Tuesday, April 13, 2010

The ER

Generally, in an unfortunate way, the immigrants from “down-South”(father than the US border, and heading as far as Argentina) are less than demanding as they try to settle in to our okay country–in search of better lives. Usually, they earn meager wages in places like hotels, restaurants, and are paid under the table, so that although they don’t have to pay taxes, they also don’t earn Social Security benefits either. Ultimately, that sucks. And as a Democrat, and more importantly someone with some (although not always enough) compassion, I most of the time feel sorry for them. But not always--For example, not at the emergency room. You hear it said, at least I had, and wanted to dismiss it, that due to lack of heath insurance, people of Hispanic origin currently residing here (anyone think that may be deserving an acronym?) use the ER as their “primary care physicians”. And while I hate stereotypes, it is here in the ER as well as over the years waiting tables, that I have found, well, that there’s a reason why they became steroytpes in the first place–they’re true. Generalizations, yes, they are not good–in a general way. But sometimes you need a little comic relief, at someone else’s expense, especially if said person is directly responsible for your ER visit amounting to a day’s work, at a whopping eight hours.
It was the end of the line for me at the ER that day. I could almost taste the backwash of Vicodin. And I needed it. I was coming off of Effexor, on purpose. It’s not in the doctor bible yet that this is a horrible experience that can make your internal organs feel as if they are being twisted and pulled into a devil may care distortion. But, I can tell them that that’s the case. After waiting what felt like hours, probably because it was hours, I was almost in--next at bat for some pain relief lovin'.
I’d had this happen before, only to be teased with a screaming child coming in just as the orderly was heading out into the waitng room with my chart in hand. Fuck, I’d think. Fuck fuck fuck. I joked out loud that this would happen again, and ha ha ha, never one to miss an opportunity to help fate fuck me over, just as I was next up this time, in came a Hispanic man–with two children. Fuck. But, not to let this get to me, I thought optimistically, one down, one to go. The little brat, excuse me, little brat of Hispanic origin currently residing is the US, would be called quickly, and in no time I’d be happier than ever to hear my name. But I was not so lucky. This family o.h.o.c.r.i.t.u.s. was only the harbinger of more ill-health in small packages to come. There were four more said familias en todo, y all of them were f's.o.h.o.c.r.i.t.u.s. And, like I said, this is not the first time this happened. Suddenly, as I was doubling over in pain, sure that when they suggested “Kidney Stones” they must have meant Paleolithic rocks, I wanted to walk around the room, glaring at each and every parent, and offering them my medical expertise–if only I’d had my English to Spanish dictionary. “Oh, you’re kid has a slight fever?” “Go buy one of these, my friend”, and as I pulled out a Baby Tylenol, they would be forever thankful, idiot parents that they were. I would fake a smile, and do an impersonation Princess Diana wave, and they would walk off to la farmacia, saying prayers for my own good health, while I waked over to the registration lady and let her know that the Ortiz family would no longer be needing medical assistance, today.

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