Thursday, October 27, 2016


Per usual operating procedure while attending an annual medical exam, I was instructed that, "The pink (gown) closes in front and (to) place the other over your lap". Yeah nurse-lady, I know the drill. I've done this routine more times than I care to remember or experience.

As she leaves me to my privacy I begin the race. It's an all out war to unfold and don the paper items, without tearing them, before the doctor enters the room. I pick up the gown and sure enough, it's like a roll of tape gone bad and stuck to itself. I can't seem to peel the tissue apart. The floor at my feet is beginning to look like a shredder over flowed as I attempt to open my paper dress for wearing. The shredding is quickly followed by a rip which now insures that any remaining dignity I had in trying to cover myself has just been tossed out the window.    

A few minutes more and I'm finally into my tree-made perforated patient garb and I throw the white, over sized paper-towel like sheet onto my lap. After this, I plop down on the exam table and wait. And wait some more. Soon, the panic sets in. My blood pressure is elevated, I'm nervous and worst of all, I'm sweating. The countdown to total paper-clothing-saturation has begun. I wonder just how long I can sit on my toilet-paper gown before the sweat enables it to become completely stuck to my a$$. I found out. It takes me about 15 minutes to sweat through a paper dress.

Yep. Fifteen minutes later I heard the simultaneous knock on the door and entrance of the doctor. We chit chat. She updates her files. And then I'm given the dreaded instructions to "scoot down" on the table. Damn. 

I try to lift myself off the paper dress but it's too late. As I "scoot" I can feel the fibers shredding like a slow-cooked chuck roast done to perfection. As I continue to roll my bottom down the table I envision a scene similar to that of a party cannon shooting New Year's Eve celebratory confetti everywhere. Lovely. "Oh well", I think to myself. This wet, kleenex-like wad of what was once a gown can't be the only instance my doctor has seen. And if it is, then hell, I'm glad she's not mentioning it. 

As I'm finally paroled from this miserable experience, I am instructed to get dressed. Now that I am upright, I see the paper-shrapnel everywhere. The gown. The table cover. The lap cover. None has survived intact. It's as if a bored kitten got a hold of a roll of toilet paper. I scoop up my "papers" and head towards the garbage can to throw the evidence of mass destruction away. As I leave the office, I smile thankful the next visit won't be for another year. Hopefully, the healthcare industry can improve their gown design by then. Here's hoping.


  1. Ohhh man. I mean, I'm sure she didn't care and has seen it a zillion times but that doesn't make it any less traumatic for you, the patient!
    The last time I had to get into a paper gown thing was at urgent care last month. The thing was more like a vest. And a cropped vest at that.

    1. Ohhh - a crop top? That sounds FABULOUS! Haha. Poor thing!

      I can laugh about it, hence the post, but seriously healthcare people make something that works other than your paying patients!