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:~: Tuesday, April 03, 2007 :~:

Stranger Than Fiction

I was looking through the mail today and one of the titles on the recent RWR caught my eye: Truth Really is Stranger Than Fiction.

The article spoke on how other authors used their real-life experiences to weave their own ficitional stories as a cathartic way to work through the fallout of those experiences. But it got me to thinking a whole different way.

I often hear stories, or experience things, and think--I could never write about that without the stories looking unrealistic or contrived. That may have happened in real life, but it would never fly in fiction.

I thought it would be fun to share some of our "stranger than fiction" moments. I know we all have them. Here are just a few of mine:

  • When I was working at Washoe Medical Center, I was called in to perform a testicular ultrasound. When I got the patient, he told me the real story: he was a wanna-be transvestite on welfare. Medicaid wouldn't pay for a sex change operation, so he and his lover got shit-faced drunk and cut his testicles out. I scanned a scrotum swollen with blood because the vessels hadn't clotted off and continued to bleed. He was a very sweet guy. He was just born the wrong sex (his opinion, not mine).

  • Same location, I was called to perform a penile ultrasound. After spending 30 minutes trying to get out of the exam with every excuse I could think of, I scanned this patient's penis to evaluate blood flow. Evidently, a penis can be "broken"--it's a break of tissue--and blood flow can be interrupted. Another nice guy. He held his member still for me while I scanned and told me the story of how he and his girlfriend got a little carried away.

  • One of the previous officials at my husband's union was investigated for improper use of funds. To make an incredibly long and convoluted story short and straight, he was having more than one affair and using union money to make trips to see his lovers. He was married for over 20 years with 4 grown kids. He had one lover locally, and he had another lover eight hours south--one he has a 3 year old child with. Needless to say, he was prosecuted within an inch of his career. I don't know what ever happened to the lovers or the 3yo child, but he is still married. (And, yes, his wife knew all about the affairs.)

  • I worked with a radiology fellow at UCSF who was model material--gorgeous, blonde, perfect. Her husband was a plastic surgeon, and we always used to half-joke that she must have had work done because she was so damned beautiful. She was also incredibly smart and funny and sweet, had two great kids with her husband, big home in the suburbs, and family money. You know--the type you want to strangle for having everything. She found out her DH was having an affair, left him and took the kids, limiting his access because of his erratic behavior. The husband's lover started stalking the wife and her kids--phone calls, notes, emails, following. The wife had to get a restraining order against the lover.

So, share! Tell us some of your stranger than fiction stories!!



Blogger Michelle said...

LOLOL, Joan, when I saw this I nearly choked on my tea. MM has a Stranger than Fiction week planned for next week, and we decided to do it over a month ago. How very strange the universe is.

12:01 PM  
Blogger Joan Swan said...

Wow, cool! I can't wait to see what you guys come up with!!

12:13 PM  
Blogger Twilight Fantasies-- Romance Publisher said...

Are ya ready for this, lol?

A few years back, my hubby and I were riding a four-wheeler and flipped it (my fault entirely-- I leaned with instead of against). Well, I put my hand down and my arm SNAPPED! I dislocated it at the elbow. But then, I let my arm straighten, and it POPPED right back into place.

I got to the emergency room, and the doctors didn't believe me! They sent me for X-Rays and were talking about releasing me-- with NOTHING, not even pain medicine, (though by that time, my arm was swollen to twice it's normal size and was starting to turn a brilliant purple). When they brought me back to the emergency room hospital bed (where I would stay until I got my release forms), the bed slipped away from me, and I fell...

I put my arm out to stop myself and the pressure caused it to dislocate. I was screaming bloody-murder at the pain (because I still hadn't received any pain medication) and my hubby picked me back up off the floor and sat me in a chair. (While one doctor was yelling at another doctor, "I told you that bed was broken and to get it out of here!")

As I sat back in my chair, I calmed and let my arm relax again. When it straightened, it POPPED right back into place again.

I guess I just had to prove to those people that there WAS something wrong. They immediately set about to help me, and I finally got something for pain.

As I lay there in almost blissful oblivion, the doctor actually said to me, "You know, it would've been better on you if you'd just broken your arm."

To which I replied, "I'll keep that in mind next time." (wicked giggle)

6:11 PM  
Blogger Edie said...

About 8 years ago, I was reading a book in which I was instructed to ask for a certain number of things to come true by a certain date. I couldn't think of a last question, so I asked to know for sure there was a God.

I forgot about that question right away, but as it neared time for me to go to bed, I started feeling tingles. (Nothing sexual, lol.) The tingles grew more intense, and I finally remembered my question. When I went to bed, waves of this feeling went through me, one after another. It was still going on as I fell asleep.

I'm not a religious person, but I knew it was God.

7:16 PM  
Blogger Elisabeth Naughton said...

He held his member still for me while I scanned and told me the story of how he and his girlfriend got a little carried away.

Okay. Give it up. Now we wanna know the rest of the story.

8:39 PM  
Blogger Joan Swan said...

OMG, Twilight - I hurt just reading that!! Are you double jointed or something? Did the doctors ever explain how you were able to do that?

9:33 PM  
Blogger Joan Swan said...

Edie, I got chills reading your story!!

9:33 PM  
Blogger Joan Swan said...

E, it's the woman on top, pulls out too far, comes back down on him--the wrong way. :-#

9:34 PM  
Blogger Linda Winfree said...

Oh, ouch! Poor guy!

These are just too good. Great post, J!

I don't have any stranger than fiction stories. I must live a boring life . . .

6:56 AM  

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