A place we don’t want to be…

We are back at the ER. I’ve never been here when it was this crowded or busy. Of course things like this always happen on a weekend. Jake woke up and was pretty loopy. He was seeing things that weren’t there. He was drifting in and out of sleep and confusing dreams with reality. I’m hoping it is just a little dehydration. We have an appointment on Monday, but we couldn’t risk waiting. I knew where I was going, but there weren’t any parking places. I just left my car out front. I asked the security guard what I should do. “You can park in the parking garage across the street.” My child can not walk. I need a wheelchair. Where can I get one? “If we have any left, they’re inside. But wait, you have to go through the metal detector and I have to check your bag.” There was one wheel chair left. I moved the car forward as much as I could, then proceeded to get Jake out of the car, hoping no one would take my wheelchair. A man stumbled by looking for an unlocked entrance to the hospital  looking for his “dope”. He came within inches of us, and I was hoping he wouldn’t want to look in my purse for his “dope”. He managed to beat us through the metal detector and to the front desk. We had to wait while he told the receptionist that he needed his “f-ing dope.” She calmly asked him not to swear and to pull his pants up. He finally became belligerent enough that a police officer took him outside. The waiting room was packed. Should I take him to another hospital? “Is he too old to go to the children’s hospital? “No, his doctor also sees patients there. “You might as well stay here, the nurse will get you in.” The nurse was eating trail mix and was perfectly aware that I was standing there, but she didn’t make eye contact until she was good and ready.  My son is in the system. He is a bone marrow transplant patient, and because of his history, they always put him in a private room. She looked at me like I was nuts. “The triage nurse will be with you shortly. ” The other gal gave me a look of empathy. For the first time since I was told he had leukemia,  I was on the verge of tears. Pretty quickly, the triage nurse took him to a semi private area surrounded by curtains. The nurse started asking questions and the doctor came in. She told the doctor to keep asking me questions, but she was taking Jake to a private room stat. I immediately calmed down. The two nurses taking care of Jake are good. They have patients in beds in the hallways because it’s so busy, but Jake’s tests were immediately done. I can hear a doctor trying to get the patient to admit what she had taken. Another guy is thrilled to get a boxed lunch, then can he go home? “We are waiting on your heart test results, Sir. I feel better now. Can I just go home? Another patient is fine as long as they get her results back by the time her ride gets here. “Ok ma’am, we are trying to hurry. The best I can write for is Tylenol. No, none of the doctors are going to give you a prescription for that. We have to see what the test results show. Can I get you to pee in a cup?…”  We are waiting on results with all the other people around us who seemingly have taken an undetermined drug, want drugs or just would like a meal.  Our doctor is sure he’ll be admitted. My experience tells me that could take hours. Jake thinks he’s getting ready to take his SAT’s. He’s having very vivid dreams. He reaches out and says things that don’t make sense. Then he sleeps peacefully for awhile… he doesn’t belong here. But it’s Saturday…

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