Emergency Waiting Room

Emergency Waiting Room

Emergency waiting rooms are such strange places, and when you have the privilege of spending any amount of time in one, you will see what I mean. Two weeks ago when I cut my foot I spent ten hours just sitting there with not much to do but to observe the people and at times to chat with them.It was like a slice of humanity taken at a certain point in time from what they were doing when disaster struck.

There is a sort of group mentality that takes over in a waiting room, as if all of us waiting there didn’t have a life outside of this waiting room and our individual afflictions. As the hours wore on, from 7PM to 5:30 AM the next morning, the ambulance coming and going with various Friday night accidents, we all sat there, waiting for our turn to see the doctor.

Since none of us exchanged names or any other personal information, my friend and I referred to each person according to their ailment. Since I had injured my foot, I was “the foot”.

What a conglomeration of people! There was a man with a fish hook stuck in his neck, right next to the jugular vein. He said that he and his dad had gone fishing and his dad landed the biggest fish – him! Since the hook was so situated, he had to have it removed surgically. He was “the neck”.

Then there was a woman who had fallen over the stairs, pizza in hand, children waiting hungrily for dinner. The pizza ended up on the wall and she ended up at the emergency with a swollen knee. She was “the knee”.

A woman came in with a knife puncture wound to her hand. She had been slicing into an avocado when the knife slipped and almost went through her hand. She really didn’t see why she had to be there with such a small cut. But it was deep. She was “the hand”.

Across from me there was a very young woman with an ice pack on her head. Her boyfriend was with her throughout the night. I can only imagine why she had an ice pack on her head. She looked a little out of it, and I called her “the head”.

There was a nun in a burgundy and off white habit, and some sort of head covering. I am supposing that she was a nun. No one would willingly dress like that. There was nothing evidently wrong with her, although something could have been covered by her apparel. Probably she had something abdominal, internal, or a woman’s problem. She was “the nun”.

An elderly man came in with his son around the same time I did. After a few hours his son left and so he was left there to wait it out alone. When he was finally seen at 4AM, he had to call a cab from the direct line phone right there in the emergency waiting room. His parting words were, “I hope the taxi doesn’t take as long to come as the doctor did”. He was “the old man”.

A young man was lying across three chairs, his eyes extremely irritated. He kept wiping them with a tissue, and blowing his nose. He was “the eyes”.

So there we were,the foot, the knee, the neck, the nun, the old man, the hand, the eyes,and the head, eight of us, waiting, waiting. I will probably never see any of those people again, but just for a few hours we were together in a small hospital waiting room in St Eustache in the wee hours of May 23, 2009.

Hello world!

MONDAY, JUNE 1, 2009

A new blogginning

My son has been telling me that I should start a blog. People in my entourage have been telling me for years that I am good at writing and that I should get it down. Why, even my 80 year old mother has said the same thing. Truthfully, at this point I am not sure what a blog is. Enlighten me please. And be gentle with me.

I think I have always wanted to write but never have had the confidence to do it. It’s as if people would laugh at what I have to say, or to disagree with me. Well there are worse fates than that; and I would like to make people smile as they relate to what I have written.

I mean, I am just a middle aged, muddle headed single woman with three sons and an empty bed, who is prone to periods of extreme lucidity.

Come on in!

Banana Bread and a Series of Unfortunate Events

MONDAY, JUNE 1, 2009

Banana Bread and a Series of Unfortunate Events

You see, last Friday (and it wasn’t Friday the 13th) I decided to make banana bread at 7AM to take to a pot luck luncheon at noon. With the mixer running, I broke the eggs in, one by one. The third egg fell in the mix, shell and all. I spent the next several minutes trying to get it out. Then I added the frozen bananas which promptly bent my beaters. Grrr…It was time to change the plan. I shoved the mixing bowl into the fridge and dashed out to Metro for a vegie platter and a loaf of bread. That fit the bill nicely.

On coming home later in the day I took the mixing bowl out of the fridge with the intention of finishing the banana bread. The bananas had thawed out by then and I succeeded in bending the beaters back into shape. As I would find out, that would prove to be the least of my problems.

With the mixer now running smoothly, I started to add the dry ingredients – baking soda, salt, flour. At this point I realized that there was no flour in the house. Being the resourceful person that I am, I remembered that I had a bag of wheat under my bed upstairs. (Doesn’t every middle aged muddle headed and menopausal woman have a bag of wheat under her bed?)Sometimes I make bread from scratch by grinding the wheat for the flour. So I went upstairs and carried the forty four pound bag of wheat down to the kitchen. The bag was so heavy that I didn’t lay it on the floor, I dropped it. Well the bag hit the floor and promptly split open. So there I was with forty four lbs of wheat to clean up and put away.

“Ok”, I said to myself. “I have lots of plastic containers here to put the wheat in”. So I got them all out and with the help of my glass two cup measuring cup, I transferred all the wheat into the containers. Then I set the glass measuring cup down on the floor and went on to my banana bread, still waiting for flour in the mixer. Now I was humming…
A moment later, frozen in time, I jumped over the containers of wheat on the floor and landed bare foot on the glass measuring cup on the other side. Frozen in time? Yes, I can replay it over and over and it still doesn’t make any sense.

I felt a searing pain in my foot and heard glass shattering and flying all over the place. What was this? Blood was flying all over the place too! At that point I realized that I had sliced the bottom of my foot but there was so much blood that I didn’t know how badly it was cut. All I knew was that it hurt like hell! And then I realized that I was alone and nobody could hear me howling. I needed help, and fast! On my back and with my foot in the air I managed to get to the phone to call someone to come help.

When Wendy arrived, the place looked like a massacre! Blood, glass, wheat, you name it; and there on the counter was the mixing bowl with the banana mixture, still waiting for the flour. We managed to clean up the worst of the blood and glass so that my son wouldn’t have to come home to witness this. Then we bound up the foot and headed for the hospital.

After a couple of hours waiting, I thought to call my son who had arrived home by then, and asked him to please throw out the banana mixture. I didn’t think I would be making banana bread or any other kind of bread anytime soon.

Nine hours, four needles, a tetanus shot and five stitches later we left the hospital. I was on crutches, dastardly armpit bruisers that they are. It was 6AM. My first all nighter at 55 years old. That’s one for the record books!

The hospital wait was memorable. I’ll tell about it in another posting. Till then, take care not to leave glass containers on the kitchen floor…