Sam, a 25-year-old from North Carolina, didn't expect any possible side effects (except for looking super cute) when she decided to wear some high-cut jean shorts — pictured below — on a date three years ago.
However, her booty had other plans! Sam shared her story on TikTok about how the wedgie created by her shorts and underwear actually contributed to her ending up in the ICU with cellulitis and sepsis:
BuzzFeed reached out to Sam for more details, and she said that although she did pick her wedgie multiple times throughout the day, that wasn't enough to save her from a hospital visit. "The timeline goes like this: I went on a full day-date with this guy I was newly dating, and realized I was wearing very uncomfortable clothes. I chose to ignore it and just enjoy my time. The next day, I felt very sore and then started feeling ill — just not 100%. That night, I noticed that I had a large bump where the chafing had occurred, and as time went on, it started becoming more painful. The pain was isolated to one spot and it felt like a throbbing, stabbing pain."
Sam went to the doctor the next day to get treated with antibiotics for a possible skin infection, but it was already too late. "The very next morning, I was in septic shock and rushed to the ER by my mom. I was shivering, very breathless, could not walk and had extreme body aches. They admitted me to the ICU, and that's when I realized this was a bit more serious that I had anticipated. I was in the ICU for almost four days, where the doctors were debating debridement surgery (basically, cutting off the part of my butt that was infected)."
Sam told BuzzFeed that she decided to share her story because she thought it would be funny for her TikTok followers, but she never expected it to get the attention it has. It currently has over 7.8 million views and thousands of comments. "Most people were shocked that this could happen, BUT I was extremely surprised at the amount of people saying the same thing happened to them too! I'm happy I made the TikTok, and although it's extremely scary to have one of the most embarrassing things that has ever happened to me on the internet, it reminds people that we're all human and experience weird stuff, and it's nothing to be ashamed of."
To get a better idea of how uncomfy shorts and underwear can land you in the ICU, I reached out to Dr. Carmen Fong, MD, a licensed colorectal surgeon in New York City. Dr. Fong told BuzzFeed that more often than not, these kinds of infections and cases are caused by an anorectal abscess.
"Anorectal abscesses occur in about 100,000 people each year, but most of us believe this reported number is lower than the actual number, because people often don’t talk about their butt abscesses, or mistake anorectal abscesses for hemorrhoids. I don’t know what Sam’s actual medical diagnosis from her doctors was, but judging from her story, she likely had an anorectal abscess caused by an anal fissure or an anal fistula, both of which are pretty common."
"An abscess starts when bacteria gets into a cut in the skin. Sam’s eight-hour-long wedgie probably gave her a small cut, and then wearing tight shorts/underwear kept the bacteria trapped inside a moist, dark environment where bacteria like to live. Anyone can get an anorectal abscess. When not treated promptly, it can become a very bad infection and make a person very sick, although sepsis and cellulitis tend to happen more in immunocompromised people, such as those with diabetes."
For anyone experiencing rectal pain they think could be serious, Dr. Fong suggested starting with a warm bath and gently cleaning/air drying their nether regions (without using too much soap). "If you start getting fevers or feel generally unwell, seek medical attention from urgent care/ER/a colorectal surgeon. You may need antibiotics or a simple procedure to drain the infection."
"I recommend loose cotton underwear and air-drying the nether regions whenever possible. The other thing is, obviously we do a lot of things for fashion, but if something is making you uncomfortable, it’s your body telling you that something isn’t right. I give full permission to pick that wedgie in the middle of even the most amazing date — it’s for your own butt health."
Sam told BuzzFeed that although her doctors couldn't confirm that her shorts and underwear riding up were 100% the cause, they seemed to be the most logical explanation. Since then, she's stayed away from denim shorts and instead opts for more flowy, cloth shorts. Although, she still hasn't thrown away the infamous shorts that put her in the ICU. "I just can't seem to get rid of them!"
And in case you forgot that all this happened because Sam wore her shorts ON A DATE, she revealed to BuzzFeed that not only did her date visit her in the ICU, meet her entire family, and spend the night taking care of her, but they're still together three years later! We love to see it!!!
Sam's parting words for anyone who might come across her story were: "It's important to know the signs of sepsis. Always listen to your body and your gut. If something is wrong, do something quick. If I hadn't gone to the hospital when I did, I could've easily died. Also, wear what makes you feel comfortable."
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