Our bathroom got a make-over (Thank you Allstate), after the toilet overflowed and flooded the basement. The ugly pink tiles and bathtub were painted a brilliant, shiny white to coordinate with our new brown vanity and floor. Unfortunately, the very first time that Hubby took a shower in the freshly painted tub, he slipped and fell sideways, banging his head harshly against the vanity edge. He screamed for me, and I screamed upon seeing him. There was a large puddle of blood on the floor, and the towel which he held over his right eye was also crimson color. His head was resting against the floor and his legs were askew up into the bathtub. Covered in soap, it was quite the challenge to get him up. Once he was seated on the toilet, the towel came off to get a better look at the injury. He kept insisting he was fine and that a few butterfly bandages would take care of it. It seemed doubtful because the large “C” shaped scar oozed blood at an alarming rate and I was sure that stitches were needed. Googling “walk in clinics” on my phone, it was very dismaying to see that all closed at 8:00 and it was 7:59 PM! The only option was to go to the Kent emergency room.
When we got to the ER, I dropped him off at the door so he would not have to walk from the parking lot holding a towel dripping with blood. There was a surprisingly limited amount of parking spaces available, and I had to park across the street, which made it quite the trek to walk to the ER door. Once inside, I found him around the corner registering…name, date of birth, medical information and so forth. When he came out, we both surveyed the waiting room. The room was very crowded with people with all sorts of ailments and injuries, as well as a few toddlers who were screaming bloody murder. All of the chairs were full of would-be patients and some significant others. When one chair finally opened up, he plopped down, woozy and ready to fall over if he did not sit right away. Without any other empty seats, and to escape the pall of the waiting room, I went to sit outside to wait. Hubby would have been called into triage, where the seriousness of his wound would be assessed, and he would be set free into the waiting area again to wait for an interminable interlude for his name to be called to see a doctor.
Unfortunately, Hubby started chatting with the woman sitting next to him. She obviously also needed stitches because a wayward knife had sliced her hand when she was doing the dishes. Unbelievably, she had been sitting in the waiting room for five hours! Upon hearing this, Hubby’s one good eye enlarged in shock. There was no way he was going to sit for that long!
I suggested we go to another ER at another hospital, but the nurse, overhearing my suggestion, sighed with her own frustration, and indicated that all ERs are the same. Without further ado, Hubby got up out of his seat, folded the towel over to find a clean spot to press against his wound, and announced that he was leaving.
It seems that there is something fundamentally wrong with a state that does not have walk-in clinics after 8:00 pm. Hospitals should be for real emergencies, broken bones, heart attacks and car accident patients. When they must deal with lesser problems, it dilutes the services in general and creates hard feelings where there should be none. The staff does their best to manage the tide of unending patients and there should be no patient rancor because of it.
Today, Hubby has a several-inch gash of uneven skin where a butterfly bandage did NOT do what it was advertised to do. His face is puffy, his eyelid is black and blue, his eye bloodshot, and his check is raw and red. He looks awful but insists he does not care. “It is what it is,” he intones. “And I didn’t look that great before…”