Thursday, May 28, 2009

Never A Dull Moment

I had to go to the emergency room a couple of days ago. I was attacked by something that causes abdominal cramping strong enough to birth a baby, a sudden stomach spasm that came on like a donkey kick, and unpleasant chest pains -- all of which started about twenty minutes after a lunch of mostly bean-filled enchiladas. So I got transported to the hospital. Paramedics, the whole nine yards.

Heart attack? No. Gall bladder attack? No. Pancreatitis? Perhaps. Something I ate? Maybe. A bug? Could be. We'll probably never know. The last time I had pain that bad, I ending up spending six days in the hospital for food poisoning. Not this time. They tossed me back like a dead carp.

Luckily I didn't eat much lunch. So after six hours of IVs, x-rays, ultra sounds, and throwing up, it was a return trip to re-hab. Their professional opinion? Something I ate most likely. Some kind of gastritis. Which is what they call anything they can't figure out.

Fortunately, I only missed one physical therapy session because here at re-hab they don't care if you're sick -- they'll come to your room. Bet you didn't know you can lie in your bed with a barf bag by your side and work your quads and hammies until they burn baby burn.

Needless to say, it wouldn't be a Mrs. Linklater story without somebody getting themselves ripped a new body part. At the hospital, when I began to vomit so much that the room cleared, I asked a paramedic loitering out of harm's way to get me some water, please, after things had subsided.

He disappeared and returned to tell me that "The nurse says you can't have anything to drink."

"I don't want to drink the water; I just want to wash out this terrible taste in my mouth, for crying out loud. Get me some water!!"

He left and never came back. However, someone did appear shortly thereafter with a glass of ice chips.

Last week, on the day I was scheduled to leave the hospital for rehab, a social worker who coordinates these things came in to have a last chat. She asked if I would consider writing a pamphlet for patients about self-advocacy. She thought it could be really helpful. Haaaa. And I thought I was just another bitchy patient.

While I was wallowing in this love-pat to my self-esteem, another social worker came in to take it away. She was from the state's agency for people who make the mistake of reaching 65 -- still alive. She claimed that her agency visits people who are going to rehab instead of going straight home from the hospital. Basically, if you're old and live alone, you'll get a visit. Two months ago, the social worker who came by was a woman my age or older. She handed me a bunch of papers and phone numbers to call if I needed anything and left.

Not this time. This time the social worker was much younger. So she gave me an Alzheimer's test. It's a stupid thirty point quiz they give to seniors to get a rough idea of what shape their mental faculties are in. She couldn't talk to the nurses?

After questions about the day, date, and year, she handed me a piece of paper that said: WRITE A SENTENCE HERE:____________

So I laughed out loud and immediately wrote: Write a sentence here.

"Nobody's ever done that before," she said. Because nobody was smartass enough to do that before. Unfortunately, most people will do anything to please someone who could use a test like this to fark up their lives. Except me, of course.

Later, she gave me three words to remember, then distracted me with spelling "WORLD" backwards along with some other things, after which I had to repeat the words back to her -- HOUSE, BUS, DOG. I may never forget them out of spite.

She asked me if I knew what hospital I was in and the phone number. I included the direct line to my room as a lucky strike extra.

My favorite part of the test came next. She handed me a piece of paper and said, "Read this." She didn't say to read it out loud. So I read it to myself. It said "Close your eyes."

Remember the game, Simon Says? Simon says put your hands on your shoulders. Simon says put your hands on your ears. Simon says put your hands on top of your head. Close your eyes. Tsk. Tsk. Nobody said Simon says.

She didn't say Simon says, so I read "Close your eyes" to myself and did nothing. Meanwhile, she looked at my face, waiting for my eyes to close. For a moment I could see some alarm. Then she corrected her mistake. "Read this and do what it says."

I closed my eyes.

Her final parting insult? She wouldn't tell me my score.

Fark you, Beyotch.


Remo said...

Allow me to reflect the view of everyone west of the Mississippi and ask "WHAT KIND OF A FUCKSTICK MAKES ENCHILADAS WITH BEANS INSIDE?"


I've seen that close-your-eyes trick before. We use it on suspects when we want to steal their wallet or use their cellphone to take a picture inside our pants.

Mrs. L said...

The kitchens here at the rehab place are kosher. So enchiladas with beans inside are the equivalent of Pastrami fajitas.

Chris said...

I can picture that pamphlet complete with illustrations of doctors bent over between their legs with their heads inserted into their asses.