The ER Blues

I was supposed to drive to Monterey today. Holidays with football are good driving days. The dogs make sure I am up and at ‘em every day as their stomachs rumble for breakfast.

The sun is shining, and it would have been an easy drive. But the damned Covid-19 is keeping me here.

I could pack away the Christmas stuff today, but who is in the mood for that? Not me.  I could work on my pile of sewing or clean my garage. It’s too chilly for the latter, and I am not inspired to do the former.

I could read my Beatles book called 150 Glimpses of the Beatles, but it’s mostly a rehash of things I’ve already read. I could binge watch some TV shows, but no.

My sis had a suspected bladder infection last weekend. I called the infectious disease doctor and spoke with an advice nurse on Sunday. I tried to take Sis to urgent care, but no one was answering in the morning and the website said no walk-ins. I finally got a person on the phone at 2:30, but all appointments had been booked.

On Monday I called the infectious disease doctor’s office and asked for an order for a urine sample. The phone person said that required a phone consult first and that he only had one appointment left at 4:45. When the doctor called, and I mentioned that Sis was drooling a lot more than normal, he yelled at me to get her to the ER in case it was another stroke. I asked him if it would be safe to take her to the ER.

“It’s safer than where she’s at with no treatment!” he said.

We got to the ER at 5:40 p.m.  We sat in the waiting room for two hours. People were pouring through the door. Most spouses were turned away. I was allowed to stay to speak for my sis. Another woman was allowed to stay with a woman in a wheelchair. The waiting room was getting too crowded. At one point I counted 14 patients (plus me, the wheelchair woman’s woman, the nurses, security guys, etc.).

We were all wearing masks, bu the old man across from me had one that kept sliding down his nose. Sis was double-masked, thanks to a security guy, but I only had one.

When I took Sis to the bathroom, I wished I had thrown a pair of disposable gloves in my purse. I got the urine sample and walked out with it and Sis as they were finally calling her name.

“Does she need a wheelchair?” the orderly asked.

“No,” I said, thinking of my low back issues and wondering how I would push a wheelchair with one hand while holidng the sample in the other.

We followed the orderly down a long hallway and then another long hallway as he led me and three patients to three vacated examining rooms. Sis barely made it. Then it was left to me to undress her and get her into the bed. That’s how busy they were. I got that done and glanced at the clock. It was 8:00. I stayed with Sis for five more hours as they ordered a head CT, an EKG, a Covid test, and poked and prodded her.

I sucked down a Snapple and then asked if Sis coud have some water.

“Maybe ice chips after the CT scan,” the nurse said.

He was happy to share that he’d already had the vaccine.

At 1:30, Sis was transferred to another room as they waited for a bed in the main hospital so she could have an MRI in the morning.

“I have to go home to sleep,” I told the nurse.

“Go,” she said. “We will get her transferred as soon as we can.”

Who knows how long she was there before they moved her?

The freeway was empty on an early Tuesday morning. I considered my exposure to all those people in the waiting room. True, we’d had our temperatures checked as we entered, but still.

I can’t go to Monterey until next week. If I get Covid, I need to be here where two adult chidren can come feed my dogs if I get really sick.

Couldda Wouldda Shouldn’t Have

BTW, it turned out to be a bladder infection.

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