Folks generally fall into 1 of 2 camps when the mostly contentious topic of Healthcare surfaces after a few rounds of gin & tonics, or a satisfying belch following massive over indulgence sur le table, or when they carelessly reach for a doorknob only to discover they’ve terminally wrenched their spine into pretzelesque configurations. (The latter usually being a symptom of age accompanied by shrieks of: “Where the hell did THAT hair come from?” )
My point is this, before I wander so far from said camp that I’ll need Lewis & Clark to guide me back, Healthcare is not a GOD given right. (Although it’s awfully easy to blame God whenever I reach for that doorknob and discover my left foot is now permanently affixed to my scapula.)
Healthcare should, however, at the very least be available and affordable for the major problems that occur in one’s life, such as the ever often: Stabbing yourself while running with scissors alongside a sloshing pool filled with screaming teens playing water polo, simply as an excuse to grope one another in public, when the ball goes awry and slams into your face adding a dislocated septum to the problem, then of course you slip on a wet spot near the pool’s edge driving the 16″ pruning tool (we’ve migrated from scissors, pruning tool is more dramatic) through your bony breast-plate and into your rapidly skipping pump and you collapse to the hard decorative concrete surface of the pool rim striking your broken nose yet again (“DAMN THAT HURTS!!”) and the lights go out in Georgia on my mind and it’s springtime in Dixie no more for you, baby.
That’s why we have Emergency Rooms. The emergencies in life that are beyond our reason and control. Except for the fact that no reasoning person is going to “skip-to-my-Lou” poolside giddily waving about a razor-sharp 36″ garden lopper (again, more dramatic) and brazenly daring the fates to ignore him.
Anyway, back on point here.
This past week Valet Boy’s mother – who will be 89 this week (Yay, for our genes) – was admitted to the hospital after fainting and falling onto her kitchen floor. Falling at any age is no fun, but when you’re in your 80’s it can be downright devastating.
After lying ignored in her mess for a week and a half (again a vast hyperbolic overstatement for dramatic effect here, guys) she called my niece Vagalina (not her real name) to come to her aid. I haven’t yet figured out how she got to the phone…my imagination curdles at the thought of her crawling through waste, over shards of broken glass, past the beady hungry eyes of lip licking vermin lurking in the shadows of the refrigerator, while vainly clawing and grasping for the phone’s cord…except her phone is cordless and rests in a charger 5 feet off the floor upon which she’s dragging her near lifeless body….
So, Valet Boy gets the phone call from Honorable Sister #1 – Vagalina’s mother. (Valet Boy has 3 sisters, in case you ever wondered why he’s still single) It’s never a good sign when HS #1 calls VB, so right off the bat he knows an ill wind has blown through Monkeytown ( Monkeytown is Trucker CB lingo for Montgomery, Alabama). Valet Boy calmly informs his sibling not to move their mother, but to instead call 911 and have the ambulance take her to the hospital and call her doctors to let them know that she may have inadvertently dislocated her $75,000 titanium hip replacement.
The EMT’s arrive, discover the hip is still good as new, but that Valet Boy’s Mom is severely dehydrated. So, they shoot her full of replenishing liquids. I imagine an electrolytic refreshing blend of Gatorade, Fruit2O, V8 Juice with a shot of Full Throttle as a chaser. Sirens blaring, neighbors staring in fear (then relief that it’s not them strapped on the gurney) as VB’s Mom is whisked off to the hospital.
As if all of this averted near tragedy was not enough, arriving and staying at the Hospital is where her real agony begins. But, that’s the crux of our little fairytale and the meat of the matter, so to speak.
Check back for Part 2 entitled: “Please Kill Me Now….or… Where’s Dr. Kevorkian When I Need Him”.
That’s it from the parking deck for now.
Thanks for reading,