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Friday, July 18, 2014

The ER of Doom OR How I'm Not Allowed to Go Back to the Hospital Anymore

In last week's exciting blog, I encountered Pier 1 and its clerk, AKA the Woman Who Cannot Ask for Help and is Wonderful at Standing Around With Her Thumb Up Her Bleep.  (I should call her Bleep for short.)

After I drove myself home, which was basically a huge fricking mistake, I tried to tough it out by calling my general practitioner and making an appointment.  The nice lady on the phone suggested I just go ahead and go to the ER, because 1) they could do something about the pain, and 2) they have an X-ray machine.  (I'll come back to these two points later.)

I totally didn't do this.
I called the hubster, or HIM, the man to whom I'm married and said/whined, "I've had an accident and need to go to the ER."  HIM said, "Be there in a jif," or something like that because I honestly don't remember what he did say.  (It might have been, "I'm in the middle of having something probed by aliens from Alpha Centuri, but they'll understand," but I was in too much pain to pay attention.)  I do remember finding a bottle of ibuprofen and the ice bag.  Some years later he showed up and helped me out to the car.  By the time we actually got to the hospital I was feeling marginally better.  However, I couldn't walk, talk, or chew bubblegum.

Once I checked into the ER, riding in a wheelchair, the real fun began.  I began my stint in the ER waiting room in a genial mood despite the fact that my calf felt like someone had reached inside my muscles and yanked several out, spit on them, tied knots in them, and then shoved them back in.  I got my vitals taken fairly quickly and explained to the nurse that I did not feel good.  I think they wrote "booboo on leg" on the form.  I believe that was a mistake on my part.  I should have insisted they write "horribly mangled, agonizing, ruptured muscles that have me writhing in pain" instead.  I should have begged for morphine and/or vodka.  I'm convinced that if I had done that I would have been seen faster.  A corpse would have been seen faster.
If a cartoon character had shown up in
my ER, they would have been seen
before me.
Now don't get me wrong.  I do understand why the man with the chest pains has to be seen first.  I totally get it.  I understand why the man who chopped off the tip of his finger with a machete had to go before me.  (Not making this up.  Seriously, the man who came in after me did chop his finger off via the machete method.  Unfortunately neither he nor I was in the mood to get/give backstory.)  I get why the meth head who was having convulsions and frothing at the mouth was going before me.  However, there was a couple who was there before me and both had hospital bracelets on, and both chatted constantly on their phones while waiting for a doctor/something.  I think they were at the ER to have a physical.  There was a hooker there who possibly was having STD tests.  There was a man there riding in a motorized wheel chair who looked like one of the humans from Wall-E.  (Coming from a fat woman, this is highly critical.  I wanted to tell him, "Just get up and walk because you're working that chair way too good."  Seriously, he could have stopped on a dime after racing through the chairs in the waiting room.  He zipped over to the bathroom and then back again so easily it was like he had a license for it.)  (Secretly I was jealous that I didn't have one.)
I was waiting for something all right.
Therein commenced the waiting.  Waiting.  Waiting.  Waiting.  As the ibuprofen began to fail and my leg began to throb like bongo drugs, I got snarkier and snarkier.  In fact, I think HIM wanted to leave me at the ER so that he could run away to Africa and become the guy who takes people on safaris.
This would be the title of HIM's blog.
Or something like that.  HIM probably would have taken penguins at the South Pole over my snarkiness.
I don't know why I stuck this in here.  Probably because I thought
it was funny.  This is how I see myself while I was waiting
in the Emergency Room.
Whilst I was waiting/moaning/complaining, one poor clerk came to get my insurance information.  Poor woman.  Then I waited so long they had to take my vitals again.  The man who took my vitals again got into a conversation about how cool Tom Cruise was in Oblivion and I said that Tom Cruise probably would have gotten seen in the ER before me even if he had the weird thing on Oprah's couch.  (The young man didn't really care for my opinion.  Go figure.)

HIM had to leave (the lucky bastard) to go pick up the little girl at Girl Scout camp.
My daughter thinks this is funny.
AFTER three hours, I got wheeled back into a room.  There the nurse took some more vitals and told me to take my top off but not my jeans.  I was confused because I was sure I had injured my calf muscle and not my boobs.  SERIOUSLY, a woman named Frechandra, named after her father Fred and a woman named Sandra, wanted me to loose my t-shirt but not my pants.  (Shouldn't that have been Fresandra?  Fredsandra?  Frandra?  Safredra?)

Anyway, I waited some more.

This funness was followed up by Frechandra wanting me to take a pregnancy test.  I informed Frechandra that not only was I 50 years old, but my tubes had gone buh-bye in a tubal ligation event back in 2004.  She said unless I had a hysterectomy I had to pee in a little cup and make with the hormones/or no hormones to prove it.  I got a box with the appropriate stuff in it and apparently medical science has improved because now women get a little funnel thing instead of having to aim for a 2 inch cup.  (All the women reading this are sagely nodding their heads.)  Who hasn't had to wipe off a cup?  Hmm?  Let's just say I can't hit the little cup any better than I can sink a basketball in a hoop.

I was informed I was not pregnant.  I think my eyes rolled back into my head at that point in time and bounced off the back of my brain.

HIM returned with the little girl.  The little girl cried because I was in the hospital.  I said it was okay.  I said that she could wait on me at home, serve me ice cream, and be my slave.  She cried some more.  Then I said she didn't have to wait on me.  She stopped crying.
If you have to have crutches, go big.
Finally, the doctor came.  The doctor didn't have a sense of humor.  She asked what was wrong.  I said I had reached for the wrong thing and she said, "Huh?"  Then she felt my leg.  She asked where it hurt, while squeezing stuff and while I writhed in agony.  When I was able to speak again, I told her.  She said something about possibly having torn some muscles, take over the counter stuff, keep off it, go to the doctor after a week if it didn't improve, and not to let the door hit me on the ass on the way out.

So four and a half hours later, I hadn't been X-rayed, I hadn't gotten any bleeping thing for the pain, and I had wasted time and money at a place where the nurses look at you like you're a criminal.  Also I discovered I wasn't really pregnant.
Where was this when I needed an Ikea meme
last month?
But hey, I have all the material for a nifty blog.

Anyway, it's a week later, and it's slowly improving.  And people wonder why I hate doctors, hospitals, and medical personnel.

5 comments:

Anonymous said...

You shouldn't hate doctors although I sometimes wonder if brain damage is a prerequisite for the job.

Suzanne Gossett said...

I do not believe I will ever tire of reading your written word. Yes you had a terrible pier 1 and E.R. experience, but even so, you desribe the experience in such a way that I cry tears of sorrow for pain/circumstance and tears of laughter from the telling of the story. Everytime I count my blessings you make the top ten list, with...my family, you & your family, my income, my house, food in our bellies, clothes on our backs, your story telling and then the list continues! Please get better!
Suzanne

Linda said...

Yup, typical hospital outpatient care. I once lay down on the floor in front of the reception desk after waiting way too long with severe back spasms. They made me lie on a trolley--then wheeled me back into a corner out of sight. Time heals all things---so my doc sez. Hope you are better--you must be, the funnies are coming out.

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