Monday, October 1, 2012
Excerpt from My Memoir: Return to the Emergency Room, Part Two
12:00 p.m. An entourage of Neurologists appeared at my bedside. There were so many that I couldn’t count them all; they took up half the room. Included with the pack: the man I had seen earlier and another woman who had treated me in August. She commented that she was glad to see me making such a great recovery. The last time she saw me I had been unable to talk. This was absolutely what I needed to hear right now. The head of the pack was Dr. Cho, who inquired if anyone had spoken to me about Botox injections in my legs. I said I’d prefer it on my eyes, like a normal person. She then uttered the most beautiful words in the world: “You can go home; all the tests came back normal.” It was music to my ears. I love my apartment and will do whatever is necessary to remain there. I couldn’t help flashing back to when POD gave away my apartment. I will not let that happen. Ever again. After checking my insurance, Dr. Cho said she will be seeking pre-approval for the injections from Oxford. Good luck with that! I’ll be lucky if they approve this emergency room visit and the ambulance. They have previously declined some of my emergency room visits and ambulance trips, claiming it was not an emergency. They sent a questionnaire to my physical and occupational therapists which contained the queen mother of all time stupid questions: “How is your health?” If there is a hall of fame for stupid questions, Oxford is leading the pack. F*cking Oxford. I’m going to ask Dr. Greenwald about the Botox injections when I see him on Wednesday. *************************************************************************** 1:00 p.m. I still had not peed. I had to have a catheter inserted. Guess who had to do it. “Are you sure you can’t walk to the bathroom?” “Had you bothered to glance at my chart, you’d know the answer to that brilliant question.” “You said you could walk to the bathroom at home.” “I’m not at home. The nearest bathroom is miles away. My bathroom at home is within inches of my wheelchair. Besides, I need my cane. I was too busy being rushed to the hospital to bring it.” “I can give you a cane.” “I’d need a quad cane. If I was able to walk, which I’m not.” “I don’t have a quad cane.” “I’m here because my entire right side is as useless as this conversation. I can’t move my entire right side. How am I supposed to walk? Where did you graduate from charm school? Are you really a nurse?” After two very painful attempts, the catheter was finally inserted. She complained that it was too dark. I almost said, “It’s your mood that’s too dark.” But I stopped myself, considering what she was doing. I was already in pain. My hoo-hah hurt for hours after the catheter was removed. I’m lucky she didn’t castrate me. 1:15 p.m. The attending doctor came around to speak to me. I told her that I’d already seen the neurologists who said I was being discharged. She prepared the paperwork. She said they would arrange an ambulette for my trip home. I decided to wait until Clara, my home health aide, arrived. I had told her to stop at my apartment, pick up my wheelchair, and call the car service. I guess I didn’t make myself clear enough. You try to be clear at 4:30 in the morning, calling from the emergency room. I guess it’s impossible. I was very glad to see Clara. She’s the first person I called. She’s the one person on whom I can depend. Clara arrived, sans wheelchair and car service. I had to rely on the ambulette. My favorite nurse from Hell returned to cross examine me. “Didn’t you cancel the transportation?” “My plans changed. I don’t owe you an explanation. Just make the arrangements so I can get the heck out of here. Am I going home with the i.v. in my arm?” Of course, she forgot to remove the i.v. ************************************************************************* 3:30 p.m. The ambulette finally arrived. There’s nothing like waiting two hours for a ride that takes less than fifteen minutes. Thank heavens Clara was there to quiet me down; they probably would have thrown me out of the emergency room for my abominable behavior. Or arrested me for murdering Cruella (I could have successfully used justifiable homicide as a defense. For the record, that was a joke. Having to spend thirteen hours in the emergency room was as close to prison as I intend to get.) Not that I didn’t misbehave, or give them anything they didn’t deserve. My behavior would have been much worse if Clara hadn’t been there. It was comforting to have someone there to care about me; to put my pants back on; to put my leg brace back properly. 4:10 p.m. Arrived home. I would have kissed the ground if I had been able to do so. Clara put me in the shower because I’d peed myself. She was late for work. I gave her extra money this week because of her generosity of spirit. I’d have given her more, if I had it to give. Some nurses are only in it for the money. They might think that they are fooling people, but they’re not. These people should be fired; they should screen them out before they admit them into nursing school. Cruella is a shining example of this type of individual. I hope she has to go to the emergency room and is treated by the mirror image of herself. Karma is a bitch. Clara is the exact opposite; she is the nurse you are lucky to get. She actually likes to help people. She’s kind, competent and personable. She truly cares. I bless the day I met her. I hope to make her a part of my life forever. 6:00 p.m. Fell asleep in wheelchair until 2:00 a.m. When I got into bed, I thanked God for letting me go home. Looking back on the experience, I learned that it’s better to be unconscious in the emergency room. I’m reminded of the old joke about people who don’t have very long to live: they should do something that bores them to tears so they’ll feel like they have more time. My time in emergency seemed like a lifetime. That thirteen hours seemed like thirteen centuries; it was as though time had stopped. I never want to go through that experience again. On the other hand, it provided a gold mine of material. Maybe someday soon, I’ll laugh (after my butt heals. . .it’s Saturday and it’s still sore).