Tuesday, June 26, 2007

Sicko vs. The Mad Russian

I'm not talking about the Micheal Moore movie, I'm talking about my own very minor foray into the health care system of the US. First I'll say that my experience is about as minimal as anyone could hope for, I've been in a hospital as a patient a grand total of three times in my life and I'm including when I was born. Once years ago I had to go because I had sorta crushed my finger, they had to remove the finger nail. Ouch. Oh and thats the day I found out that Novocaine doesn't work on me. Lets just say ouch is a slight understatement and leave it at that. By comparison yesterday was a breeze. My injury was pretty minor. I just had this huge bruise on my arm that was a bit swollen, the injury happened on friday, and it was fine till monday when it started getting darker and then it became apparent just how big a bruise it was. I showed it to a few of the RN's I work with and they seemed fairly concerned. They all said that it might be a fracture but they couldn't be sure without an x-ray. So after a great deal of uncertainty because no one wanted to say, yes you should go to the hospital, or no you shouldn't I decided to get it checked out. I was smart enough to run home and grab a book first, definitely a good idea. So I walk into the hospital at about 5. I start reading "The Idiot" by Dostoevsky, mind you a busy hospital waiting room with an annoying TV on is hardly an ideal reading environment but I was really getting hooked by the time it was my turn to get an x-ray, at just after 8 o'clock. Yeah 3 hours in the waiting room, spent an hour listening to some young lady bitch about not being able to go and have a cigarette even though she was in BSU by choice. And for those without friends in the criminal element BSU is Behavioral Science Unit, which is generally suicidal people or people with addictions, or both. Er, maybe addictions is separate I can't remember. I did find it a bit ammusing how she was so upset that it was taking too long for them to admit her and how she was bored, I'm not sure what she expected to entertain her once she got in.
So finally the do an X-ray on my arm, then I go back and sit for a while. Eventually someone comes in and tells me that they don't see a fracture wrap an ace bandage around my arm stick me with a tetanus shot and send me on my way, at 8:45. Actually that last woman took notice of the book I was reading, although she only said Russian Literature, I'm guessing she can't say his name either, and asked if I was in school. I said no, to which she replied reading that for fun? Impressive. Its a good book I'm not sure what is impressive about reading it, sadly the most impressive part at all is probably the fact that a twenty something was reading at all. Which actually makes me think of BSU girl, she was so bored and was trying to think of something someone could bring her to entertain her, she mentioned magazines and a few other things but never mentioned books. It makes me sad how few people my own age can appreciate a really good book, or even a crappy Dan Brown book.

Now I'm glad that my arm isn't broken but after almost 4 hours I at least would have felt like I wasn't wasting my time. Eh, I got to read part one of a good book, got to see why people bitch about hospitals. Only down side was that by the time I got home I was hungry and had no ambition to go do laundry which means I'm not sitting here in long sleeves and pants instead of shorts and short sleeves and sandals on whats going to be a bit of a scorcher, 93 and high humidity. As I sat in my chair surrounded by unhappy people some of whom were trying to take it out on some member of the staff or more often on whoever was sitting with them I felt a little like Prince Myshkin, being content and courteous, and telling the absolute truth when probed about how I receive my injury I told them in honesty, with a little laughter, I'm not quite sure, I was a bit drunk on Friday and on Saturday my arm was bruised. So did no really gain valuable incite into our health care system? No not in the least, oh well.

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