After spending a mostly sleepless night of drowsing for an hour, hacking and coughing for a few minutes, back to drowse mode for a half hour and so on for a grand total of maybe 3 hours' sleep, I made an executive decision to go to the hospital in the sad delusion that they might actually be able to do something for me.
They could, and they did. They could take 3 hours to check my vitals and get an X-ray of my chest. So they did. They also took a nasal swab. This last made the trip worthwhile. It is basically a cotton swab which they gently, but firmly, ram up your nostril until it reaches your frontal lobe. Or your eyeball. Whichever stops it first. They do apologize so that makes it all just fine, right?
The X-ray is the second fun part. First, you wander a half mile or so to radiology. Radiology labs are always far away. I suspect they are concerned about leakage. Or explosions. Radiology is also the coldest place in the hospital. This makes all metal and plastic surfaces about the temperature of the average refrigerator interior. Your chest will verify this when they position you for the procedure. The radiologist also apologizes.
In the positioning, they make you push your shoulders unnaturally forward until they make contact with the metal or plastic and then tell you to relax your shoulders. No, I haven't figured out how to do that either.
After everything is ready and you are in the most uncomfortable position possible for the body part being X-rayed, they dawdle for a bit while the real tech teaches the novice trainee what to do. After a couple of orders to take a breath and then hold it, they bombard you with radiation that your body isn't properly equipped to handle. Then they turn you sideways into another equally uncomfortable position and take another picture.
The above process is even more fun if they are trying to get a good 3 or 4 pictures of that broken bone you managed to sustain doing something stupid. Fortunately for me, I had no broken bones and the process was only mildly annoying.
You then get to wander back to the emergency room and sit in the examining cubicle for the remainder of the time. In my case, that would be another 2 hours of watching my blood pressure drift up and my oxygen saturation dip lower.
About 1 and 1/4 hours into that period the doctor, who had stopped in for a lengthy 15 seconds to check you out when you first got there and after the nurses were through with the vitals and swabs and forms to sign, returns to tell you he can't find anything really bad but will give you a couple of prescriptions for drugs that will likely do nothing, but will satisfy his deal with the drug companies, with the usual admonitions about not smoking (which you have told them you do not 3 or more times already).
And then all that is left is for you to pay the bill. Since I have health insurance, it will only cost me $75 to waste 3 hours of my life and get medication that will likely do nothing. Well, the medication will cost me more money at the drugstore so let's up that figure to $89.
I don't feel better either. But I did get a nifty blue surgical mask to keep for my very own.
A Night Unremembered
6 years ago