Consider this fair warning. If you ever have to go to “Emergency”, you’d better be sure it’s not a real emergency and minutes might mean the difference between life and death. Whatever situation or medical condition causes panic, leading you to jump in your car, break every speed limit, run a few red lights and weave in and out of the traffic on your way to the hospital, it doesn’t prepare you for what awaits you once you get there. The first thing you realize is that there’s twenty other people that showed up before you did. Chattering in their little family groups or just siting in misery alone, they all look worse than you feel. And they’re waiting just as YOU will be in what I like to call waiting room No. 1 because this is where you’ll sit until they lead you through those double doors to yet another room, waiting room No. 2. Think about it. Why would there be a television in the waiting room if they didn’t think you’d be there for any length of time? So you sit there, watching a rerun of “This Ol’ House” or Martha Stewart and listening to others complain about their aches and pains, until you’re certain that in addition to your original reason for being there, you’ll also need to be treated for pressure sores on your okole,too. (Okay, for you haoles, that (okole) means buttocks, behind, booty, tush,the seat of your pants.) Then, finally, they lead you through those double doors to waiting room, No. 2. No television back there but you do get to lie down while your wait continues. They draw the curtains around and you think it’s for your privacy but it’s really so you can’t see the clock on the wall and the minutes ticking away, ever so slowly. The oncall doctor FINALLY steps through the curtains and you desperately try to remember why you are there. “Doc, will you take a look at the pressure sores I have on my butt from sitting out there in the ER waiting room so long…….and, uh, oh yeah……I think my leg is broken”.
Want faster service in the ER? Then, try this! When you’re sitting across the counter and the triage nurse asks you what’s wrong, say, “Well, I broke my leg (or whatever)…ahh…..AND I have (the magic “passwords”) CHEST PAINS!!