Why I Love Visiting the Emergency Room

[Disclaimer: Adult content. Do not attempt anything mentioned here. You’ll only get arrested,]

Do you have a reservation, sir?

I almost had to visit the ER visit last week due to stomach problems. I hate going to the ER so much, I gutted it out, pun intended.

Here are my favorite things about the ER:

I’m really here to rob you. I must be the only one who enters with a mask on. That’s the look I get from admissions, to the nurse who takes my vitals, to the first doctor I see two hours later. And to tell you the truth, I’ve never see anyone else show up with a mask on. No wonder they’re afraid of me. “Everyone raise your hands. This is a robbery. Toss your pulseox, heart monitor, and X-ray machine on this dolly. I can do all of this at home, people.”

Not like it was years ago, honey.

For VIP service. Look, let’s face it, the ER isn’t the Brown Derby. There’s no tipping the nurses to get served faster. But there are a couple of methods to reduce your exile in waiting room hell. First, always mention your chest and heart. I don’t care if you only broke your toe, say: “I’m having chest pains and can’t breathe. Oh, and by the way, could you X-ray this swollen toe while I’m here?” Second, if you’re coughing up blood, don’t be shy about it. Either bring a white towel with CSI blood evidence all over it or let a good cough splatter hit your shirt like you’re a drunk. They’ll take you right to your table. Don’t forget to tip.

CF is slang for Genetic Lotto Winner. Oh, how I love to hear, “you’re really lucky” referring to how long I’ve lived with CF. Yeah, I’d agree with you most days, but I’m not feeling so lucky right now with this collapsed lung and upcoming week “tubed” to a plastic suction box. Or, I’m not really connecting coughing up blood and luck, doc? Does the first person tonight with hemoptysis win a chicken dinner or something?” Then I’d feel lucky. Winner, winner, chicken dinner.

Appearing at Midnight, the Unknown Cystic

There’s a reason they put walls around toilets. Lying on a gurney for four hours in the hallway with staff members discussing my medical history is the equivalent of sitting on a toilet taking a dump in the middle of a mall – the same number of people walk by staring at you. That’s how much I hate the lack of privacy. “Where’s the damn toilet paper? Hey, you, buddy, standing by Victoria’s Secret. Toss me that catalog.” Welcome to my nightmare.

Shake this. I’m wearing a mask. I have cystic fibrosis. And you want to shake my hand, doctor? Please, why don’t you just let me lick your palm like your black lab does after you’ve eaten a slab of BBQ ribs. Better yet, after you’ve wiped it on every other patient and the floor. Just for kicks, how about giving me something I didn’t come in for – like the “hoof and ass” rash the guy in stall four has. In a fake British accent, Thank you, sir, may I have another, please.

What happens in the ER . . .

We’re on Las Vegas time. Just like Vegas casinos, time doesn’t exist in an ER. Gamble as long you like. In fact, ERs could learn something from Vegas. First, cocktail waitresses with real cocktails would be great. And blackjack tables would be a nice time-killer. For once I wouldn’t mind the two-hour minimum to see a doctor. I’d say, “not right now, doc, I’m down five hundred and Dealer Mikey here just gave me a colonoscopy when he drew a blackjack to my 20. On your way out, doc, let Nurse Ratched know I need another Martini. Shaken, not stirred. Thanks, doc.”

Be well.


6 thoughts on “Why I Love Visiting the Emergency Room

  1. p.s. do you know graysmoke? indeed, a celebration of life- but that doesn’t mean we can’t find comedy in the life experiences we endure. There is room for both- in fact, I think laughing is one of the best ways to celebrate life!

  2. Graysmoke,

    Thanks for the repeat visit. I respect all comments here, but I had to edit yours because the situation you described is not relevant to my post or my experience with ERs. My experiences at the ER haven’t been pleasant. And, I’m in a very positive mood. Writing that post made me feel even better after the six to eight hour visits I’ve had to endure. A little humor to fight the pain, suffering and embarrassment of having cf at the ER.


  3. OMG I just read this post and (sorry) laughed all the way through. Though I cannot imagine spending as many years as you have in emergency rooms, I have had a little insight with my son who has CLD. We took him to the chidlren’s hospital at 1am one morning with a terribly low pulse ox, raging fever and he was listless. We waited until 6:30am to see a doctor!! (They had ‘a shortage’) I was LIVID.

    Turns out, he had a collapsed lung and pneumonia… and of course I was even angrier that they made a 5 year old wait with that serious an illness – while the uninsured kids with ear infections and sore throats ran around us screaming in the waiting room (their parents told me they come at that hour for the free service because ‘the wait isn’t as long’ – no disrespect to them, its the system that is broken) and got in ahead of us (“sorry madam, first come first served, unless its an emergency”).

    I wish I had read your post before then, I would have covered him in food coloring and mentioned his weak heart, you know, instead of his life long serious lung disorder, that didn’t seem to matter….

    • Karyn,

      How are you not doing the post a day? I know I wrote that earlier.

      Reading the story of your son in the ER, I want to fly to AUS and f’ing beat everyone in the ER who let him sit there for that long. I’m serious. That kind of story chaps my ass.

      I know it happened years ago, but I’m sending the best CA vibes to him to feel good and stay healthy every day of his life. And to never go to an ER again with pneumonia and a pneumothorax – anything.


      • Ahhh UC, I hate to break this to you, but this little gem of good care happened in a hospital in Texas. Over here with our ‘socialist’ healthcare (as some of my Aermican friends tell me it is) people go to doctors for free, so theres no need to drag your not-seriously-ill-kids there in the middle of the night. They can attend in daylight hours and leave the ER for those that need it. That said, I’m sure there are issues with our system too, bit so far 1 year in with a kid with lung issues, I have no complaints.

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