Clumsy. Yes. Running instead of walking where one should be walking? Yes. Wearing socks which are much too slippery? Yes. Talking about my little one? No. That’s me.
Friday night when I got home from finishing a huge project, I was waiting for an update on my mom at the hospital. I was very worried and going crazy because every time I tried to call my dad’s cell phone, I’d get no answer or he had such a weak signal the call would fail when he picked up.
So, finally, my husband went to the hospital and promised that when he got there, he’d have my dad give me a call. The phone rang and I ran to answer it. In slippery socks. Running from a marble floor to a hardwood floor. And I went down for the count. I have not been able to walk since. [My mom has a bladder infection, I learned later. She will most likely be released from the hospital on Monday.]
As I write this, I’ve been sitting in a wheelchair in the emergency room of our local hospital (different hospital from my mom) waiting to go back and get an x-ray or MRI or whatever so I can get out of here! The hubs dropped me off here and left with the little one so as not to torture him with the wait.
In the waiting room with me are the usual, assorted motley crew. I have another average looking mom with a NT boy the same age as my son. That mom is sick with some kind of pain and has been laying across some chairs. Her son is with her. He was talking up a storm, making me realize how NT kids really talk, quite intelligently and articulately. That’s not making me feel better. The kid was cute. Answering questions of strangers that my son would never ever do. Shut up already kid. The dad was there too. At least I was not cruel enough to make my family wait with me.
I’m sitting next to a window and door looking at the view of rain pouring down. There is a run-down courtyard of sorts outside the emergency room with weeds growing. This is the first time I’ve been by myself, not watching the little guy, and not working, and this is how it gets spent.
Some trashy woman in a white tank top whose body size screams the need for more clothes, with hair from the 70’s is waiting with an elderly woman who appears completely healthy. Let me mention again – it is raining and 50 degrees here. I cannot tell which one of these two is here for treatment. Tank top woman was blasting some music from her phone – blasting- yes in the middle of an ER full of unhappy people. She did this for about a minute, then stopped. She is now blasting the waiting room TV which happens to have a multitude of screaming women and loud commercials on.
I’ve been here since 10:50 a.m. It is now 12:45 and I have yet to go back to a room. She is complaining that she’s been waiting for an hour and keeps calling people on her phone to bring her a cigarette.
From down the hall, comes a skinny, pasty white guy, probably in his 20s with a shaved head and stringy goatee hanging down from his chin – I swear – 7 inches. He has baggy jeans on with a heavy metal chain on them. He has a white bandage near his eye and his face is fully bruised. He has now moved near me, reeking of cigarette smoke. Hmmm. Maybe he could loan white tank top a cigarette and she could go outside.
Wonder what happened to goatee guy. (That was sarcasm). This winner, of course, is not alone. He has his woman with him. Of equally stellar character, extremely tall and obese. What a strange pair. She just brought him Mexican food which they are now chowing down on in the ER. This is a new one to me.
As we close in on 1:15, the triage nurse informed me that although I had been next in line for a room, stringy goatee guy’s lacerations require stitching before I will be seen because of infection, since he waited too long before coming in. Why is she telling me his personal business? And gross. A further delay. This sucks.
Mr. Blackwell should really have come into an emergency room. He would find everyone is wearing the raunchiest clothing they own and have not washed themselves in weeks. I’m not saying get dressed up for the ER but – most of these people crawled out of a Goodwill bin from 30 years ago, one with smelly clothes.
The wheelchair in which I am sitting is wide enough to hold two people. The triage nurse told me it’s from bariatrics. Before today, I did not even know what bariatrics was but I’m glad their wheelchairs can accommodate my girth. At least, I can feel thinner.
Now, in has come an older man who is in a wheelchair as well. His wheelchair is well-fitted which indicates to me that it belongs to him. Now that he is here, I’m guessing my trek to the back will be further delayed.
Around 2:15 p.m., I get to hear a woman behind me talking about having a miscarriage as though it was the weather, telling the person on the other end, very matter of factly about giving a urine sample and something about just going in a corner and having her miscarriage in a very Valley girl voice. My back was to her so I actually did not see her. I don’t think I could have hidden my surprise at this conversation.
Finally, at about 2:45 p.m., I am taken back to a room to much applause and cheering by my fellow “cast members” because they know this means their waits are now a little shorter (in theory). I’m cheering too. ‘Cause aside from my fellow mom, these people give me the willies.
5:00 p.m. – Turns out I have fluid in my knee. No fracture. Lots of swelling. A knee immobilizer, pain killers, 800 mg Motrin and crutches later, I’m headed home. I will not run to the phone. I will not run to the phone. Actually, I can’t right now. But I won’t do it again.