Friday, May 04, 2012

Dispatches from the Welland County General Hospital

This Experience Definitely Wasn’t on the Bucket List

This is new. It’s a good thing I am almost lying down because I know with perfect clarity that I am about to lose consciousness. My head is swimming and worsening at a fantastic rate. I will be out cold in several seconds. I know it. I also know that I will vomit at the same time and crap myself too. It’s all coming at once. A nurse is walking my way.

“I’m about to pass out, puke and crap myself,” I say at the watery swirling image of the nurse and the choppy sea of counters and gadgets that had so recently been a solid emergency department. “Sorry in advance for the mess.”

Four people, some from the white tribe and some from the green tribe suddenly fill the room. They must have all jumped out of her pockets. They bring poles and bags of liquid and lots of jabby things. They jab me with their stay-with-us-now medicine.

It seems miraculous that I manage to cling to semi-consciousness while they go about their jabbing party. It’s a race to see who can find the first artery this fat bag of shit is hiding beneath his skin.

The balding midget seems to wish to demonstrate that he is actually Teh Big Guy; the Presiding Doctor and not some gnome from Alice’s Wonderland. He does this by barking at everyone else for not playing the jabby race by the rules. “Who jabbed him here and then gave up!” he says. “Look, it’s bleeding now!”

People make mistakes, I try to offer but it comes out more like “Bebo maghfdter” so I give up on the whole talking thing for a while.

How Low Can You Go?

They take my blood pressure of course and it is 91 over something. Between the medical clinic, the ambulance people and the hospital they have now taken it about seven times and the numbers keep getting lower and lower. This was fun while I was approaching normalcy for the first time in years but less fun as I descended below it. Being a genius, I surmise that somewhere there is a bottom threshold below which lies the domain of the non-living.

There is now just Dr. Slickmidget and Nurse Sheila attending me. I ask Dr. Slickmidget about my falling blood pressure. “If it gets too low,” I say, “Is there some kind of short-term fix?”

“Yes!” he says. “You go to a hospital!” And then he marches away.

I deliberately take in the view then whisper to Sheila, “What is this place?” (She gives me an evil eye.) “I thought it was a hospital.” (She succumbs to an unwilling grin.) “Is he always so cranky to everyone?”

“I don’t know!” she says in a voice intended to scold.

“Sorry,” I say. “That wasn’t a fair question.”

It Goes WHERE?

“Fuck!” yells the guy in Resuscitation 2. I’m right on the other side of the curtain in Resuscitation 1. “Oh fuck!”

“Try to relax,” says a female; a nurse I‘m guessing. Not because she’s female but because doctors save the fun jobs for themselves and not ones that sound like this.

“Oh fuck oh fuck oh fuck!” he retorts sagely.

“It’s just a catheter. Relax.”


“It’s just a catheter Daniel! You need to relax!”

“Fuck, Oh FUUUUUCK!”

I Know When I’m Not Invited

Dr. Mumbles mercifully withdraws and stands staring at the black tar that streaks his gloved finger. He looks around the room as if searching for someone to show it to. Finally he deposits the glove in a receptacle and moments later Dr. Beanstick arrives. Dr. Beanstick looks like Jack Skellington from Nightmare Before Christmas but ever so slightly less creepy, or slightly more so depending on your point of view. They consult quietly. It sounds like Dr. Mumbles is summarizing my history and getting a few things almost right. I don't interject though. They're hushed for a reason I presume.

Dr. Beanstick leaves and Dr. Mumbles mumbles to me that I will be spending the night in an observation ward and tomorrow I will be sedated and scoped.

“Um… There’s no… catheter… in my near future, is there?”

“No,” he mumbles. “Not likely at all.”

Good. I am comforted. Doctors never lie.

“Stuffs” is the Extra-Plural of “Stuff.” I’m Rebuilding the Language, People.

Dr. Slickmidget was tottering by when he hears my R2 unit beeping and wanders in to poke his buttons.

“Hey!” says Nurse Sandy, marching up behind him. “Get your fingers off of my machine!” She is smiling playfully though. Dr. Slickmidget throws up his hands and departs while Nurse Sandy attends the droid who handles my I.V. stuffs.

“I have a few places I want their fingers away from too, you know.”

Nurse Sandy laughs uproariously. “I bet you do!”

The droid finally stops beeping and Nurse Sandy leaves with a parting glance at me. She’s laughing again.  “Yeah, I bet you do.”

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