Saturday, January 14, 2006

Another Day in the Twight Zone

So we’re driving to the hospital at 1:30 a.m., my Italian Mama who looks vaguely like Dirtman, and me, with my head stuck out the window and my entire life flashing in front of me, and I’m thinking, “Jeese, I’ve really lived a boring life…”

As you see, I’m pretty much committed to living here in the Twilight Zone (though I’m sick of searching for Rod Serlings and, frankly, he smokes too much). Only in the Twilight Zone could Dirtman actually be right.

For Dirtman it is not enough to have the satisfaction of being right. It’s not even enough that he has the opportunity to chant, “I told you so. You should have gone to the doctor,” every hour on the hour like some deranged cuckoo. He has to broadcast the entire story to everybody he meets.

“How long has she been having symptoms?” the ER doctor asked. I was currently breathing through a tube, defenseless against any slander.

“HAH!” says Dirtman. “Three days. I told her to go to the doctor.”

“I mean how long since the inhaler stopped working?”

“Since about eleven o’clock. But she went and sat in the car with the air conditioner on. I told her then we needed to come to the ER,” he answered. Then to me, “You going to listen to me from now on?”

From now on? One time he’s right and it’s a lifestyle?

After staring at me breathing, Dirtman concluded nothing else exciting was going on in this ER cubicle, so he went to find where the action was.

A nurse came over to start an IV, taking away the tube. I was breathing better.

“So,” she said. “Where’d you get that eye?”

(This is starting to sound like Alice’s Restaurant:

“... - and he stopped me right there and said, "Kid, did you ever go to court?" And I proceeded to tell him the story of the twenty seven eight-by-ten color glossy pictures with the circles and arrows and the paragraph on the back of each one, and he stopped me right there and said, "Kid,’”

Sorry. That was for those of us pushing 50.)

And I proceeded to tell her the story ‘bout the trusses and the Serlings and the cat’s evil twin…And she stopped my right there – shook her head and walked out. This cubicle wasn’t even exciting enough for the nurse.

In retrospect, it was one of our milder ER trips. Usually it’s me doing the taking and either Dirtman in the throes of anaphylactic shock or Heir 2 with the results of one of his many “guy ideas,” usually involving the top of the detached garage and something with wheels. Those times people rushed around us and doctors barked orders and there were tubes and needles and bodily fluids and someone jumping up and down screaming, “DO YOU HAVE AN INSURANCE CARD?” (For those outside the U.S., hospitals get antsy about delivering treatment without assurance that they’re going to get paid. Since this is a small hospital and another one is over a half hour away, there is really nothing they can do if you don’t have insurance except, I guess, give you the stained, crappy bedsheets instead of the gleaming, white sandpaper ones.)

This time things were relatively quiet, so I figure middle-aged women in the throes of asthma attacks are pretty much routine. The ER staff sauntered – no, strolled – up to me when I arrived. The triage nurse (i.e., the one who is supposed to ask for the insurance card) looked me over, considered making me sit through said insurance interview, and then reluctantly said, “Oh. Your lips are blue. I guess you’d better go on in.” She asked hopefully over my shoulder, “Is your husband coming in?”

I know. It’s her job.

Well, once I was “stable” and breathing somewhat more quietly than I had during that past two days, they handed me 569 prescriptions and sent me on my way.

I was anxious to get home. My boys would be worried, the dogs knew something was up and poor Zsa Zsa didn’t get to ride in the car. I knew there would be chaos when I got home.

We opened the door.

Nothing.

“Well, we’re home,” I sighed, rather loudly I thought. I went up to bed.

Zsa Zsa was spread out on the bed on my side. I nudged her to move over.

What do you want, she sneered.

“Move over,” I said and shoved her over to Dirtman’s side.

You’re the one out gallivanting around at all hours of the night.

“I was in the hospital. I could have died.”

You look hale and hearty to me, Dah-ling. Get your elbow out of my back.

“I was too sick. They gave me an IV.”

This doesn’t mean you’re going to snore all night, does it? I’m already losing valuable beauty sleep…not that I need beauty sleep…

“If Topper were out of his crate, he’d be sorry for me.”

Topper crawled in his crate and went to sleep the minute you left, after raiding the trash, of course. Your puppy closed the crate door then he went to sleep.

“Jeese! I can’t get sympathy anywhere.”

Dirtman told you to go to the doctor. He told you to go to the ER a whole lot earlier.

“Shut up and go to sleep, Zsa Zsa.”

Mama K even told you to do something about it.

“I thought you needed your beauty sleep.”

You should lose weight too.

“Go to sleep!”

Your cholesterol’s a little high…

“I wonder if the terriers would like to sleep on the bed tonight.”

Shut up and go to sleep.

1 comment:

Dark Garden said...

...So Sisiggy sucked up the IV juice, with the colored needles n' drip adjusters n' machines that go BLEEP if you see Patrick Swayze walk by; looked over at the chap layin' next to her, and with lips turning blue, said, "KID! Whatareya in for?"

The chap said he cut his finger with a carving knife...

AND Sisiggy hunched and rolled her way away from the chap, until he said...

"...that my crack-head wife stuck into me aiming for my chest."

...and she rolled and hunched back over to the chap, and they had all sorts of fun playin with the bleepin' machines, morphine, n' IV needles!