Raoul’s Two Cents: March 24, 2023
This week has been a catch-up week. I lost my Monday … I was trapped in a hospital with my friend Logan and my schedule was pushed back. Allow me to share what I observed at the Emergency Facility.
I didn’t know I was going to be stuck in the hospital waiting and waiting the whole day but there I was staring blankly at the TV in the lobby. Around me were forlorn expressions hiding their ailments behind their face masks. Even if I had brought my laptop, I wouldn’t have been able to work because there were too many distractions — people coming and going. In fact, there was a schizophrenic who screamed like a little lost girl: “Oh god! The pain! The pain! What’s going on? Help! Give me my morphine!”
How did I get into this ridiculously weird kind of prison? Logan, why did you ask me to drive you to the hospital? Why didn’t you call your other friends? Why isn’t your wife here instead of me? Why do I have to stay? Can I just give you money to call Uber? Why are the tests taking so long? I don’t see a line to the test rooms. Why, oh why?
It’s days like this when being a “boy scout” isn’t fun anymore. Sometimes being available to help attracts the wrong kind of people who take advantage of your kindness. These angry thoughts started piling up as the clock ticked by. So I decided to look for the silver lining. How can I make the most of my time here? There have been several movies and TV series built on life in the hospital. I had this rare opportunity to watch what really goes on in an Emergency Ward. The frenzy was surreal.
The nurse allowed me to come inside the emergency partition with Logan. I was just a fly on the wall; from that vantage point I could see how the hospital system worked. I heard them cracking jokes to relieve the tension. From their calm but serious demeanor I knew they were all saying “this is overwhelming but the show must go on.”
The busyness reminded me of a Bee Colony. First, there were the Reception Bees that greeted the patients and made sure they had insurance. Then came the bees who took your vitals and history and prepared documents for the doctors. The most energetic bees called out people’s names and wheeled the patients to their bee cells. In the middle of the ER honeycomb was the Admin Circle where an overweight aging Accounting Bee sat in front of the computer and gazed at charts. I wanted to shout — “Hey, doc, one of your workers is about to have a heart attack!” At the center of the hive were the Queen Bee doctors (about 3 of them) who diagnosed the health issues and gave out prescriptions.
Every once in a while a team of Paramedic Bees would arrive with new patients (mostly elderly). (So this is where those noisy red trucks go.) The leader of the paramedics would lock antennas with the ER doctor to transfer the patient’s history while the rest of his team would hand over the patient to the ER nurses. Then off they would go to pick up other sick people.
I looked around for the movie cameras but there was none. This was real life. This could stress anyone out. I can imagine how much worse things must have been during the pandemic. Because of my day in the hospital, those health professionals have my respect. The next time I go to the hospital, I’ll try not to complain too much or criticize too much. I now know these worker bees are fellow human beings trying to do their best to save lives.
Joke of the Week
Thanks to Art of Sierra Madre, California
Thanks to Tom of Pasadena, CA
Thanks to Maling of New Manila, Philippines
Thanks to Lee of Bakersfield, CA
I found these
My good friend (and jokester) Terry and I came up with these.