Just Put One Foot in Front of the Other



Photo Credit: Hike Shaw on Unsplash

My pisscapades story.

Thanks to Marilyn Flower for tagging me. It’s not quite the same as hers, but I bet most moms and women over forty can relate I’m sure. Here’s my story.

How it began

So, back when I lived in the city, on the west side of Cleveland, I had to give in and call the dentist. My wisdom tooth was coming in and it had been killing me for weeks.

I was about thirty six maybe. I had three children at the time, the youngest was about a year or so old.

Toothache pain is the worst, am I right? I’d rather give birth without pain medication again than have another tooth pulled.

But I found myself in the dentist’s chair. I was so anxiety ridden it had taken me ten minutes to actually sit in the chair.

I asked him to just knock me out before he started. He informed me it wasn’t something they did just to pull a tooth. He must have seen the dismay on my face.

“I’ll write you a prescription for Valium,” he said. “Schedule an appointment for tomorrow or the next day with the front desk. Take the Valium before you come in.

It takes a little while to kick in but it doesn’t last long. But you won’t be able to drive yourself so get a ride.” I nodded agreement, took the script, made the appointment for the next day and went home.

It started out okay

The next morning I got the older two off to school and drove the youngest to daycare. Then I made a few calls to friends and family, trying to find someone who could drive me to the dentist.

The dentist was only fourteen blocks from my apartment, but most of my family lived more than an hour away. My friends were all working day jobs.

Not to be deterred, I decided I’d catch the public bus. I was grown. People I knew took the bus all the time. I could manage it for one day. I called to check the time and route.

As it happened, there would be a bus I could catch back home about an hour after I arrived at the dentist.

But the next one after that wouldn’t come for two hours.

As the dentist instructed, I took the prescription Valium as I walked out the door to wait for the bus. I got on the bus and arrived at the dentist’s office with no trouble.

Not bad for someone with very little experience with public buses. I was even considering using the bus more often. It was a rather enjoyable ride not having to think about traffic.

Then it got bad

I checked in and waited. It didn’t take long at all for them to call me to the back. But it took the nurse about 15 minutes to convince me to get into the chair.

The dentist came in and started to work and I immediately started to panic. I put my hand up and he stopped working.

“Am I supposed to be feeling all this?” I asked.

“Let me give you something extra for pain.” the dentist said. “We’ll have to wait for it to kick in.” I nodded. About twenty minutes later, he was testing spots in my mouth with his little hook tool.

“Feel that?” he asked. I nodded that I did. “Okay we’ll give it ten more minutes.” he said and left the room.

When he returned and checked my mouth and I could still feel pain, he sighed audibly. I think he was almost as frustrated as I was.

“Do you still want to go ahead?” the dentist asked. I nodded and closed my eyes. Maybe it wouldn’t be so bad.

I willed the Valium to kick in and calm me down. The dentist started working again.

I kept my eyes closed but the tears were rolling down my face. I was a mess. I started to cry out loud. I couldn’t help it. It hurt!

“Do you want me to stop?” the dentist asked. I’m sure he was thinking of his patients who were waiting and listening to me crying.

“Just get it over with! I want it out.” I yelled as best I could with his fingers in my mouth.

That tooth finally came out. The dentist packed my mouth with gauze and gave me the aftercare instructions.

“I’m not sure what happened.” he said. “Valium usually works for most people.”

“It’s okay. It’s done. I survived. I’ll be alright.” I tried to smile but my mouth wasn’t working right. Apparently something had kicked in finally.

I stepped out of the dentist’s office and walked to the bus stop.

What made it worse

After a few minutes, I checked the time. “Shit” I had missed the bus going back home because of the half hour delay for the pain medication to kick in.

I had to decide whether to wait two hours for the bus or walk home. “What the hell, I’ll walk. It’s only fourteen blocks.”

So I started walking. About three blocks from the dentist’s office I started to feel funny.

My balance was off and I almost fell twice. In hindsight, it was the Valium finally kicking in.

The walk home is a blur. I do remember getting very tired after about eight blocks. I remember trying to call my mom and the phone being dead.

And I remember at least one person asking me if I was okay. I must have looked like hell. I remember sitting down on the window ledge of one of one of the buildings and crying.

I knew I was close to home. Maybe four blocks at that point. I just had to keep moving. And suddenly a scene from one of my favorite Christmas shows popped into my head.

I stood up and started walking and singing to myself. “Just put one foot in front of the other.” I couldn’t remember all the words so I made them up after that.

I repeated that first line a lot. And I just kept putting one foot in front of the other.

After about a block or so, I really needed to pee. So my footsteps were closer together trying to hold it until I got home.

I’m not sure why I didn’t just stop at a grocery store or a bank or something and ask to use the bathroom. It must have been the Valium.

I was convinced I just had to keep going until I got home. I’m sure I must have been a sight to see to anyone driving by.

Head down, putting one foot in front of the other, and singing at the top of my lungs.

How it ended

But I made it to my doorstep. My apartment was on the 2nd and 3rd floor of a house.

So to get in I had to climb about fifteen steps. But I was home.

I opened the screen door at the bottom of the stairs, lifted my foot to climb up the first step, and promptly peed my pants.

So that’s my piss-capades story for Sherry McGuinn. Thanks for the prompt.

What about you? Do you have a story to tell about not quite making it to the bathroom, peeing in the tub or shower, or any other funny bathroom tales?

Share your story and give a nudge to other people you think might have a good one to tell.

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With fifteen years of freelance experience, Meg founded Freelance Filter in 2019 to help writers and small business owners learn the technology needed to do business better online. She currently offers private coaching to writers and small business owners. Her favorite nonfiction writing projects deal with marketing, SEO, freelancing, productivity, and technology for writers and small business owners. She's currently working on an SEO guide for beginners and a series of short stories. She's a mother of four and "Grammi" of ten.

Madison, OH

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