One of the things I have learned in my 38 years, is that when you go to the emergency room (either for yourself or a family member) the most important thing you can do is to convince the medical professionals there that you do not have a drug problem, nor are you a child abuser. Once you have eased their minds on these two accounts, they can focus on the real task at hand without being distracted.
It’s a little bit like having the police clear your name in a criminal investigation first, so they can then move on to finding the real suspects.
Here is the kicker. Most of the times I have gone to the E.R. have been in the middle of the night. And I’m sad to say that at 3 a.m. I look like a drug addict and/or child abuser.
So I make up for this by being exceedingly polite to everyone there. And I try to appear somewhat intelligent. However, this eventually comes back to bite me in the butt, because I do not understand the word ‘moderation.’
Example? Once I woke up in the middle of the night with an allergic reaction that resulted in a very swollen uvula. (Note: uvulas are not, in fact, part of a female’s reproductive system like they sound. Rather, a uvula is that dangly thing in the back of your throat. E.R. visits can be very educational.) This swollen uvula made breathing difficult, which is why my husband and I rushed to the hospital. I am a big fan of breathing.
Realizing I looked less than reputable in my droopy pajama bottoms and ratty t-shirt with gaping holes under the armpit, I did my best to look pleasant and genial. I smiled a lot and whispered ‘thank you’ to everyone.
I was the epitome of what it means to be a great patient until the enormously huge dose of benedryl they gave me worked its sweet magic and I could breathe better. Then, my overwhelming desire to be polite combined with my complete inability to handle strong medication and resulted in the best live entertainment my husband has ever seen.
Quite tipsy on antihistamines, I rashly promised to name our next child after my E.R. nurse and complimented many other staff on their nice hair. I also told several others that their scrubs were quite slimming. My husband finally dragged me away to the car while I was professing my undying devotion to the entire medical community and warning them about a large black dog roaming the hospital halls.
I was actually quiet on the car ride home until we reached our neighborhood. Then, I leaned over and whispered ”Honey, now don’t panic, I am probably hallucinating, but that giant, skinny, black dog has been chasing our minivan for miles.”
Learn from my mistakes: politeness and drugs just don’t mix.