In Which I Almost See Pee-tah Naked

I realized recently that I barely talk about Pee-tah on this here blog and that is a tragedy.  He is one of my all time favorite people, so I decided to share with you the story of how I almost saw him naked.  This is a long one, the longest yet, so go get some coffee or something and settle in.  Also, please know that probably I should have asked his permission first but you know, he never told me I couldn’t share it.  That’s permission enough for me. 

I’ve known Pee-tah for a few years now.  Long enough to consider him a very close friend, and long enough that we both know we can count on the other in times of trouble.  So when Pee-tah called one day to say he wasn’t feeling well, wondering if I would take him to the doctor, I said yes. 

I pulled into his driveway and he came slouching out.  This was a bad sign.  Pee-tah never slouches.  He’s always chipper.  He got into the car looking feverish and moany and we took off.  I was pretty concerned by this point.  He told me about the medicines he had tried already and the conversations he had with his mom about his sickness. Halfway to the doctor’s office, he said, “Jimmie, I’m sorry, but I think I have meningitis.” 

“Hahahahaaa!  Ha.  Ha?  Really?” Oh crap. That’s bad, right?   

Needless to say I stopped breathing and floored it all the way to the doctor. 

Turns out Pee-tah had strep throat which, you know, is close to meningitis.  So I drove him around to the pharmacy and got him some drugs and tucked him into his house with strict instructions to at least drink some chicken broth and just go to sleep already. 

Pee-tah can be known to have a weak-ish stomach, probably because he never remembers to put food in it, and his stomach gets all befuddled when some strange mixture (like potatoes or lasagna) hits it.  His antibiotics were strong, horse strong, and made him nauseous for a while.  The barfin’ worked his stomach muscles over pretty good (and I’m certain he will never eat a chicken sandwich again) so he was nice and sore a day later. And still kind of feverish. 

He called me and asked if I would come spend the night.  He didn’t want to be alone if he resumed the barfin’ and me being a good friend said, sure.   

What I really said was, “Well, I have to go to the gym first and then I have dinner with a group and then I will go home and pack my toothbrush and after all that, I will come over.”

And Pee-tah said, “Great.  Can you get me some Gatorade and some orange juice too?  Please?” 

Because I was worrying a lot about him, I bought loads of things at the grocery store.  I had orange juice, four different kinds of Gatorade, chicken broth, Jell-O and about two other bags full of stuff.  I like to feed people.  It comforts me.  Also, because I was worrying a lot about him, I drove like a bat out of hell all the way over to his place. I flew out of the car with my giant grocery bags, immediately tripped over a brick and dropped everything in my hands including my phone which broke into lots of pieces.  From face down on the driveway I sighed, “Well, f*ck.”  Faintly, I heard Pee-tah say out of the front door, “Jimmie?  You okay?”

With scraped knees and skinned palms, I made my way into his house and set all my stuff down.  Pee-tah looked awful.  We chatted for a while, he drank some fluids and I doctored my skinned knees.  He had a cozy living room with two giant couches so he was stretched out on one and I was stretched out on the other.  We both were kind of dozy and tired, thus we fell asleep on our respective couches.  I woke up often in the night and would ask, “You doing okay, Pee-tah?”  And he would say, “No,” and I would go back to sleep.   

At 5:30 the next morning I realized that Pee-tah didn’t answer my “You doing okay” question and at that time, I decided to take it seriously.  I found him upstairs on his bed facedown with his butt up in the air like an infant.  He was moaning and writhing around and we knew this was not good.  So I bundled him up and stuffed him in my car while he began calling his doctor to get her advice on what we should do.  My plan was to wait until 7:00 when the walk-in clinic (which was across the street from my apartment) opened. In the meantime we were going to go to my house so that I could take a shower.  Mind you, I had been at the gym the night before and had not showered.  I had dinner with the group and had not showered.  Then I slept on Pee-tah’s couch in my gym clothes with my gym hair and had not showered.  My knees were skinned and I had not showered.  Also, Pee-tah had not showered in a couple of days and was wearing two-day old sick pajamas.  Hot stuff, we were. 

On the drive over to my place I kept reassuring him, “I’ll just run up and take a quick shower and put on clean clothes.  This is probably just a bad reaction to the antibiotics and you’ll be fine in an hour.  You can hang on for an hour.  It’s fine.  Drink some Gatorade.”  I really wanted that shower.   

We pulled into the apartment complex and hit the first speed bump.  That was the first time Pee-tah screamed.  He then screamed when we went over the second one and the third one.  By this time, my apartment was in my sights and I was determined to not smell like rotten bunghole any longer. His screaming was symptomatic of the speed bumps, nothing else, I reasoned.  Except by the time we crossed the fourth speed bump, Pee-tah had gotten hold of the doctor, screamed in her ear and she suggested urgently that we go straight to the emergency room.  So I swung by my apartment in my rush through the parking lot, waved at it and drove him to the ER.

What a sight we were – neither of us having showered in more than 24 hours, me with skinned knees in wrinkled smelly clothes, Pee-tah walking in bent at the waist like some decrepit old man.  I’m surprised they even let us in.  He was admitted and we got a room.  By this point, Pee-tah was in agony.  The only way he could get moderately comfortable was to lie on his side and have me rub his back.  I was seated behind him with my mop of hair, my disgusting clothes, my bloody bandages, my head down, rubbing his back when the doctor came in.  And asked, “Are you his mother?”   

 . . . . . . .

Pee-tah stopped breathing.  My hand stopped moving.  Pee-tah then gasped and said, “Oh, Jimmie.  I’m so sorry . . . .”  I looked up in horror and for once in my life, was speechless.  Pee-tah is a grown man. The doctor realized that suddenly something had gone seriously awry and immediately began the examination.  Pee-tah said later that his pain kind of went away at that moment, just for a few minutes.  Oh, the humiliation.

Here we began the real waiting process.  Pee-tah had every stomach test known to man.  They very much wanted a urine sample and kept coming in with this funky bottle, handing it to me and saying, “Any time he can go, please get us a sample.’ 

Now I don’t know about you, but even though I luff my friends, I don’t particularly want to see any of them naked.  I don’t really care if you are dying from the meningitis, I don’t want to see your nether parts.  Pee-tah, the one currently dying, kept saying, “Jimmie!  I don’t care!”  And I kept going out to the nurses’ station saying, “Y’all better come stick this thingamabob up in his nether parts cause I’m not gonna do it. I do not want to see my friend naked.”   We finally got a sample and it was determined that he had appendicitis.   

Let’s recap.  Pee-tah was diagnosed with strep throat on Monday.  He spent Tuesday barfin’, we thought due to horse strength antibiotics.  Wednesday he went to the ER and was diagnosed with the appendicitis.  Then it was all oh-holy-crap-get-him-in-the-operating-room-NOW-NOW-NOW-cause-we-are-gonna-lose-this-kid-and-his-mother-is-already-a-haggard-mess-did-you-get-a-look-at-her-get-him-on-the-table-now!  And they left me alone in the room with him with strict instructions to get his clothes off of him and dress him in this fetching paper towel that we call a hospital gown, open in the back, please.  So there we were.  Pee-tah needed to get naked.  And I was his only option.

With much finagling and draping of blankets and tugging at undergarments with my eyes averted, we got him disrobed and re-robed and I saw nary a nether part.  Off he was trundled to the operating room and only three point five hours later did he come out alive.  He really was near death.  Parts of the appendix had started to rupture but those parts were all up in the spleen or something so they couldn’t see them in the x-rays and it took them a while to get the toxic infection all out.   

Meanwhile, I went home and finally got my shower and my hair goo and my smell pretty and some proper band aids for my knees (because everyone knows that large bandages on knees don’t spell tramp at all).  When I got back and checked on his progress, they asked, “And you are?  His sister?”  The same people who had me sign release forms and strip him and try to get me to hold bottle thingamabobs up to his nether parts didn’t even recognize me.  So you can totally see why the guy at the gym is hot for me, right?

EPILOGUE:  A year later, nearly to the day, Pee-tah was visiting a friend in Cincinnati when he had to go to the ER for a serious stomach pain. Turns out the surgery the year before had left some stuff twisted and a part of his bowel died.  So he had another major surgery wherein they removed a foot and a half of his intestine.  And now he’s fine.   

You are fine, right Pee-tah?

The end.


2 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. notquiteold
    Sep 18, 2011 @ 21:36:38

    The most horrible part of the whole horrible experience… “Are you his mother?”!!!!!


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