Thursday, October 26, 2006

Hospital of Horrors!!

I am anxiously sitting in a cramped room in the acute care section of the Moncton City Hospital. My girlfriend was admitted about 21 hours ago after experiencing severe abdominal pains following a fainting spell at home. She's been wheeled away for a CT scan by some guy who resembles an overgrown cabbage patch kid that smoked a giant bag of weed for breakfast. Extremely reassuring. The wonders of socialized medicine in action.

I don't like hospitals. People usually aren't there because their day is going swimmingly. Hospitals are like really uncomfortable hotels, with needles and sick people - which is, I think, the basic definition of a motel. The floor has dried drips of blood on it, and there's a giant blood smear on the side of the yellow hazardous materials disposal bin. Great for Halloween ambiance, not so great for patient peace of mind. I keep thinking of that scary movie I saw as a kid, Dr. Giggles.

There's a cart of cleaning supplies in front of me, but no one seems trained on how to use them. That, or hospitals are so convoluted and weighed down by union bureaucracy, no one is sure who's actually allowed to touch them. The mop looks lonely. I'd like to set it up for a date with the floor. I'm sure they would get along fabulously.

We've had rounds of blood work and x-rays, ruled out a myriad of possibilities, and nothing is showing up in the tests - which is comforting at one moment, and unsettling the next. The experience started off on the wrong foot with the triage nurse, who had all the charm and personality of a late night mortuary attendant. She comforted France with a gruff "What's wrong with you?" as a greeting. Oh gee, I don't know. I was just in the area and thought I'd pop in for your I.V. and movie night.

My poor France. She keeps apologizing for being sick, instead of concentrating on herself. That's my baby. She's puts everyone else before herself, which is why she's an angel.

The doctors are fantastic. They are working all the angles and being extremely thorough. The nurses are a little less impressive. They seemed so fueled up on coffee and sugar that they scream every thing they say in a high pitched nervous giggle.

"HEY, HELLO! I'm going to poke you with this needle, OK? And it's going to sting, OK?"

This is definitely not comforting coming from a nurse who looks like she just had a Tim Horton's enema.

If I ever got bad news in a hospital, I think I would like the news delivered by a short, hyper-active Italian doctor.

"Oh a-my-god-a. You are a-really seek. Gooda lorda man. You-a-gonna die."

At least you could mute the tragic blow with the comic effect.

Anyway, by the time you read this, I'm happy to report that France is home and feeling a little better. The tests all came out normal, and for the moment, they seem to think it was a case of extreme dehydration from an intestinal virus. Far better than the poor buddy in the room next to us, who had something called an arachnoid cyst on his brain (it sounds scarier than it actually is).

Life is funny that way. I'm always so grateful for my precious France, but in situations like this, life has a funny way of tapping you on the shoulder and reminding you just how blessed you really are.



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