The other morning found me in the emergency room again. If you remember, I had never been to the emergency room until recently and now I’ve been there twice in the same six months. Go figure.
I woke up and looked like Rocky Balboa after he lost to Apollo Creed. I shook my husband awake and high tailed it out of the house in the clothes I slept in. It was 5:15.
The triage nurse asked the routine questions. But then she threw in, “Did you drive yourself here?” Me: “Yes.” I didn’t bother to explain if my husband drove it would mean waking the kids and I didn’t want to scare them with my swollen eye. And why wouldn’t I drive myself? I’m a big girl. It didn’t seem like a strange question.
“Does your eye itch?”
“On a scale of 0 to 10, 10 being the highest, rate your pain.”
“Do you live in a home?”
Okay, that’s a little strange. Did she mean, do I live in a house? Because as far as I’m concerned home is where the heart is even if your heart is in a cardboard box under a bridge. So, yes to the house, no to the box.
“Do you live with your family?”
As opposed to whom? Maybe I rent out the box next to me under the bridge?
“Do you feel safe in your home?”
“That’s a strange question.” I had to say it.
“I have to ask.” Ah, I get it now.
“I assure you no one hit me.” Because if they had they’d be in the ER on a stretcher.
My cousin during the same weekend went to the ER too. Copy cat. Maybe my aunt put a hex on him so she could have an ER story of her own to share with my mother. Just kidding, my aunt would never put a hex on her son. But, if you need a hex taken off, my grandmother is the one to call. That’s a story for another time.
Unfortunately, Cuz was sawing and decided he didn’t need the top of his index finger anymore. He has a house in a rural area of a nearby state. I’ll leave that state nameless. Cuz and my uncle call an ambulance because that’s the logical thing to do and he’s new to the area and doesn’t know where the nearby hospital is. Apparently, neither did the paramedics. Actually, we aren’t entirely sure they were paramedics, but they did arrive in the ambulance.
They didn’t know what to do for Cuz’s finger and they didn’t know which hospital to take him to. They asked him what he wanted to do. What? Bleeding over here!
Thankfully, a neighbor came over and directed the paramedics to the appropriate hospital. But, my uncle wasn’t allowed to follow the ambulance because they had to take a special road for emergency vehicles that makes the trip faster. Okay.
Let me explain that my poor uncle has been going to physical therapy for a heel spur, that turns out was a fracture and not a heel spur because whoever is helping him must have trained with the paramedics driving my cousin to the hospital. My uncle can barely walk, but he hobbled into Cuz’s old pickup with manual transmission and took off for the hospital despite the pain.
Only to arrive before the ambulance! Did they stop for ice cream along the way? Maybe directions? Was Cuz driving? I should’ve asked.
This is what I’ve decided. If you’re going to get hurt do it in NJ. The nurses know the right questions to ask. If you’re trying to create a family bond going to the ER isn’t the way to do it. And whatever you do if you plan on sawing off your finger check the state requirements for paramedics first. Just saying.