I have an embarrassing story to tell you about how I tore my quadriceps muscle.

I didn't do it skiing or running, snowboarding or hiking.

All I did was get off the toilet seat.

Yes, I'm too old to pee-pee without hazard.

Last Sunday I left the bathroom, took a step, and got a pain in my thigh that felt as bad as childbirth without the ice chips.

I tried to take two more steps, but couldn't walk. I broke out in a sweat and cried out in pain. The dogs didn't notice anything amiss. I do the same thing when Downton Abbey is over.

I didn't know whether I should go to the hospital or not, so I hopped on one leg to the laptop, went to Google, and typed in "my left thigh really really really hurts."

I often whine to Google. Not only is it free, but you don't have to marry and later divorce it, which is decidedly not free.

Anyway, the first thing that came up on my search was: BLOOD CLOT.


That made my decision for me. I was going to the hospital. To a middle-aged woman, BLOOD CLOT is almost as scary as BATHING SUIT.

But I didn't know whether to call an ambulance. On the one hand, the hospital is very close to my house, and I could drive there quicker than an ambulance could get to me. Also, I was already two centimeters dilated.

On the other hand, if I waited for an ambulance, I would have time to put on a bra. You may remember that I'd resolved not to be caught dead without a bra in the ER again.

But then I worried about really being caught dead.

So I grabbed my keys, hopped and yelped my way to the car, and drove to the hospital, but by the time I found a parking space, I couldn't walk at all and practically fell out of the car. I hopped and yelped to the ER, waving frantically to catch someone's attention through the glass.

Needless to say, this did not work. I pictured myself dying outside the automatic doors and the hospital personnel gathering around, shaking their heads sadly. I could imagine what they'd say:

"This dead woman looks a little like Lisa Scottoline."

"It's definitely Lisa Scottoline. And she's braless again. Yuck!"

"I know! And can you imagine her in a bathing suit?"

Luckily, this did not happen, except in my nightmares. By the way, in my dreams, everybody stands around me and says:

"This dead crone is too hideous to be Lisa Scottoline."

"Agree, and I hear she's a great author."

"She is, and I'm going out right now to buy all of her awesome books!"

"Me, too!"

But back to reality.

I hobbled into the ER, where all manner of caring and competent personnel descended, whisked me into an examining room, connected me to various monitors, and determined that I didn't have a blood clot, but a torn quadriceps muscle.

Apparently, Google didn't go to medical school.

Then they admitted me to the hospital and gave me morphine.

And I'm here to tell you that I like morphine even better than chocolate cake.

If they gave morphine to women in labor, I would become the best Catholic on the planet.

If they gave morphine to the general population, there would be no crime or recession. No one would wear bras or pay bills. Everybody would grow cellulite but they wouldn't care, because they'd know there are more important things in life.

Like morphine.

In fact, here's what happened to me on morphine: I slept through the season finale of Downton Abbey, and when I woke up, I didn't even mind.

But I will tell you a dirty little secret. Morphine is constipating.

Though even that has a bright side.

It keeps you away from those dangerous toilet seats.

Look for Lisa Scottoline and Francesca Serritella's latest collection of humor essays, "Meet Me at Emotional Baggage Claim." Also, look for Lisa's newest novel, "Don't Go," in stores April 9. Write to Francesca at francesca@francescaserritella.com.