Wednesday, August 01, 2007

Sunday fun, part 3

About 1 am, I guess
On entry into the hospital I am once again made highly aware of the Simpsons night shirt that I am wearing. The eyes of what seem like a hundred drunks and thugs alight upon me. I know I am also snow-white pale. I take the denim jacket that Red had draped over my shoulders and put it on properly.

I don't know how long we wait in reception, but I know that by the time we have seen the triage nurse (and answered all the same questions yet again) it is about 1.30 am. She is tall and slim with dark hair [apparently she was blonde, though that's not how I remember her] and glasses and the sort of shoes only ever worn by people who are on their feet all day. She sends us back into reception to wait for a doctor to call us. We sit...

The wait is interminable, and I bide my time by staring at the red splashes of vomit on my shoes and the ends of my jeans. Red buys me a bottle of water from the 24-hour kiosk (after being told it's now okay for me to drink), but it's too cold to drink more than a tiny sip. I also make several trips to the bathroom, which is conveniently very nearby. I'm sure you'll be pleased to know I also have the sense not to get down on my hands and knees in such an unclean environment. (For all the cleaning that goes on there, basic problems like blood on the armrest of chairs still exist.) Fortunately, I don't need to kneel anyway, for now my body wants to emit from its other end. I use the toilet with embarrassing frequency, every time shitting through the eye of a needle.

While on one of my bathroom visits, I moisten some hand towels to dab on my face and neck to keep me awake. I'm exhausted from wanting to sleep as well as from the energy used thus far into the evening.

People come and go: an old woman in a wheelchair with an obviously very painful leg; a young lad holding a white towel to his eyes and with damp marks on the knees of his grey sweatpants; a woman with a massive black eye, accompanied by her man. I also see a girl who works in our local convenience store. She walks past two or three times, and later I see that it seems she is there with a few family members.

2.30 am Monday morning
The wife goes to the bathroom and I see someone who has been waiting longer than us approach the reception counter. She asks how much longer she will have to wait. This doesn't bode well. She's told she's the next to be called, but I have no idea how long after her we came in. On Red's return I ask her to find out. "There are three more before you," she's told. "The person at the top of the list has been waiting two and a half hours." From that we deduce that it'll probably be another 45 minutes or so before we get seen.

Conversation is limited. Red and I are both exhausted. She'd not slept well the night before so was hoping to catch up Sunday night. Oops. I continue my regular bathroom trips while we wait and wait. And we people-watch and discuss what we see under our breath and mostly in Italian, so as to avoid being caught out. But we didn't bitch too much; that would be rude.

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Blogger cappy said...

holy fucking shit!
you see, this is why i need to come visit every day!!!

hope you are well, what was it, do you know yet?

01 August, 2007 11:55  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

When my son was 3 he went through this, he ended up getting admitted and needed fluids for dehydration. Poor kid took forever to stop running at both ends. At least he could lay in my lap and snooze between bouts.

Poor thing, you and Red must have been ready to just go home.

Here, when an ambulance brings you to the ER, you get quicker service. Its also at $500 for that service. And another $500 just to be seen at the hospital, never mind tests.

01 August, 2007 12:53  
Blogger Milla said...

Oh I so feel for you *Aste! Really. And for Red.
I emailed these posts to Zorro and he said I was exactely like you -so he must have been as worried as Red, but in those moments I didn't realise it.

I am glad though that the two times it happened to me I never ever wanted to be taken to hospital. I said to Zorro I'd rather die of natural death then go to our local hospital.
ah ah I was at home and I thought I was on a pirate ship!

Can I ask you one thing? When you came around after you fainted, did you have a song in your mind? I will always remember that I had Polly Harvey's 'Down by the Water'.

Sorry for the long comment.

01 August, 2007 13:20  
Blogger Tanya said...

Crikey! NHS. Arse. Hope you are feeling better now and that you will reveal the rest of your tale..

01 August, 2007 15:05  
Blogger Martha Elaine Belden said...

wow asterisk! this reeks too strongly of my february experience... i'm SO sorry you had to go through this! i certainly hope you're feeling a million times better now... do we get to find out the end?

what did you have, how long did you wait, etc?

01 August, 2007 15:50  
Blogger Wandering Coyote said...

We'd be waiting way longer here in Canada. And...blood on the arm rests? Really? God.

01 August, 2007 16:07  
Blogger Biddie said...

Yup, here in Canada, we would be waiting a LONG time. Eight hours is nothing. Mind you, I have never found blood on the arm rests....
I fell asleep in my daughters breakfast tray once after we had been at the hospital all night. Woke up with oatmeal in my hair and a couple of punk rockers laughing at me.
Good times.....

01 August, 2007 16:41  
Blogger Candy Minx said...

Let me guess...

you're prgnant!!!!

The first male preggers!!!!

Sure glad you are able to joke and type...all good signs...hope your front door is okay...

01 August, 2007 17:43  
Blogger Milla said...


Ahhhhhhhhhhhhhh candy minx, you made me laugh out so loud!

01 August, 2007 19:56  

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