The first thing to stun me about St. Joseph's hospital is that there was
only 7 parking spaces for their emergency room! This for a hospital
serving a very large section of Milwaukee. This was surprising, and most
disturbing, but I admit that it would take a substantial effort and
pricetag to improve their parking to appropriate levels.
What annoyed me more was that one of those 7 spots was taken up by the
Emergency Room Doctor himself. Now, this reserved spot would make sense
if Doctors were called to work from home and had to rush to the Emergency
Room when needed, but this is a staffed position where the prior doctor
won't leave until someone replaces him! There is NO RUSH! This was the
first indication that the doctors were gods at this hospital, and the
patients were cattle. Ample evidence followed.
The parking slots were filled, of course, so I had to drop off Eve and
park in the parking structure around the corner. I ran back and found
Eve filling out forms. Always a sickening picture, but no hospital is
different here. Unless you are spouting blood, there is bureaucracy that
has to be attended to first (Monty Python had a wonderfully portrayed
skit on this topic).
And then off to the waiting room.
It was a large waiting room here, nicely kept actually. But the chairs
were horrible! Eve desperately needed to lie down, but to even lean back
in these chair drove wooden armrests into your spine. I did my best to
hold Eve, protecting her back with my arm, but nothing was comfortable.
They needed couches here! It's such a freaking obvious requirement in a
hospital waiting room, but they didn't have any! In fact, its so
incredibly stupid NOT to have one that its probably a government
regulation. Thank God, at least, they had an outlet where we could plug
in our heating pad, which was a godsend in reducing the pain Eve was
feeling. To deny heating pads to people would be insane, and that
actually IS a government regulation. More on that later...
And we waited.
An hour went by.
This should be expected, of course. A few people were in front of us,
and I couldn't tell how bad off they were by just looking at them. So we
tried to be patient.
Another horrible thing about this waiting room was the waves of food
odors that swept through it from the kitchen which was just down the
corridor. A constant smell would have just deadened our senses to it
after a couple minutes. But this was a strong wave of strong food odors
that would sweep through the room in a breeze, and then disappear so that
it was just as strong when it came back. For those of you who don't
understand why this is so bad....when you are in desperate pain, pain
that make you horribly nauseous, strong food smells cause you to suddenly
want to vomit! And this was happening with every wave of odors that
swept through the room. It was horrible for Eve!
It was now approaching 2 hours...
What finally caused my anger to explode was that a little girl was let in
before Eve. This little girl showed no signs of any injury or sickness at
all. She was talking happily, and was treating this entire experience at
the hospital as a really neat adventure. The little girl skipped, yes,
SKIPPED, into the emergency room behind her mother.
I made sure Eve was comfortable and stomped over to the Nurse-in-charge.
"IF YOU CAN'T TREAT MY WIFE, THEN PLEASE JUST GIVE US SOMETHING FOR THE
PAIN WHILE WE WAIT!"
I didn't yell this. I can't yell when I'm fighting to stop from crying.
I just wanted to.