Being in a hospital or emergency waiting room pretty much blows. If you are the patient, you are usually in pain, scared, and shaking. The shaking is mostly likely because the temperature is set at ten degrees minus anywhere in Russia. Also you have to wait. Forever. Remember Rip Van Winkle? I’m pretty sure he fell asleep in the ER, just waiting to be seen.
While clearly paling in comparison, it also no picnic for the caregiver. You too are worried, scared, and ill-prepared; armed only with a phone at thirty per cent juice, a half-eaten granola bar, and a waning bottle of Purell.
So there is people watching.
The sub-culture of the ER waiting room is fascinating. When I had to take my husband to the emergency room, I could not get over the happenings in the waiting area.
Some people were really sick and hurting – like my husband. It broke my heart to see others suffering, when there was really nothing I could do. Except nag the front desk personnel and refill my cup of crushed ice.
Then there were some people who looked like they meant to go to Chili’s for dinner, discovered they were out of the baby back ribs, and so figured the hospital was the next best thing.
One woman was all dolled up in makeup and a matching hot pink velour track suit. She had her husband/boyfriend/man servant carry her white Gucci handbag while they trotted around the waiting room. Another woman worked happily on her laptop and phone, brought dinner, and ran into some old friends of hers, also waiting in the ER. What??
It was all I could to do to stop myself from slipping the triage nurse a $10 (it was all I had) to find out why fancy soft pants and “oops, this isn’t my office” were there.
Here’s a thought: If you can smile, work, and relax in the Emergency Room, then perhaps “it” can wait until the morning.
Once we actually got a room, I entertained myself with some bad television. Here were my viewing choices:
1) Bethany – I can’t even. I have never seen this show, but after watching it I needed a penicillin shot. (No offense to her Skinny Girl wine, which I will gladly drink.)
2) Easy Yoga – I fell asleep watching this. It was too easy. I don’t take yoga, but I’ve seen more movement in the Silver Sneakers class at the Y.
3) Have a Turkey Neck? – Honest to God this was the name of an infomercial show. The cream looked like a pretty good thing, but the title made me crave mashed potatoes.
4) Brazilian Butt Lift – I tried to glean all I could, but my husband made she shut it off because of the noise…and the before and after photos. Buzz kill.
5) World’s Best Blender – Amazing! Apparently this blender can actually cure diabetes and the obesity problem in America. So much chopped asparagus. Also, I will never use this thing.
The emergency room and the reason for being there were pretty scary things. I was more than happy to have these slightly lame distractions.
I would, however, like to give all of the doctors, nurses, radiologists, anesthesiologists, phlebotomists, technicians, and staff a round of applause. They have to deal with so much on a daily basis. They are patient, knowledgeable, and kind. I honestly can’t say that about myself on a day to day basis.
But mostly, I’d like to give them all some premium cable channels.
Oh, and a penicillin shot.