My husband says to me, please go to the doctor. Ack, doctor schmocktor I hate the stupid doctor, plus it costs me 250 dollars every time I set foot in an ER, but my husband insists. Since I am feeling woozy, he drives me to the ER. We fumble around the parking lot looking for a space and I am still clutching the bloody rag to my head, I am sure I look dazzling, I know I feel like total crap. We walk into the hospital and the sterile smell of cleaner hits me like a brick wall. I hate that smell. I look around at all the coughing wheezing people and just pray I don’t catch some bizarre disease from their hacking and wheezing. I hate the ER aside from being uber expensive, its so, well germy. I settle into the barf green pleather chair (gee, I wonder why its THAT color) and grab a germ infested magazine from the rack. I flip through the mutilated mag that someone had already gotten to with the scissors, cutting out the coupons or whatever people clip out of magazines these days. I flip through and look at the outdated recipes from two Aprils ago. My husband is snoring loudly next to me, I poke him and he grumbles something about having to get up so early and goes back to sleep. I shake my head and continue to flip through the mag. I glance up, hearing a man clear his throat and he asks if the seat next to me is taken. He looks like he is wearing a hospital gown of sorts and I think oh great he is going to infect me with whatever contagious disease he has. I shake my head no and glance down at the magazine trying to look interesting in a how to make a spring salad, although its winter and I hate cooking. The man settles in next to me. I busy myself trying to avoid staring and the weird man next to me. He says excuse me madam, but could I trouble you a moment? I sigh and kind of roll my eyes at him and finally concede to a conversation. Sure no prob, how can I help you. All the while I was praying that he didn’t need help with his catheter or something equally as gross. Well, he started, clearing his throat. Your grandma said she is sorry she didn’t get a chance to clean up her mess in the kitchen and she…..WHOA I say, excuse me? Wha? Uhm sir, Im sorry but I think you have me mistaken for someone else. My grandparents are all dead. He looks at me with his brown eyes sparkling, I think I see a resemblance to one of my art teachers who originally came from Greece. No, miss, I am sure I have the right person. I just wanted to ask you a few questions. I know you have been really depressed lately and…
Wait sir, who do you think you are anyway, I could feel myself getting really angry with him. Who did he think he was? He looked like a psych ward escapee or a nursing home patient. You don’t know me…I was seething.
He said, well actually I do know you. I have been thinking about you a lot lately and I wanted your opinion on a few things. Like for example, reality…what is that anyway? Is it subjective, objective? A subjective response to an objective reality? Who defines it? Are we really here? Or is it an illusion? The man winks at me. I start to feel dizzy again and my husband nudges me. Hey hon, I think you are bleeding again. I reach up and feel my forehead and sure enough the blood was trickling down my forehead. I pressed my cloth closer to my head and turned back to the old man and there was noone there. I heard the nurse call my name and wave her clipboard at me. I shook my head and got up to follow her. Weird. I tried to brush off the dizzy feeling as I made my way to the little curtained room. The green and orange curtains looked like the 70’s threw up and forgot to clean up its mess. Ew…I took a deep breath full of cleaning solution tainted air and sat down in the little room. The nurse tried to make small talk as she took my blood pressure. I mostly tried to ignore her and concentrate on my head not feeling like it was going to explode. She poked me with a needle mumbling something about standard procedure and then jotted some notes down on her clipboard and left the room.
I sat there staring through the curtains watching sick people and hospital staff shuffle by. I see a man dragging a IV pole behind him and a woman walk by trying to comfort a screaming child who was clutching his arm. It took forever but finally a doctor shows up wearing his arrogance light a brightly colored flag. So Mrs uhm..ha.., (I think, he cant even get my name right, great…this is going to be a long visit) I stare at him for a second and all of a sudden get so overwhelmed. I can still hear the little boy screaming in the room next to me. The air seems more stale the odors seem stronger and infiltrate my senses. I feel sick. My head is pounding, Im dizzy. The doctor stares at me like I am not even there. He glances at his watch and I can tell he is more interested in making his Tee time than if I died right there in front of him. I start to cry. Big hot tears flow freely down my cheeks. I uh, I uh (I gasp for words and cant think, cant focus). The nurse walks in and looks at me with something that resembles pity. The doctor glares at her with disdain. Oh great he sighs. Mrs hoostinneerno… (I feel like I am going to vomit, at least it will match the décor, I think sarcastically). Are you having problems at home? He says with a disapproving stare, I feel like I am a bad little girl getting chastised for spilling something orr hitting my little brother. What? I say incredulously, wondering if this is for real or if there are hidden cameras here or something. Waa? No I fell I think. I am dizzy and I fell. (I am certainly not going to tell him about my dead grandmother washing dishes or my dead grandfather practically forcing me to eat a banana.) No I just …the doctor interrupts my idiotic blathering and looks at me with what I perceive as annoyance. Well, says Doc Arrogance, There are programs for abused women. (ok now I am irritated) ia m NOT abused…then I cry some more. The doc gets up and tells the nurse to write up a script for vicodin. (vicodin? I didn’t realize that is what they are prescribing for “abused” women these days). He dismisses me and the nurse shuffles me towards the exit and shoves a vicodin script into my hands. I glance at the rx and notice that it says in teeny tiny print “if your vision changes in the next 24 hours, be sure to come directly back to the ER”. I shove the rx in my pocket with the full knowledge I wont be filling it. I go through the checkout and pony up my 250 dollars and went to collect my husband from the waiting area.