Here I am in the emergency room at Sibley again. I shall write about the whole saga in another blog – meanwhile, instead of picking up Toshi, I am here yet again. But I decided there are some things to know about Sibley’s waiting room.
- There is a blue sign in sheet which asks why you are here. I try to make it sound as dire as possible so that they will get to me – things like “may have massive bleed in head - psych" or "I am about to swallow my tongue." The 12-year-old manning the station doesn't know the difference. Also, I like to look as contagious as possible.
- The triage nurse doesn’t really care or actually know anything, at least at Sibley. They know enough to see if you are gushing blood or have an eyeball resting on your cheek, but nothing more than that. But they are usually very nice and pleasant, so it’s nice dealing with them – they even pretend like you’re important, so you get a fleeting moment of relief that you may actually be seen in the next few hours. But it’s all an elaborate ruse.
- Avoid Dr. Nick at all costs. That’s not really his name, but if you get him, you will know exactly who I am talking about. His claim to fame was the theory of the invisible virus. The undetectable, symptom-free virus. That lives in Niagara Falls. Don’t try to find it, because you won’t. It’s invisible. He is just scary.
- The registration clerks are awesome. They are usually trying to get another job somewhere – as a recruiter, I’ve done at least two employment counseling sessions with the registrars. This one actually remembered me from last week.
- Transporters are the bane of your existence. They are minimum wage menial workers whose sole job is to wheel people to procedures. There is only one for the entire hospital. They are in a union, so no one else can move a wheelchair or guerney without risking a major lawsuit for the hospital. Much of the time will be spent waiting for the transporter to come to take you to and from different tests.
- If you do not have your head in your lap, or blood gushing, they don’t really care. So you will have a lot of time in the back, behind a curtain, by yourself, with a lot of machines. Press buttons or try to hook yourself up to electrodes. See what your pulsox is. They like it a lot – I try to hear the phrase “we should watch that one” at least once.
- Read your chart whenever it is left unattended. Even if you don’t understand it, it freaks them out – they hate it when you read it. I have always wanted to just add things to the random comments – like “maybe she’s an alien – please do uranium workup” or “possible possession – will get priest to come in the morning.
Maybe this will make your stay more enjoyable. But then, maybe it won't. Especially if your eyeball is really resting on your cheek.