and see if there was any clear skin that they could use to monitor for any potential new reaction to the sedative drugs.
So in front of the Tech, nurse and Doc I had to sit up in bed and take off my gown while they visually examined my back, chest, underarms and even lifted my breasts to look in the creases. Remember that I knew all three of these people from working together. I was then allowed to put the gown back on, but they wanted to look at the bottom half. I was wearing pajama bottoms my husband had brought from home to help protect my modesty, but they made me lay down and then slide the bottoms off. I tried to get away with just sliding them down, but they said they would have to watch my skin during the exam and after wards for any new signs of reaction. So I took the bottoms all the way off.
First the Doc just pulled the gown up to just below my pubic area and looked at the front of my legs, which wasn't too bad. Then he had me roll to the side to look at my bare butt, which embarrassed me again. Then he had me roll back onto my back and pulled the gown way up and told me to pull my knees up to my chest and spread them, and when I did he examined my vulva, including opening my labia. I was mortified that three coworkers that I would say hi to in the hall were now seeing me completely exposed while one of them touched my most private area.
Seeing me like this had allowed the Doc to observe that so far the only part of my body that had been spared the rash was my crotch. So he determined that this would be the area of skin they would use to monitor for new reaction signs. Then they pulled the gown back down, for now.
They gave me the drugs, and most of the rest is a haze. I can remember some of it, but the stuff I do remember seems like it happened to someone else. I remember them talking to me while waiting for the drugs to take full effect, I remember the doc telling the Nurse to check one more time for reaction before they started and him doing it by pulling my legs wide open and touching me while he visually examined my vulva. I remember them rolling me on my side. They put something in my mouth so I couldn't bite the transducer, then made me swallow that and slid it down my throat. I don't remember any of the exam or have any idea how long I was out.
The next thing I was aware of was being on my back, transducer out, and the Doc and Nurse on opposite sides of the bed and they each had one of my legs. They were holding them up and out, and one of them was touching me all over down there as I heard the Doctor say something about checking real good for any signs of redness from allergic reaction. I have no idea how long they held me open like that or exactly what they did to me while I was unaware.
Next thing I remember is my husband back in the room and the Doc telling him the test was normal, and what a good job I did.
This has been bugging me since it happened. It feels like it would have been less humiliating if I hadn't known these people and still see them from time to time at work.
Has anyone else on this forum had something like this happen, and not know exactly how you feel about it? I would love to hear about others experiences and how you felt about it.