The Random Comic Strip

The Random Comic Strip

Words to live by...

"How beautiful it is to do nothing, and to rest afterward."

[Spanish Proverb]

Ius luxuriae publice datum est

(The right to looseness has been officially given)

"Everyone carries a part of society on his shoulders," wrote Ludwig von Mises, "no one is relieved of his share of responsibility by others. And no one can find a safe way for himself if society is sweeping towards destruction. Therefore everyone, in his own interest, must thrust himself vigorously into the intellectual battle."

Apparently, the crossword puzzle that disappeared from the blog, came back.

Monday, November 23, 2009


Let me begin by saying I AM FINE. No, not that kind of "FINE", ladies. Well, maybe I am but that's not the kind of fine I mean. I mean healthy. In good shape. However, I just spent the last 24+ hours in a hospital.

Sunday morning, I woke up with mild chest pain and pressure. Also a little shoulder pain. It persisted... for a few hours. Thus making me a little nervous. I wasn't sweaty or clammy or nauseous but I got no relief from an aspirin and I was feeling just a tad light-headed.

I would have ignored it but I figured it would ruin Faye's day having to deal with a lifeless body in the living room. Especially a quiet one. The one she usually has to deal with tends to snore (lightly, I insist) while occupying most of the couch.

So, I didn't and had Faye drive me to the emergency room. There, they hooked me up to machines, stuck an oxygen tube in my nose, took my blood pressure, temperature, and generally made a big fuss.

Everything said "no problems." However, once these people get you in the door, they want to hang onto you. Standard procedure, they tell me, is to monitor me for 24 hours. Personally, I think this is simply to maximize revenues but Faye seemed in favor of my staying overnight. She may have figured she could spend a night on the town.

The last place you can get any rest is in a hospital. Every few hours, someone comes in and wants to get your "vitals" or draw blood or do something humiliating to you. It keeps them from falling asleep at their nurses' stations, I suppose. And maybe gives them something to chuckle about.

Someone pops in at 6 PM and gives you some airline food. Well, if it had any flavoring it would be airline food. Since it has none, it must be fit for hospitals. But, since you have no way of snacking as you would at home, you are hungry enough to eat paper. Which has the same flavor but better texture than what I was served.

Just as that gourmet meal is served, in comes two nurses to attack each arm; one drawing blood with a blunt needle, the other squeezing your arm to drive your blood pressure into the stratosphere (while also sticking a terrible tasting thermometer in your mouth).

They leave soon enough, though. I suspect they time this so you will assume the food is cold because of that delay rather than realize it started that way. It was some kind of fish. With piece of cauliflower on top. Covered in some kind of bland cheese sauce. All at room temperature. Wonderful!

You have a TV which gets some of the channels you like and you settle into a marathon of L&O:SVU reruns which should put you to sleep but doesn't. So, you watch a little, read the book Faye thoughtfully brought along for you, and drift in and out of little naps.

The little naps are good practice for the rest of the night. Because starting at midnight, nurses will pop in every hour or so to annoy you and take those "vitals" or draw blood or give you pills you don't want or probably need. That will stop a little after 6 AM.

You were told the evening before that the doctor who finished at the bottom of his class will be handling your case because your doctor is too clever to show up at this particular hospital. He will coordinate with the cardiologist in regard to getting your a stress test even though everything points to heartburn or just random pointless symptoms. And you wait for this paragon of medical knowledge from then until you start whining and begging to be released from captivity to any nurse dumb enough to drop by several boring hours later.

You never do see this alleged doctor. But you do get released eventually once the nurse assigned to you has had enough of your infantile mewling and convinces the doctor to put down his pitcher of Vodka long enough to sign the forms.

And you are sent off with a couple of over-priced prescriptions for things you do not need and will likely never take and admonished to avoid infection of the IV site (which was never used but the rookie nurse needed practice inserting anyway) after it has been yanked out of the back of your hand with all the flourish of a bullfighter waving his cape.

I need to take a nap. This has been a rough day.

But I repeat, I AM FINE!


Pearl said...

You BETTER be fine, Douglas. I've grown accustomed to your face.


p.s. And I'm GLAD that you're fine. Take care my friend.

Fragrant Liar said...

Oh man, sorry to hear about your adventure in the ER. I have had my own lovely adventure, and I lived to tell about it too. :)

Um, but what's this about a nasty-tasting thermometer? Are you sure they didn't stick it somewhere they shouldna before they gave it to you?

Oh, but your fine! That's the important part. Take care of yourself, dude.

Tempo said...

My mum worked in a hospital for many years, I grew up in the kitchens, alleyways and private rooms of the staff and believe me, they keep you there for their own amusement. The stories they tell!!! Glad youre well...or at least not likely to drop down dead any faster then me! LOL

Douglas said...

Pearl, that puts you one up on me.

Fragrant Liar (can I call you "Frag"?), I suppose that hospital workers begin to see us as obstacles at times. I often respond to "My name is.... and I'll be your nurse/doctor/whatever" with "y name is Douglas and I am the Patient From Hell."

yukrh, well put. I think.

Douglas said...

Tempo, don't get me wrong, I appreciate those who work in the health field. I certainly could never do it.

IB said...

Same thing happened to me a coupla years back. Good times!

Glad you are OK!

Take care