I recently had occasion to spend several days in the hospital, because I enjoy being surrounded by the infirm and men in loose pants. From waking on my porch to paramedics asking me silly questions like, "What's your name?" while I attempted to stop a ladybug from crawling into my mouth all the way to the discharge at the hands and groin of Dr. Cameltoe, it was an adventure. Along the way, there were special levels and layers of lunacy that unnecessary alliteration just can't clearly elucidate. So, for your edification, here's a rundown of everything that made my past hospital visit kind of unnerving.
#8. No Guests
I've never actually been in an ambulance before, so the prospect was a little exciting. Would I be allowed to run the siren? Would people who weren't fast enough be run off the road and denied any further healthcare due to their overwhelming ignorance? Oh, the fun I'd have if I lived!
Unfortunately, you can do none of those things in an ambulance. And, realistically, that's fine. I didn't really think I would be allowed to vehicularly homicide the slow-moving. However, I thought I could at least bring a friend. I've seen plenty of movies in which a loved one joins you on the ambulance trip to the hospital. Well, fat chance of that anymore, thanks to dicks. Dicks ruined it.
As the paramedic explained to me, because of an overwhelming number of incidents in which the concerned loved one switched focus from their dying companion to robbing the ambulance, guests are no longer allowed. What kind of scum pig is in the ambulance with a person they care for enough to actually go to the hospital with them but then stops and thinks, "I need to steal some saline solution and that paramedic's cellphone"? It was a sad way to start the journey.
#7. Doc On Wikipedia
The emergency room I was in was basically a semi-circle around a nurse's station. It was labeled Pod A. I saw Pods B and C, but I don't know how far the alphabet goes. It doesn't matter. There were about nine beds in the pod, with just curtains separating them, but it seemed pretty well organized. Except for when peering out of the curtained sector I inhabited I discovered a doctor at a computer terminal using Wikipedia. And it wasn't just break-time reading; he was reading up on doctor shit.
I get if you need refreshers now and then -- I look up shit I'm supposed to know all the time -- but I don't do it in front of everyone, especially people who are expecting me to know that info already. This guy was reading the Wikipedia page on sciatica and then later the page on urinary tract infections. Dude, don't do that. Don't read those things. Know those things. Know everything about them, or at the very least Google it on your phone so I can't tell I'm being treated by Dr. Wiki who got his medical degree from a line of dialogue he remembered from House and used it to make an edit about antibiotic resistances at 3 a.m.
#6. The Philosophical Drunk
Obviously, in an ER you can't pick your neighbors unless you're, you know, wealthy. The rest of us get plopped down next to a guy screaming because he somehow swallowed a decorative ninja star and it's working its way out the backdoor slowly but surely.
My neighbor on this visit was a man who was brought in because of severe chest pains after being completely wasted in public. I learned this because he also suffered from acute loss of indoor voice and was able to speak only in yells suitable for backyard barbecues and rodeos. This was also how I learned he was referred to a psychiatrist because he'd been wanting to hurt himself after his ex left him. He never learned to cope, you see. People grow up, but he never really did. He kept drinking away his problems and, instead of embracing each new day's sunrise, he hid it behind a tequila sunrise. He said this out loud. Wistfully. Earnestly. I wanted to start drinking too.
For four hours the saddest drunk you ever heard lamented all the ways he'd done people wrong in what could have made for the best/worst country music song ever, or some killer grade nine poetry. I captured a few nuggets on my phone, such as, "When you've been raised to do wrong, how do you even recognize right when you see it?" And, "I was so numb I couldn't even sense the pain I was causing in others." And finally, "I felt like a blind man struggling in the dark," to which the hospital-appointed counselor explained to him that blind people have no additional troubles in the dark.
#5. Emergency Drainage
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Speaking of neighbors, on my other side was a lovely Hispanic lady who was 90 years old and dressed in clothes that probably cost as much as my car. She had a cyst in her ass that they drained about four feet from my bed, behind the relatively unsecure protection of a thin curtain that is in no way odor-proof.
I don't know what causes large, pus-filled ass pockets to form in a person. I don't need to know. What I do know is that when a doctor drains such a thing, it smells an awful lot like when the vet has to drain your dog's anal gland, which, as I understand it, is basically just an internal bag of shit potpourri. Your dog's shit just isn't shitty enough, so it needs to run under this stank dispenser to make sure that, once it's been birthed unto the world, everyone's eyes water. Imagine that, but instead of a dog, it's an elderly lady who's crying in Spanish.