Tuesday, September 29, 2009

At the ER

You've probably heard about people who like to make economic predictions based on tiny things that they (economists? futurists? predictor dudes?) think tip us off to what's coming next. I just read that colorful (pink was singled out) necktie sales is just such an indicator. It got me thinking. The last family wedding (last year in June) featured a pink tie on the groom which I thought was a big success. Of course, this was before the gigantic Wall Street collapse and before we even knew we were entering a recession. So, that particular piece of haberdashery was not an accurate economic predictor. On the other hand, I'm told he still wears it to church sometimes, so perhaps at this point next year we'll be singing "Happy Days are Here Again". Perhaps not.

We went to a little church activity on Friday that ran out of daylight before we could do much of what we were supposed to be doing - playing softball. Not long after returning home, Mona gave me the unavoidable news - she was having to pass a kidney stone, a problem she had avoided for two years.
About an hour later, we went to the local emergency room hoping, really, just to get the drugs that would make the whole thing less painful.
Arriving at the room didn't offer much comfort. The waiting area was about the size required of three couples to dance safely, with maybe three quarters of the seats occupied, though you couldn't know everyone's story just from looking: Two small children considerably less active than normal; a couple wearing face masks (but for whose protection?); an older woman who just looked hungry and other folks not moaning in pain, but not hiding it very well, either. Mona's condition had gotten a promise of quick service, because she couldn't sit without discomfort.
Maybe a half hour later, we were brought into one of the semi-private exam areas. A doctor arrived whose questions came at precisely the moment poor Mona was throwing up. She finally got her first drug hit before being wheeled off for x-rays. I, meanwhile, tried to look useful and hide my frustration at having no duties whatever.
We left just after midnight with all the drugs we'd need in hand, feeling more fortunate than the young fellow on the other side of the curtain who had just found out he probably had a burst appendix and might have to stay for a week. Of the two of us, Mona is far more prepared financially for sickness, but then I'm generally more healthy. Her bill will be split between her medical savings account and her group coverage.
She's OK now, which I know because she's back to talking about next week's desert trip, though the meds left her a little woozy through the weekend and she even took a two hour nap yesterday. By evening she was back to driving, with me as passenger. I guess now we can start stashing moisturizers and Chap Stick for the trip.


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