Wednesday, March 4, 2015

Bathtub Drownings, DMV Inefficiency, Phone Companies (chirp, chirp,) That I Now Hate, and Other Rantings

Perhaps this is the safest way to go; it's advertised as something called an "air bath." I haven't a clue as to how it differs from conventional sleep.
I do not wish to become the next Whitney Houston. I'd have no problem if I woke up tomorrow morning with, instead of  a voice that sounds like a moderately talented fourth-grader when I sing, something that sounded more like what the late Ms. Houston sounded like in her prime. What I mean is that I don't want to drown in a bathtub. In actuality, I don't want to drown anywhere, but  bathtub drowning is the current topic for reasons that will become apparent in the following paragraphs.

Today immediately following my two hours of E.R./clinic duty, I traveled to a nearby city so that I could stand in line at the Department of Motor Vehicles to pick up my temporary Handicapped Parking placard. In theory, I had an appointment. In real life, having an appointment at one of California's typical Department of Motor Vehicles offices means you wait for two hours instead of four. I suppose I am overstating it when I say that I stood in line. I stood in a random location waiting for my number to  be called, as opposed to standing in an actual line. Before my number was called, an elderly man offered me his seat, but I declined, as he seemed more in need of the seat than I. I don't know what the able-bodied people in chairs thought when they saw that the man, who must have been eighty-five if he was a day old, offered me his seat, but his offer certainly didn't shame any of them into giving up their own comfortable seats.

There's a certain demographic segment of our population that cannot travel anywhere for any sort of business without taking an entire extended family, including at least four minor children, two adults who appear to be the parents of the at-least four minor children, and usually at least one older adult who may or may not be a grandparent to the minor children. Three groups fitting this demographic description took up at least twenty-two of the DMV office's available chairs. (This was similar to my recent experience in the E.R. ) I wish offices and other places of business would set and post limits on the number of seats one party is allowed to occupy when the transaction doesn't require the presence of all of the individuals occupying seats. I'm going to suggest this to my relatives who have their own practices or other places of business. A pediatrics appointment may be an exception, as sometimes both parents want to be present for a given appointment, and it may involve bringing other children in the family along to the appointment. Even in those cases, though, each parent could hold at least one child in his or her lap if the waiting room happened to be crowded.

Anyway, following standing on crutches in a DMV waiting room, not to mention having to walk nearly two city blocks on crutches to the DMV because a business located adjacent to the DMV chose to have some sort of promotion where they were blasting loud music (which was so loud inside the DMV office that the employees and customers or whatever we were called were having to shout at one another to be heard) and handing out free nachos in vain attempt to entice customers into their place of business and took up at least twelve parking slots with their little impromptu fiesta/promotional event, I was exhausted. By the time I reached home. I'm not naming names, but, because of the headache I incurred as a result of the music of roughly the same decibel level of that one would encounter at a rock concert, I will never as long as I live, even if it's free or if the company pays me for the privilege, own a phone or use a phone plan from the company named for an insect that hops wildly and says "chirp, chirp" at night.

I'll never purchase a phone or sign up for a plan from these people because I HATE them.

When I got home, I wanted nothing more than to take a warm bath and then to crawl into bed for a nap. I went through the tedious process of wrapping my casted leg in a garbage sack and sealing it with rubber bands, then  awkwardly easing my body into the tub of water. As it worked out,  the nap happened before I made it to bed. I fell asleep in the bathtub. I'm not sure how long I slept, but I woke up when I turned my head sideways and got a nose full of water. It seemed  wise at that point to vacate the bathtub. I went through the laborous process of getting myself out of the tub with one leg hanging over the edge, unwrapping my leg, drying off and getting into pjs, and eventually made it to my bed. I took a pain pill and had a semi-decent nap. At least the headache went away.

I would like to note that I deliberately delayed taking the narcotic until after I was safely out of the water. If I learned nothing else from Whitney Houston's experience, I learned that consciousness-altering drugs and baths can be a dangerous combination, even if the single lousy Norco I took paled in comparison with what was found in Ms. Houston's system in post mortem lab tests.

But what I would like to know is this: is it inherently dangerous to take a bath when one is a bit tired? Is drowning in the bathtub when not under the influence of any sleep-inducing drugs a common occurrence, or will the body typically wake a person up as soon as he or she gets a nose full of water, as happened to me.? I could ask this question in class tomorrow, but I'm embarrassed to ask it in person. Behind the cloak of  relative anonymity of this blog, I feel free to ask just about anything that wouldn't draw my blog into the direct headlights of homeland security.

What do y'all think? Are un-stoned people at high risk of drowning in bathtubs?


  1. I think it would depend on the size of the person and the tub. I would think bathing while really drunk might be dangerous. My dad had a couple of near misses.

    1. knotty, I can see drunkenness as one of those impaired states in which someone should probably not be in a tub of water unobserved. i'd rank it up there with being under the influence of hydrocodone or Xanax or anything in between. I'm really wondering about the safety of bathing when one is merely tired. Not four-days-without-sleep tired, but just garden variety sleepy or tired.

    2. My dad once flooded the bathroom because he was filling the tub while very drunk. He ended up passing out while he was sitting on the toilet. That was when my mom demanded that he seek treatment. I guess it was a lucky thing he wasn't in the tub when he passed out.