Emergency Room Wisdom Part V. The Final Saga.

Emergency Room Wisdom Part V. The Final Saga.

It’s been a bad year. A really bad year for our family. We are grateful we are all alive and healthy, despite our attempts to the contrary.

This is the (hopefully) last edition of my Emergency Room Wisdom series which goes something like this:

  1. Our housesitter was taken out by our dog and broke her arm in several places leading to Why I Smell Like Man Poop
  2. The follow-up for this trip lead to Emergency Room Wisdom Part II
  3. Our son and daughter both broke their left ankles leading to At Least I Don’t Smell Like Man Poop. Emergency Room Wisdom Part III
  4. Mister was in a car accident. You guessed it, Emergency Room Wisdom Part IV. The Kristine Wing Opens This Spring
  5. There was that emergency procedure. No emergency room, but a scalpel and a sharpie were involved in Bye Bye Boil.
  6. This year’s final instalment is in two posts. Enough Already where I talk about my car accident (yup, you heard me right) and this post.

I am NOT going to the Emergency department for blog material. There is, however, a plethora of material in there. I like to call the emergency department home away from home this year. In my attempt to make humour out of a crappy situation I learned the following new emergency room wisdom:

  1. A neck brace has many functions.

    • fashion/colourful accessory,
    • a conversation starter,
    • an adequate way to get sleep when holding up your own head is too painful.
  2. When you hear the Beavis and Butthead laughs of the guys next to you it is never a surprise to learn:
    • that Beavis had shattered his ankle but they were all too drunk to realize it so he came in a day later for the X-Ray,
    • the doctor had tried to call Beavis for his X-ray results and was told ‘I can’t confirm or deny that he is here’,
    • the last time Beavis broke a bone was in his hand when he slugged a guy. Beavis, thankfully, was better off because the other guy broke his orbital bone (cue laughs),
    • both Beavis and Butthead needed cash to get back to the shelter but were wearing $300 sneakers.
  3. Mister is not as good at the ‘What Ailment Is It?’ game as I am.
  4. Even in the emergency waiting room, Dr Google always sees patients. Apparently the doctors who have advised the patients previously did not google the ailments correctly because the doctors were wrong.
  5. When the woman in only a gown exits the emergency department with a flourish and heads outside, four things will happen:
    1. No one will have a smoke to give her,
    2. Everyone will see too much,
    3. She will claim (to herself) “I ain’t crazy. I know what I saw.” Confirming, in fact, that she is crazy,
    4. She will later appear to leave emergency to go back to triage and demand to be seen next. This will lead to several other confusing questions:
      • But, isn’t she in a hospital gown already?
      • Hasn’t she already been seen?
      • Why is she carrying all her clothes including two coats?
      • Why is she putting all her clothes over her gown including two coats yet she went outside in only a gown?
      • Why is she scattering remaining items from her bag around the emergency waiting room?
      • Where is she going as she mutters to herself if she wants to be seen next?
  6. Why are the security personnel wearing kevlar? Should I be scared? Shouldn’t they be securing the gown lady?
  7. When the groaner (there is always a groaner) is lying on the ground in the waiting room, and a concerned person asks security if they can get her a blanket or off the ground, he follows protocol with the following sentiment:
    • I can not speak about this woman’s condition but she is perfectly able to sit in a chair and she is choosing not to. (Was speaking of her – right in front of her – part of the protocol?)
  8. When the groaner becomes your neighbour at least you find out what she was groaning about. It really provides closure. My closure was about her opening. She had an anal abscess. As such, and as my curtain neighbour, I felt I was as good as family hearing all three rectal exams and their results. She immediately stopped groaning once they told her to prepare for surgery. Guess that is what she wanted. Anal surgery.
  9. If you scream in French is it called Screnching? Because there was a Screncher present when I was trying to sleep. He didn’t like someone named Maria because the only words I recognized were Fuck Maria.
  10. The words burning penis generally strike fear into the hearts of the those who hear them.
  11. Shackles are not great accessories for hospital gowns. I suggest a fancy paper bracelet instead. I’m no fashionista, but it worked for me.
  12. Everyone broke their hand and feet in the emergency department because no one was able to flush the f’n toilet!
  13. When your friends find out you are spending 8 hours in emergency again they send you jokes. My favourite was “My mood ring was stolen and I don’t know how I feel about that.” My second wasn’t a joke but rather a realization that my friend was standing in toilet water after her adorable son tried several times to flush a tennis ball.

That is it. I am on the mend, the toilet is still not flushed in emergency but it is at my friend’s house and I have been shopping for a new car. I am terribly lucky to not only survive but to survive with just a whole lot of sore muscles and a mild (during the day, major during the dinner hour) concussion. I never finished my gratitude list because it became an attitude list, so let me be thankful that I can still hang with you guys. You have made this year more than tolerable, you have made it make sense. Keep the comments coming, they are my fuel. Thanks!


  1. So sorry for your many visits to the ER, but your observations are hysterical. Thanks for sharing them!

  2. There should be some frequent ER members club where you earn “points” for every ER visit. After you earn X number of points, you could get a free bandaid or something (?). I admit I haven’t thought the program all the way through. 🙂

  3. Never a dull moment in the ER.

    On one visit of mine, a guy with a bandaged hand was buying a bag of chips from the vending machine and they got stuck. So he did the totally safe and sensible thing and started trying to rock the machine with his one good hand. After a few tries, the noise caught the attention of the security guard, who got up from his desk and went over. I thought he was going to tell the guy to quit it already because the thing could fall over and kill him, but instead he grabbed the other side of the machine and HELPED THE GUY ROCK IT. It took them about two minutes and an alarming angle of tilt before the chips were finally freed.

    Meanwhile, there’s me sitting there in the corner with the worst case of bronchitis I’d ever had, struggling to breathe and really hoping those guys wouldn’t get themselves crushed by a vending machine and make me wait even longer to see a doctor.

  4. […] on my wildly popular emergency room series, I decided to accompany a good friend of mine to my favourite place on earth. Not Disney. […]

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