I was driving so I headed for the hospital. Turning around to backtrack isn't easy in San Francisco because most of the main thoroughfares do not allow left turns, and traffic is also heavy on Sundays. We ended up taking a slow detour through Golden Gate Park before I was able to get back on a main road.
The young woman who checked Flip into the ER told me that she loved my makeup. I wasn't wearing any makeup. I hoped that the medical personnel would have more astute observational powers.
I also got to choose a religion for Flip in case he expired. I have had more heartening conversations in my life.
We waited in the Emergency Room, which really ought to be renamed the "Unconcern Room," for three hours before Flip was given a gurney in a freezing hallway where we loitered for another 4 1/2 hours. He was X-Rayed, CT'd, IV'd, and various bodily fluids were collected.
A nurse was dismayed that Flip's legs were hanging off the end of the gurney.
"He's tall," I said.
"His legs are hanging off," he repeated.
"Yes, he's 6'4" and he's lying flat. Maybe he could sit up a bit."
I helped Flip to sit up while managing to avoid dislodging the tubing in his arm, and his legs and feet went back where they belonged. The nurse seemed less troubled. I was glad I could help.
The long wait was caused by a log jam. There were a dozen people awaiting hospital beds which were not available, so they were being stored in the ER. The daughter of one patient told me that her mother had been in an ER bed since mid-day Saturday because there was no room for her to be admitted.
It was truly a no-room-at-the-inn situation. Does that mean that Flip is Jesus? I must ask him when he wakes up.
He has a kidney infection and possible kidney stones.
It ended up a fasting day for us, although nothing else was remotely fast, because we had planned to get brunch somewhere and hadn't eaten since Saturday night.
The hospital cafeteria was closed so I binged on junk food from machines. All the stuff I have avoided my entire life was there. I had only a ten dollar bill but the change machine gave me some quarters and eight large gold dollar coins with Madison, Monroe, Jefferson or Liberty on them. They were so tacky that I thought I was in Vegas, except that there was no place for me to sit. I think slot machines have chairs so people can spend all their money before they get tired.
For my first course, I bought a bag of yogurt peanuts and scarfed it down in seconds. The next course consisted of Welch's fruit drops, which are like gummi bears and gummi worms without the interesting animal shapes. I shared them with Flip, who was hooked up to an IV. He liked them, but he is easy. He likes anything sweet. They had no taste at all. My main course was a Fig Newton with a side of Rold Gold mini-pretzels and a cup of tea I scrounged from a nurse who was a ringer for Carlos Solis on Desperate Housewives. There was no dessert.
I didn't see any cadavers, which leads me to believe that Gray's Anatomy and ER may be overstating things a bit.
We were finally discharged with three prescriptions including Flip's favorite, Vicodin. A good time was had by none.
This morning at 4:30, he awakened in pain so I walked to the all-night pharmacy to get his meds. I was not alert enough to drive.
The patient is
The sign decreed that there be no parking during certain hours for street cleaning. Several people on the sidewalk could not resist grinning with pleasure as everyone who lives here has been stung more than once by the outrageous parking fines in this city, which easily rival the Iraq War budget. I think I heard a few cheers from the gallery.
Schadenfreude in San Francisco.