To make a long story short, I was in the hospital this morning. The being sick part isn’t what this is about. As always, you cannot step foot into a medical establishment that caters to broke people without something strange being said near you. A few notables:

I was in triage, being asked the usual questions, when a man was seated a few feet from me to talk to the nurse.

Nurse: “So she says you have a history of brain damage? What happened?”
Patient: “I don’t, uh…”
Nurse: “It’s ok. It’s all strictly confidential here.”
Patient: “But, uh… I can’t…”
Nurse: “No, no… c’mon. You can tell me. Should I ask your daughter?”
Woman with him: “Oh, we’re not… related…”
Nurse: “… Ok!”

After the nurses lost me for a moment and the doctor pointed it out (ehhh…) I was taken back. Along the way I was greeted with a large, angry woman speaking to two cops:

Woman: “She hit me first! She hit me first! She hit me first!”
Cop 1: “So you broke her leg.”
Woman: “She hit me first!”
Cop 2: “And you felt the need to push her down the stairs?”

… finally at my bed. Waiting for the doctor, head covered in my hood because fuck you bright hospital lights, while an old lady complains…

Old lady: “This place is shit. I don’t need this shit, I’m fine.”
Daughter: “Ma, you’re hurt.”
Old lady: “I don’t need this shit. You think I’m so fragile an—“
(Doc walks in)
Old lady: “Owww. Owww… ohhhhh.”
Doc: “In a lot of pain, huh?”
Old lady: “Owwww…”

Another guy near me apparently works with pools. He seems like a decent, hardworking kind of guy. He’s covered in rashes and hives, so…

Doc: “So you work with pools… have they changed the chemicals recently?”
Guy: “Nope, they have been the same for like eleven years since I got there.”
Doc: “Well, sometimes the manufacturing company changes the additives in the pool chemicals without notice, and if you grab the same bottles everyday without checking labels…”
Guy: “I don’t get paid to read ’em, I get paid to make green water look blue.”
Doc. “Ok… well, with the amount of Benedryl you’ll be on, you can’t go back to work, but you should find out if anything has changed in th–“
Guy: “I have to work.”
Doc: “I know, but–“
Guy: “Need the money.”
Doc: “You need to breathe to do that.”
Guy: “I don’t breathe with my arms.”
Doc: “See how that rash is creeping up your shoulders to the neck? Slowly, but surely, it’s going to get there. You may only have a rash THIS time, but nobody likes to find the pool guy dead in their yard.”
Guy: “Well, it… how many days off.”

Note: I’ve had that doctor before, and I love him for the way he talks to people.

Doctor gets to me. It’s fairly quick once we get to that point, but before I am processed to leave, two nurses are talking.

Nurse 1: “So they’re going to make us wear pink from now on.”
Nurse 2: “What’s wrong with our blue?”
Nurse 1: “We’re apparently not faggy enough to suit the city of Hollywood anymore.”
Nurse 2: “What about Memorial South?”
Nurse 1: “They’re already taking it in the ass.”

Hey… if you had to handle gunshots, the mentally ill and people with glass bottles up their asses all day, you’d be bitter too.

On my way out, passing the main area again, I was treated to one more thing:

Patient: “I have to … pee.”
Nurse: “The bathroom is across from the nurse’s station.”
Patient: “I think you took too long to tell me that.”

I don’t know exactly what happened after that, but I can imagine.

4 thoughts on “CODE RED.

  1. We had to take Alla to the ER a couple Saturdays ago for some sudden abdominal pain. It was a slow day, but the two other cases I got to observe myself were two SEPARATE suicide attempts. Seems one was dealing with emotional pain (his friend was in the waiting room with us), and the other (who was sharing Alla's room!) was physical pain.

  2. Jeeze. Was Alla ok at least? I've only witnessed a few suicide attempts in the hospital before, since I suppose they are taken to psych pretty quickly, but two were notable because they happened INSIDE the hospital. One grabbed some pills and tried to down them, and the other was in there for attempted suicide, tried again very poorly by running at a wall head-first. I think they probably just got a headache.

  3. Yeah, they couldn't figure out what was wrong with her, with every scan you can imagine. The guy that was in the room with Alla, after the run down of his medical history, (and Alla questioning why they aren't asking him what's wrong), he finally said "I just want this pain to stop.", and I said to her, "There's your answer." They moved him to a room with security not long after that. The other guy, I only got to eavesdrop on his friend (or family?) that was in the waiting room with us. Apparently the guy had sent out goodbye texts to his family the night before… and it sounded like no one took it seriously. I felt pretty awful for both of them.

  4. Damn. It's really disturbing to think how jaded people can be to those that threaten suicide just to get attention, so when the guy that means it tries… nobody listens.

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