Black Friday at the ER


I’ve spent a fair amount of time in emergency rooms and there are good ones and great ones.  There are fast ERS (Sierra Vista in San Luis Obispo is very fast—in and out under an hour for me) and slow ones (17 hours here).  St. Agnes is excellent (it’s in Fresno and is fast, clean and organized).

ER doctors differ, too. It takes a certain personality to work in an ER and the egos range from Billy Idol to people who will really listen to me and make me feel as if I could possibly know something about my headaches, which are pretty rare (0.1% of the population). I’ve been accepted to a study and so far, there are 33 of us in the US, so it’s not something everyone would know about.

The waiting room this morning was a Cecil B. DeMille production. The parking lot was packed. The waiting room was standing room only, with disgruntled adults and no screaming children—which meant I had a good shot of getting in and out. They have my records/I don’t need tests/ I know what I need—except there was a fuss as we walked in. In fact, there was this layer of cranky unrest when I walked in, which set me on edge and probably had something to do with the next ten minutes.

A great big fella had limped in about three minutes ahead of us. He was roaring for a wheelchair. The admitting nurse was trotting one over and he yelled at her “Can’t you see I need help?” She said something about since he had come in on his own, she didn’t know he needed a wheelchair. Another fella, standing right inside, yelled at her “You gots an attitude!  Don’t be disrespecting me!”  She was trying to get the last guy into the wheelchair and this guy, who must have been next to last was just irate, so it was one of those  situations, just ready to ignite.

I was waiting to sign in and these two guys, who had nothing to do with each other were doing a good imitation of two guys looking for a fight. Next to last guy then yells at ME  “You there! This guy is before you! Step back!”

YOU there? Eff that noise. I don’t know these people. I have no idea what’s wrong with any of them, other than NTL guy thinks he is in charge of the ER.  I’m at the sign-in stand (signing in, duh). You sign in and then are called in for triage. That’s where the intake nurse decides if you’re coming in or waiting, if you need a bed, a chair or a room. It works really well (when there isn’t a fight bubbling up) because it keeps everything moving. For me, it’s great because it’s in and out.

So here comes two security guys and I decide maybe I’ll come back later. My head hurts too much to put up with these two yelling guys.

This is the first time, outside of the prison, I’ve ever been in a simmering riot. Maybe I don;t get out enough. Maybe it’s the pressures of the holidays coupled with being the the ER in the first place.  My husband, for example, has to literally be on death’s door to go to the ER. Me?If I feel crappy enough, I’m going in to the clinic or the ER. No need for me to suffer.  It’s like being hungry, having a full fridge and refusing to open the door.

                      YOU MIGHT LIKE THIS

*Great post, great blog I’ve discovered. You might like it, too  I’m looking for positive messages in my reading and Talin brings it

**Rocket is my 2-pound Maltese, who loves to watch this video on You-Tube. She is ELEVEN, still chasing her tail and playing with the dog in the mirror. Of all the dogs I’ve had in my life, she is my favorite.  She is far from smart but she is so affectionate. When I got her, she would just rocket off the chair arm and tear into the other dogs I had. She likes to get into a fight after her walk and just wear herself out, tussling with the big dogs (Tank, a Rott-Chi mix and Jack, our cockapoo). They are so devoted to her that when she goes out for her walk (they go out first and then she goes to the park because if they all go out together, she gets knocked over), they sit on the stairs, noses pressed up against the glass, waiting for their girl.


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