This week hasn’t been what one would call the best week ever. I watched Rose’s last episode on Doctor Who which made me feel empty inside. Boyfriend tells me I will like the new companion but so far the only cool thing she has done was quote Harry Potter, and I mean yeah that’s a good laugh but you have to try harder than that, New Companion Who Shall Not Be Named. There’s just no way you can be as awesome as Rose. Nope. Never. Oh yeah, I also fell and beat the crap out of myself.
So there I am, head all banged up and wrist all destroyed, ready to go to work. But then Boyfriend does that thing where he guilts me into going to the hospital. Because my idea of a fun day is definitely sitting in that god forsaken emergency room again. If you didn’t read that last sentence with an air of sarcasm, please go back and read it appropriately this time. Suddenly the idea of watching David Tenant frolicking around with this new Rebound Companion doesn’t seem that bad. I’d take back all of those eye rolls and audible sighs while watching Rebound Companion run around in her burgundy leather jacket trying to get the Doctor to bang her. I’d take it all back if it meant not having to spend one more wretched day at that decrepit hospital.
But of course I am not a Time Lord so I can’t do that. I must suffer the fate that is the Newfoundland health care system.
So I call the cab and this time when the cab driver asks me why I’m going to the hospital I tell him I’m visiting someone, which I’m sure he doesn’t believe because I’m nursing my arm and then using my teeth to unzip my pocket to get my money out. But I act as if that’s a normal way to get money out of your pocket and then I go through the main entrance because that’s a normal thing to do when you’re visiting someone in the hospital and when the cab driver drives away I slip back outside and enter the emergency department doors. I’m so stealthy I could be on Alias!
Barely a soul waiting inside. Jackpot!
We all know the drill by now. I check in, make an awkward joke, awkwardly laugh alone at my own joke, sit down and wait.
This time I am sitting next to a man who must have smoked 3 packs of cigarettes outside before coming in, or maybe works on a tobacco farm even though I don’t think Newfoundland provides the proper climate for such a thing. I put my sweater up around my mouth and nose in that annoying “I can’t believe you smell like cigarette smoke I am so much better than you” way. On my other side is a woman, mid 40′s, low waisted, so-tight-they-must-be-painted-on skinny jeans, reading a Twilight book. She keeps sighing really loud and I can’t tell if it’s from pain, boredom or the fact that she’s reading a Twilight book. Then she starts turning towards me like she’s trying to get my attention. I think she wants to talk to me. I think she wants to tell me why she’s at the hospital. I play the scenario out in my head to figure out which non-English language I should pretend that I speak. But just incase she is trilingual and catches me in the lie, I instead choose to start hitting buttons on my phone to make it look like I am doing something very important, way more important than finding out about her life. I’m really just playing Bejeweled Blitz, but what she doesn’t know won’t hurt her. She keeps sighing and turning to me and I keep burying my head further in my iphone. I only come up for air every five minutes or so to look at my reflection in the window. I’m having a good hair day.
Apparently when you tell a nurse that you fell and hurt your head but you know you don’t have a concussion and that you also hurt your wrist but you can almost 100% guarantee that it isn’t broken, you aren’t very high on the priority list at the emergency department. There are five patients waiting to be seen and each one is being called in before me. As each name is called the hatred within me grows tenfold. Why do they get to go to the Eden behind those automatic sliding doors before me? I curse their names. They have won this time! I think to myself.
And I’m so bored that I begin to formulate a theory in my head while playing Bejeweled Blitz. I call it “Like Lord of the Flies but for Hospitals and not Islands.” I start thinking about that unspoken hierarchy that exists only in an emergency room, how backwards life is beyond these double doors marked ER. When you’re sitting there with internal bleeding waiting to be seen by a doctor and someone comes in with a cold or a sprained thumb or something equally wussy, you secretly feel superior to them, knowing you will be seen before them. It’s like you are winning some sort of competition. In regular society you would consider the fact that you are bleeding internally to be somewhat of a downfall, but the rules of society crumble away when you’re sitting in the emergency department (the rules of society crumbling part is the only thing that makes this anything like Lord of the Flies). The man-made construct of time slips from your mental grasp, the idea of helping your neighbour loses out to your desire to be seen by a damn doctor already. In that rare instance when the triage nurse assesses you and immediately takes you behind the magical automatic sliding doors without you having to wait for your name to be called you just feel like King of the Castle. You just want to rub it in the faces of every flu-riddled person sitting there who will be waiting another eight hours for their antibiotics. YOU HAVE WON THIS ROUND!
Then that leads me to think about how walk in clinics are great because sometimes you just can’t get in to see your family doctor for seven months and you don’t want to go to the emergency department because it’s not an emergency in relation to a heart attack but maybe it happens during a time when the walk in clinic isn’t open so that kind of sucks and puts you in a tough spot. So I decide that next to the Emergency Department in a hospital there should be a 24 hour walk in clinic for urinary tract infections and sprained wrists called the Not Quite An Emergency Department. That would probably catch on really quick. Oh God I can only imagine the wait time in that department though. You could probably watch all six seasons of Lost before you get your penicilin script.
Formulating these theories and groundbreaking ideas only takes about ten minutes of my time so I go back to playing Bejeweled Blitz to occupy myself. And just when I’m about to cash in all of my coins for a rare Ruby gem it happens. My name is called. I want to turn and look at the faces of all those who remain, just to boast a little that my hospital visit is almost over and soon I can breathe the fresh air again, but then I am reminded that there is no one else. I have lost this time. Apparently seniority means nothing anymore.
So I’m brought back behind the doors and shoved into a freezing cold room and told to sit in a plastic chair until the doctor comes. I still feel slightly euphoric from the victory that is having my name called by a nurse. My own bed and my own Netflix are only about twenty minutes away now, I reassure myself. So I sit and I wait. And I wait. And then a creepy looking old man in a wheelchair who occupies the room across from mine wheels up to the edge of my door and parks himself. He just sits there staring at me. I feel uncomfortable so I do what I do best: avoid him. I pull out my phone and play bejeweled blitz again. He starts talking to me in a low, mumbly voice and I’m so terrified at the thought of having a conversation with him that I immediately pretend I am sleeping. He stays there for another hour. That’s how long it takes the doctor to find me. I just assume she was lost.
She checks my head and x-rays my arm and then tells me I still have a sinus infection (3 months and counting!) and that I just gave myself a bad sprain and she bandages up my wrist. She tells me I am not allowed to lift weights for 3-4 weeks. I pretend that is upsetting news for me.
I go home and get back in bed with my heating pad and watch more Doctor Who. I immediately forget about my aforementioned plea regarding a truce with the new companion and once again I’m sitting there rolling my eyes at her antics and wishing Rose would come back. I’m only a few episodes away from her departure though. Ugh, I could be on to the next companion already if I didn’t waste my time in the ER.
The next time I end up back at the hospital with something stupid like a sprained wrist I swear I’m going to fake cry in the triage station and declare that it isn’t humanly possible to be in as much pain as I am. I need to get through those automatic sliding doors faster and re-assert myself as King. I can’t have such trivial things as hospital visits eating into my Netflix time.