Sudden Death

by Shauna on February 10, 2011

When I was 23 I was a manager at a tanning salon.

A lot of mornings I had to open the joint because well, it was hard to get anyone to show up at 6am to work. So. As manager I had to do it.

One morning shortly after arriving I wasn’t feeling well. In fact I felt the strangest I’d ever felt in my life. I got lightheaded and kinda dizzy…and the next thing I remember was opening my eyes and finding three people standing over me, one of them being an off duty fireman.

He asked, “Are you OK?”

“Yeah, I think so.” I said.

He told me he’d come out of the tanning room to find me lying on the floor, unconscious.

Someone else was on the phone with a 911 operator.

Minutes later an ambulance pulled up and paramedics thought it was a good idea that I go to the emergency room. So I did.

There, the ER doctor ran some tests. I peed in a cup. They took blood. Then they put wires all over my body and ran an EKG.

The ER doctor came back with some startling news. It appeared my EKG was abnormal. His diagnosis? Sudden Adult Death Syndrome.

What the what?

Two words caught my attention. Sudden. And death.

Plus, I’d never heard of such a thing. Was there such a thing? Was this guy really a doctor?

He gave me the print out of the EKG and told me I should probably see my regular doctor. Really. So let me get this straight. You’re telling me I’ve got a condition where I could stop living due to SUDDEN DEATH and you think I should see my regular doctor?

It was so weird. And unsettling.

I left the hospital and went home. I paced the floor for twenty minutes, trying to process the information I’d just been given.

I waited until after lunch to call my regular doctor. Dr. McDougall.

And I waited for this reason. Dr. McDougall was a lunatic. He was a grumpy old man who scared me a little. He yelled obscenities at his nurses, regularly cussed out patients, and was really, really tan. Like he had always just gotten back from the Bahamas, kind of tan.

But he was the family doctor. He saw my grandparents, my parents, and now me.

I made an appointment for early the next morning.

When I arrived at his office (with the EKG stuffed in my handbag), he saw me come in the door and motioned for me to come on back. The nurse stopped him and said, “She hasn’t signed in yet, Doctor. And there are several patients ahead of her.”

“I don’t give a good goddamn about any of that. I told her to come on back. You just mind your own business, you got it?”


She rolled her eyes at him and walked away. She was used to this behavior. They all were. And at that moment I was so terrified I nearly peed my pants. But I didn’t. I’m not stupid. You think I want him yelling at me?

I followed Dr. McDougall back to a room and he shut the door behind him. He motioned for me to get on the exam table, so I obeyed. Naturally.

His tanned face went from stern to grandfatherly. “What’s going on with you today, Dolly?”

I cleared my throat in hopes my voice wouldn’t fail me. “Well, I fainted at work yesterday and when I went to the emergency room the doctor told me that my EKG was abnormal and that I have something called Sudden Adult Death Syndrome.”

He said nothing. He just sat there staring at me. It was like an eternity. It was also the first time I believed my diagnosis. I thought I was going to die. Right there on the examination table.

“Do you have this EKG with you?”

“Yes sir.” I pulled it out of my bag and handed it to him.

“You say you went to the hospital?”

“Yes sir.”

“And some motherfuckin crackpot told you you had some cockamamey made up disease?”

“Yes sir.”

“Take off your shirt.”

“Excuse me?”

“Your shirt. Take it off. And your bra too.”


I don’t know why but I did what I was told. I didn’t dilly dally either. I had my clothes off in less than ten seconds.

“There! Right there!” (He was pointing directly at my chest)

I looked down to see his index finger about four inches from my right nipple.

“You’re not going to die. You’re pregnant.”

“Pregnant? What are you talking about? How do you know?”

“Look at the size of those nipples. Those are the nipples of a pregnant woman. You fainted because you’re pregnant. Sudden Adult Death Syndrome, my ass. I ought to go over to the hospital and punch that so-called doctor square in the mouth. Idiot.”


“Did I stutter? Pregnant. Now put your clothes on and find you a good obstetrician. And make sure he or she is qualified to boil water. Not like that asshole who told you your EKG was abnormal. If your EKG was any more normal you’d be Jesus Christ. Have a nice day.”

He opened the door then and yelled down the hall, “This little girl in here is pregnant and needs the name of a good obstetrician. Can one of you chatterboxes take care of that or do I have to do everything around here?”

And that’s how I found out I was pregnant.

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{ 43 comments… read them below or add one }

britni February 10, 2011 at 12:27 pm

OMG, this is funny. Like, crying tears of hilarity funny.
britni´s last blog post ..The anxiety monster


Angie [A Whole Lot of Nothing] February 10, 2011 at 12:27 pm

What I learned: Old men can look at big areolae* and tell if you’re pregnant. That seems cheaper than a drugstore pee test.

*I looked it up, and that’s the plural of areola. The more you know.
Angie [A Whole Lot of Nothing]´s last blog post ..We “Fat Bottomed Girls” Make the Rockin’ World Go ‘Round


BF February 10, 2011 at 12:32 pm

That was completely unexpected. I’m not going to lie, I believed through 3/4 of that post that there was really a “Sudden Adult Death Syndrome”… How crappy would that be… just working and you die. What if I hadn’t finished reading your post before going around telling people there was, in fact, such thing as SADS!
BF´s last blog post ..The Lady


designhermomma February 10, 2011 at 12:47 pm

diet coke all over the screen.
designhermomma´s last blog post ..Meet Mr Wankadocious


DrLori71 February 10, 2011 at 12:49 pm

Wow. Not only did that ER doc make up a diagnosis, but he also collected your urine and either (1) forgot to run a urine pregnancy test (which is pretty much standard in the workup of fainting in a woman of reproductive age) or (2)they ran the test and forgot to give you the results. That’s one ER I would avoid in the future!
Great story!
DrLori71´s last blog post ..Blizzards Should Be Made Of Ice Cream- Not Snow


Erin R February 10, 2011 at 12:56 pm

That story is AMAZING! Thank you for sharing – its the first bright spot on this craptastic day.


Hamlet's Mistress February 10, 2011 at 12:58 pm

What you don’t know is that he did the same thing to the next 6 women, too.
Hamlet’s Mistress´s last blog post ..But I might be drowning…


Kaye February 10, 2011 at 5:07 pm

Kaye´s last blog post ..WorstBloggerEVER!


rachel February 10, 2011 at 12:59 pm

you totally made this up, right?
you kill me.
rachel´s last blog post ..POTD 354-365


Brittany February 10, 2011 at 1:00 pm

I will comment when my mouth stops hanging open.



Kbeave February 10, 2011 at 1:19 pm

“If your EKG was any more normal you’d be Jesus Christ. ”
Probably the best thing in the entire world. Like, when I read that, Diet Mtn. Dew went up my nose.

Also, I seriously want this guy to be my doctor.
Kbeave´s last blog post ..It’s my blog- and I’ll bitch if I want to


Lisa February 10, 2011 at 1:23 pm

Wow – didnt see that coming! I think I love your doctor!


Sean February 10, 2011 at 1:32 pm

That could be the best story EVER!! I think my coworkers truly believe I’m nuts now. I was laughing outloud!
Sean´s last blog post ..Hot Nurse 1- pass the anal probe…


Maggie February 10, 2011 at 1:58 pm

Ha!!! This is freaking great! Love Angie’s comment above of her take-away from the post….bwahahahaa!!!


lesley February 10, 2011 at 2:12 pm

That is a freaking awesome story!
lesley´s last blog post ..More Words


Jennie February 10, 2011 at 2:29 pm

Oh. Em. Gee. That is sooo freaking hilarious! Also, if I lived in your area I would TOTALLY want to go to your doc!! There are tears streaming down my face from laughing so hard!!!


El Rey February 10, 2011 at 2:29 pm

So now I really want to go to medical school. I can get away with abusing staff and I could also get paid to diagnose health issues by judging aerolae! Did your doctor do his internship at a topless bar?


Jennifer February 10, 2011 at 2:33 pm

I had you PG when you passed out… Thats the way it always went with my Grandmother’s “stories” on the TV :) And you have the most soap operaest life of anyone I know!


tracie b February 10, 2011 at 2:56 pm

HA! I remember spending the night with you in your apartment over by that tanning salon after you found out you were pregnant!! And I was pregnant, too!!!


Grumble Girl February 10, 2011 at 3:03 pm

Well, it’s a good thing you found out that way, and not, say, when there was a baby dangling out of your vagina by a very ropey cord-like thing.
Also, I’m really glad you don’t have le SADS. That would have made me all le sads for you. This way is better for our friendship, methinks.
Grumble Girl´s last blog post ..I Even Made a Cake- Yo


Jessica February 10, 2011 at 3:22 pm

That. Was. Awesome. Thank you so much for sharing that… you really can’t make that shit up.
Jessica´s last blog post ..Internet What Internet


nic @mybottlesup February 10, 2011 at 4:46 pm

i…. uhh…. i don’t even know…



Nanette February 10, 2011 at 4:47 pm

This story is HILARIOUS!

Then I Googled “Sudden Adult Death Sydrome” just for the hell of it, and read a news story about a UK teenager who just died from that same syndrome right after her first kiss.

Sad trombone.
Nanette´s last blog post ..No reason


Melissa February 11, 2011 at 7:39 pm

I read that story today too! SADS is apparently real. And while I find Shauna’s doctor hilarious, I was all like OMG, I just READ about this!!


Becky Mochaface February 10, 2011 at 5:06 pm

Holy fuck. Best story ever.
Becky Mochaface´s last blog post ..Month 5 Day 9


Kaye February 10, 2011 at 5:09 pm

Haha! That story is incredible. And i’m dying at the comments! You have some of the funniest commentors ever!
Kaye´s last blog post ..WorstBloggerEVER!


emily k February 10, 2011 at 5:40 pm

so hilarious!


Lisa February 10, 2011 at 6:31 pm

Well, this might be the BEST way to be told you’re pregnant. Instead of being all like “I’m gonna die!” wah wah wah you’re like “I’m pregnant!” much better I think.


Jenny, Bloggess February 10, 2011 at 8:32 pm

I’d like to think that Jesus Christ would have an above-average EKG.
Jenny, Bloggess´s last blog post ..It’s like a visit from the ghost of Christmas past but with more cursing


Kenny February 10, 2011 at 9:14 pm

Holy Crap..He sounds just like that doctor form that Awful Michael J Fox movie where he stays and becomes the country doctor. In any case give the choice I probably would have felt more comfortable with the Sudden Death diagnosis!
Kenny´s last blog post ..Recalculating


Kerry February 10, 2011 at 9:29 pm

So freaking funny! Awesome post.


Julie February 11, 2011 at 9:13 am

OMG…I think that is the funniest story ever written!!!
Loved it…loved it!
I used to have a dr like that as a child…those old docs were great…but he was long gone by the time I got pregnant!!!


Tish February 11, 2011 at 10:42 am

SADS actually seems to be real.

18 year old dies after her first kiss….


Barb February 11, 2011 at 2:51 pm

That is the doctor I want- he doesn’t put up with any BS…

I think I would’ve gone back and kicked the ER doctor’s ass for scaring me if I were you though…
Barb´s last blog post ..My 5 things


the mrs February 11, 2011 at 7:26 pm

ERs are the worst. I once went in for an allergic reaction and the doctor wanted to test me for STDs. My now husband and I had just started dated and he was in the ER room with me when the doctor asked. It was a touching moment for everyone. (P.S. I did not have STDs.)


Melissa February 11, 2011 at 7:41 pm

I love the look at that nipple comment he made! That is really hard to do without pulling your boob up or looking in the mirror (at least for me)


MJ February 13, 2011 at 5:14 pm

Greatness! I found out the old fashioned way….you know, when I had been drinking like a fish, taking Tylenol with Codeine for the virus I just couldn’t seem to kick and cursing my lame immune system for enough days that when I realized my boobs were sore too, I started counting backwards to the last time I had to borrow a tampon since I never remembered to pack them in my purse….and drove like a bat out of Hell to Walgreens for not one, not two, but three sticks to pee on because DEAR JEBUS NOOOOOOOOO…..I couldn’t be pregnant…..I was on the pill!! Your way sounds more fun.


Mrs BC February 14, 2011 at 9:45 pm

Oh my gosh I thought THAT was going to have a different ending. So glad to hear the ending was a happy one!

Mrs BC
Mrs BC´s last blog post ..Finally- the Vege Garden!


Dor February 17, 2011 at 12:55 pm

I found out I was pregnant when my husband (of exactly 2 days) looked at my nipples. Why it took 2 straight days of newlywed sex to figure it out, I’ll never know. I sobbed, we agreed to not tell anyone until I could come to terms with it… 45 minutes later, he stood up and announced it in front of my extended family over Thanksgiving dinner. Bastard’s lucky we lasted this long.


Issa February 21, 2011 at 5:19 pm

Holy shit. I can’t stop laughing.
Issa´s last blog post ..Working on a holiday random


mel February 22, 2011 at 12:00 pm

that is the best story ever. Also, I NEED a doctor like that.
mel´s last blog post ..Wordless Wednesday- “Big Girl Bed”


Dan Kennedy September 14, 2011 at 9:49 pm

I turned down the volume on South Park in order to read this. High praise indeed. Glad I did. That was worth it.


Grumble Girl December 13, 2011 at 4:25 pm

This? Just became my favourite story ever. xox
Grumble Girl´s last blog post ..Still Here


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