Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Horses and Hospitals

I have a really itchy rash right now, thanks to a new deodorant that I will never buy again. (That's really not important, but I share just to illustrate why I thought of this particular story right now, and to prove that not everything floating around in my head is completely random.)

So as I was working my way through a tube of hydrocortisone cream, and whining to myself about how annoying rashes are, I wondered what it was in this particular deodorant that I am allergic to. That of course made me think of my "other known allergies." None of them led to a likely culprit, but thinking about it did remind me of something kind of funny.

When I was admitted to the hospital before having my daughter, the nurse who did my paperwork took a very thorough history, and it took a really long time, because I have so many things wrong with me. But she was determined not to miss anything. So when we got to the "allergies" section, I said something to the effect of "No. Nothing relevant." To which she replied "Oh, no. I'm not leaving anything blank on you." (Thanks for the subtle dig about how complicated I am, by the way. That's a wonderful thing to do to a pregnant woman.)

So I kind of rolled my eyes, and said "Well I'm allergic to horses, but I don't think that's going to be an issue here in the hospital." The sarcasm was apparently lost on her, because my hospital records now include an alert that I am allergic to horses.

Thanks to the many complications I encountered during the pregnancy, that hospital stay lasted nearly three weeks before my daughter was finally born. So that was three weeks of every new nurse, or aide, or anyone else that walked into my room with my chart saying "Ok, and you're allergic to..." [looks down at chart, then up at me with a confused look] "...horses?"

The confused look, coupled with the am-I-talking-to-a-crazy-person? tone of voice suggested that they thought I was the one who felt like my horse allergy was a necessary component of my hospital records. Like I was afraid that there was a good chance that I would encounter a horse during my stay, and was thus trying to prevent it. So each time I explained why it was in my chart, hoping that they would understand the sarcasm and stop looking at me like that.

In retrospect, it probably would have been a lot funnier if, instead of explaining the back story, I had just pulled the blanket up over my head and yelled "Yes! Please don't let them come in here again!" On the other hand, that just might have landed me in a different ward of the hospital, so I guess it's probably best that I didn't do it.


  1. Laughed out loud - for real! 'Cause I remember how you found out you were allergic to horse SALIVA, as I'm sure you were even more averse to mentioning! This was great timing. I'm going to be in the hospital for a few hours tomorrow.
    Love ya!

  2. Yeah, telling people that I'm allergic to "horse spit" usually comes out sounding really wrong, and I always have to follow up with "No. Horse sPit! With a P!" So I just go with a general "horses" for convenience. :)

    Glad I could help brighten your day. Good luck tomorrow. (And don't mention anything to the intake nurse that you don't want on your records forever!)

  3. I missed this post a couple weeks ago. *LOL* Awesome. This is why I get so annoyed with some of the people who are in charge of your records.

    I am far too familiar with the deodorant allergy issue. I am apparently allergic to something that is in a lot of solids. Sometimes I'll break out immediately, but most times it has taken a couple weeks for it to build up in my system.

    I can only buy a couple brands of solid and even then I play it safe and alternate with gels.