Burning with embarrassmentFebruary 13, 2018
Some product warning labels make me feel like an absolute genius. For example, you don’t have to tell me once (let alone twice) not to eat an iPod Shuffle. Or to refrain from pouring hot coffee on my crotch. Or to avoid inserting a screwdriver head into my penis, even if I had one (a penis, that is).
Apparently, however, some folks’ mommas did raise fools. Because companies have been hit with complaints—lawsuits, even—due to a dearth of common sense and the ensuing bodily injury. Hence, in CYA mode, the companies give us ridiculous warning labels.
So it’s with great chagrin that I come clean about a recent mishap of my own that occurred because I ignored a warning label:
I was in the recovery room after a colonoscopy, basking in the post-procedure afterglow that only propofol and a clean bill of health can impart. The nurse had brought me some apple juice and a fruit bar that tasted like cardboard marinated in simple syrup. But I was so ravenous after the prep—swilling 64 ounces of Liquid Plumber for the colon and hours of projectile pooping—that it was like manna from heaven.
My gastroenterologist stopped in, told me I did a great job prepping, and everything looked fine. Relieved to be polyp-free, my inner good girl also felt proud of my clean colon.
So, free to go home, I got out of bed and spied a container of wipes on the sink. Given what I’d just been through (or, more accurately, what had been through me), I decided to tidy up my backside before getting dressed.
FIRE IN THE HOLE!
Turns out, I’d wiped my nether region with disinfecting wipes intended for “hard, non-porous surfaces.” My butt was anything but (even when I was younger). And oh, did it burn. I frantically fanned my rear end with the flaps of my hospital gown, trying to cool it down, while bouncing from one foot to another. Finally, I thought to wet some paper towels and douse the fire. All of which my husband witnessed.
The wipes container label had clearly warned, “Do not use as a diaper wipe or for personal cleansing.” It also had drawings of the various items the wipes can be used on (nary a derriere among them). I just hadn’t read it.
In my defense, I was medicated. But (you should pardon the conjunction), I’d also been cautioned to not make important decisions for 24 hours post-procedure since anesthesia can impair one’s judgment. I just never realized the choice of personal cleansing wipes was such an earth (and dignity)-shattering consideration.
Now I know better. As the saying goes, once burned, twice shy.
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