Thursday, August 14, 2008

Observations from the ER waiting room

In my last post, I forgot to mention that we were in the Wood visiting my parents. That is why I had to go to the ER to be treated, and also why I had to return to the ER two days later for my recheck. I'm sure when I go to my OB on Monday, she's going to tear a strip off of me for traveling so soon after major abdominal surgery, but I'll deal with that when the time comes. Anyway, back to the tale of my follow up visit to Ruby's ER...
I arrived at the hospital at 2 pm. I knew that I was going to be there for a while when I noticed that the triage nurse had a stack of sign in sheets half an inch thick. I filled out my own paper, slipped it under the window and found the comfiest, most isolated seat in the waiting room. I hate sitting next to strangers--especially those visiting an ER on a Tuesday afternoon. In the 4.5 hours that I sat in the waiting room I observed the following things:

  • Half of the people waiting reeked of alcohol. It is possible that they self-medicated themselves on the way to the hospital to alleviate their pain and suffering. It is also possible that I can win $35 Million playing power ball this week.
  • Pregnant women having contractions and violent, mentally handicapped patients are the first to be seen. "Patients" who are there to attempt to get out of work may never get seen.
  • A high school boy's main purpose in life is to always "be cool". For instance, if said teen happens to get a phone call while he's waiting to be called back to the ER, the conversation might go something like this:
What up Dave?
Dave answers
Yea can you tell coach I won't make it to practice tonight?
Dave speaks, I assume he asks why not.
Well, I cut my thumb off today. ( said very nonchalantly)
Dave responds--also being a teen boy he probably said "that's cool"
Yea tell coach I should be there tomorrow. Later.

  • There are a lot of creepy men in an ER waiting room. If one of them tells you to smile more because someone so beautiful should always be smiling--try to refrain from hitting him over the head with the novel that you smartly remembered to bring along. It's best to give a half smile and move away--preferably toward the security guard.

  • When after 4.5 hours of waiting with a pounding caffeine withdrawal headache, you are finally called back to be examined, you get very excited and feel almost like you did win that $35 million. When the nurse tells you that triage neglected to mention that you were a recheck and that you should have been seen hours ago--that overjoyed feeling quickly dissipates. When the doctor comes in two minutes later and tells you that your incision shows signs of healing and to keep doing what you're doing, a semi-happy feeling returns. It might be happier if you hadn't just spent a good portion of your day waiting for what resulted in a 10 minute exam, and you still have to ride in the car for an hour just to get home. When you can't get in that car until your husband arrives 15 minutes later, you are slightly inconvenienced as smile guy now has you cornered outside the ER telling you his life story while you frantically look for an escape. When your husband buys his starving wife a Hardee's Hot Ham n Cheese and large Diet Coke, the world is once again a happy place.

1 comment:

  1. Mandy8:37 AM

    Hate to laugh--but love your commentary. I'm glad that you're doing better. Let us know how your OB handles you. lol.

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