Koontz and Emergency Rooms

I think that authors of creepy books, like Dean Koontz, spend time in Emergency Rooms. Besides nearly being fiendish with torture devices designed to help you, the people are pretty weird too. Everyone in the emergency room is sick or injured–including the doctors, nurses, and staff–I mean that in the “You don’t have to be crazy to work here, but it helps” kind of way.

When I was admitted to the Emergency room after my accident, I was strapped to a gurney and had a neck brace on–this meant I couldn’t go anywhere or look anywhere. That’s a weird feeling–they parked the gurney out of the way; leaving me to feel very much like a delivery of TP that someone would take care of later. From thereI went to a wheelchair–which was designed to only be movable by someone NOT in it. Again limiting my field of view to whatever happened to be infront of me and mobility to next to nothing.

Speaking of that wheelchair, it does have a flaw, by reaching behind oneself and disengaging the brake and reaching around oneself one can pull oneself along the furniture–a feat I marvelled at by some fellow scarfing ice on my second trip to the Emergency Room.  Did I mention how ODD people are in the Emergency Room?

Anyway, after having my blood pressure taken again and telling the story again–Remember in any bureaucracy everything is done in duplicate or triplicate–Or were they checking my cognitive skills in remembering the details of the accident? Hmmm. Sneaky doctors and nurses.  So anyway, my brother showed up and we had to make the call I dreaded–calling mom and telling her I had been in a car accident. I love my mom, but I hate thinking that I’m gonna worry her and a call that starts with “Well, I was in a car accident” would worry her. So we called dad.  Which was cheap of us I know, but  I’d just been in an accident–NOT a brave time of life.

After assuring both of my folks that they didn’t need to come down to the hospital, I waited. and waited..etc. This could be a boring blog, but that would be dull. So, ever notice that the emergency room is full of sick and injured people. I know, duh, right? It does make for interesting people watching.

After a bit, I was shown back to an examination room–more blood pressure and repeating my story. Did I mention I was in a neck brace. Imagine a piece of hard plastic that grinds against your chin and ears if you move your neck–or if you don’t. That’s a neck brace. I think my ears by this point must have been turning red. I got to lay on a bed, but in a neck brace that is almost worse. My brother and I have a good sense of humor. Which is nice–it really takes the edge off to have someone joke around with. Then finally, the doctor showed up.

Again with the blood pressure and repeating the story. Esh, Doctors, I’m sane, or at least no less sane than normal. At least I thought so, my brother said I was blabbering–maybe I should tell the story again.

Finally, I get a CT scan–Which means a cat scan–why they don’t call it a cat scan I don’t know. So, they run me through a giant plastic donut, and I watch as a the weird lights inside spin around my neck. Fun, fun.

This is when the story gets WAY too much like a Dean Koontz story. I get put in a recover section–which is half-a-dozen recliners not really separated by curtains. Two ladies and their husbands are in two of them. On the other side of me, is a Mexican fellow that has dozed off while hugging his work boot. So in this dimly lit corridor, the ladies and husbands are talking about how they swiped extra medical gowns for modesty, while the Mexican fellow is talking in his sleep about when he has to go work the next day. Add to this that the recliners adjust with all the subtlety of a ragging water buffalo. You put the feet up on those things and it will slam around with a tender sweetness that will likely put you in traction. All it needed to be straight out of a novel was some fellow who innocently drops a note and says something like, “The bugles are blooming in spring.”   

Eventually, for no reason I could see, I was moved back to an examining room, and after another wait, told I was fine. I got to take OFF that neck brace. And after an idle threat to burn it, I went to my brothers house and devoured a cheeseburger. Ahh, cheeseburgers.

I had to go back to the emergency room later though. A weird nerve spasm caused my right arm, cheek, teeth, and tongue to be numb and tingly. (Did you know that your tongue as a right and left nerve side?) Have that happen randomly in your day and you’ll wonder what is going on in your body. After another wait in the waiting room, where I saw the determined ice muncher move the impossible to move wheelchair. I was back in through the half-dozen blood pressure checks and was about to check out.

A fellow was there eating graham crackers. He looked awful–but that’s normal–you don’t go to the emergency room when your feeling fine. He looked early twenties with a hood on. Then he started throwing chunks of graham cracker around. -Ah, just when you think it’s sane to go back to the waiting room. His mom was there, thankfully, and she told him to stop it. Then while she’s cleaning up, the Cracker chucker gets up and leans over to tell me some sort of secret. Cue the creepy music! Of course, if this was a novel, the message would be something like, “It’s in the water.” I don’t know. I held him back far enough that he didn’t get a chance to spew cracker crumbs in my ear.

God has a sense of humor. Look at all the interesting people that He made. You can check ’em out at the zoo, Wal-mart, or, if you sick or injured, the emergency room.

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