True Story (Part I of II)Written by Aaron Bortz | | email@example.com
There has been a noted absence of the HumpDay Review for the last few weeks… Read on for my only good excuse.
There I was…sitting at my desk, and no one was more surprised than me, that a healthy, active male at the age of 33 was having chest pains. It was just like the commercials. Slow steady pains of the chest, arm discomfort and some cold sweats just for good measure. I didn’t know what to do so I did what any guy in denial would do. I pretended it didn’t happen. Then I glanced across my desk at work, looked at the picture of my kids and my wife and thought…I better do something, just in case.
I’m writing this story, so you know it ends well. I just want you to hear first hand exactly what I went through to get this information to you.
I called my family physician that I barely know out of personal choice. It’s not that I don’t like him; it’s just that I don’t like to go to the doctors. The last time I went, they stuck a square, rusty needle (or so it felt) into my precious left hindquarters and I swore off doctor’s visits for the rest of my life.
I have a couple of rules. There are only a few things I will go to the doctors for and since I wasn’t extremely backed up, bleeding from the eyes or experiencing something for 4 hours or more (or so the commercial says) that I shouldn’t…it must be chest pains. Otherwise, I wouldn’t have called the doctor. But I was scared so I did.
Next was to call the wife to tell her what had happened. Expecting to hear jubilation that I had finally called the doctor for something that shouldn’t be ignored, I was quickly scolded for not heading straight to the emergency room. I didn’t know. I thought if I had pains and called the doctor, that my heart would know I was looking out for it and it would return the favor by waiting to do any more rebelling till tomorrow. Sort of a pinky swear just between us girls…a band-aid to get me through. I figured that any ensuing pains would hold off till the doc saw me. Apparently, I was wrong and apparently my wife was mad, scared and ready to go to the ER all at the same time. What a multi-tasker!
Begrudgingly, I did what she told me to do (as I have done so many other times before) for things far more trivial than this. But this wasn’t taking out the trash, picking up my side of the bedroom or removing my stinky sneakers from the kitchen. This was chest pain…she had a point.
We started the ER check in at about 6 in the evening and the caring and courteous male nurse named Sven asked me what time the pains occurred. “About 1:30 this afternoon” I told him.
“What took you so long?” he replied.
“What are you, my wife?” I snapped back. I don’t like hospitals…remember
6:45 P.M. Lucky for me, it was a busy night at the ER. Not like the TV show ER busy with gunshot victims, people with chopped off arms or helicopter fly-ins. Just good old fashioned “enough to inconvience you Mr. Bortz” busy. Long story short, the only room available was a children’s room. Which I hope to never visit again for a couple of reasons. The bed is way too short, (I’m 6’8” tall and hairy) and the TV has no remote. How is a person supposed to exist under those conditions? Long arms or not, there is no changing the channels from the bed. On the flip side, I did get to spend some time with Thomas the Train and his friends, I did a 6 piece puzzle 12 times (8 with my eyes closed) and finally figured out how to draw a perfect set of stairs on that pesky etch-a-sketch.
7:15 P.M. Being 6’8”, I’m used to getting the short end of the stick, so imagine my “surprise” when I was presented with the “biggest” hospital gown they could find. Could this day get any better? Remember the previously mentioned “precious left butt cheek” discussed in the rusty, square needle sentence earlier? Yea…it was exposed. Fully exposed. I don’t mind streaking my immediate family from time to time at the Bortz household…I do mind streaking the entire ER wing at the hospital. I am now identifiable by approximately 8 nurses, 4 janitors and a handful of patients by my “once sacred” birthmark conveniently located just below the equator.
7:30…I.V. is inserted…I think I cried a little. 7:35…blood is drawn. 7:36…the waiting game begins. We were told that check out, if everything came back normal, would be at 3:00 AM at the earliest. My wife left to check on the kids who were left in the protection of my brother. We’ve all seen the movie “Uncle Buck” with John Candy…My brother is the real life equivalent of dear old Uncle Buck. He means well, he’s just not genetically wired for it. On the upside, when I got home, my 9-year-old daughter won 30 bucks at the track and had her bowling average up to a respectable 170! You can’t argue with results.
On the down side, when my wife went to check on the kids, I was left with an 8 ounce can of soda, an I.V., wires with sticky patches hooked up to hairy places I didn’t know existed and a TV out of reach with no remote. But…I was armed with two things. Thursday night college football and the “call nurse” button. Watching one game that was uncompetitive while knowing a much better game was on, I took the nurse up on her “if you need anything just push this button and I’ll be right in” comment.
Good thing I wasn’t waiting on a kidney…. cause “I’ll be right in” means, “let me finish my cigarette and I’ll be right in.” I pushed the button and nothing. I must have watched at least 10 minutes of a game I had no interest in before I decided to take matters into my own hands.
I had to get to the TV without over extending any of the wires and tubes hooked up to my body. I knew if I stretched my left arm out all the way towards I.V. central, balanced all of my weight entirely on my right pinky toe and extended my right arm as far as I could, I would resemble a mostly naked statue in a hospital gurney AND be able to change the channel (to the desired game mentioned) at the same time.
And it was working like a charm…till the nurse finished her smoke. I was in a fairly humbling position and she walked in on something we both wish to forget (remember the hospital gown that doesn’t cover anything below the equator?). Yep…there I was in all of my “I can change the channel, keep my I.V. in and sip on the rest of my 8 ounce soda all at the same time” glory. I have to admit…it was fairly awkward being exposed from the waist down, stretched out like I was and having the fresh scent of “nurse cigarette” come whisking into the room.
“Damn hospital gown” I muttered to myself.
“Is that a bruise from a rusty square needle on your left butt cheek?” she asked in her raspy smoker voice.
“I want to go home.” I grumbled.
As uncomfortable as it was being naked and all stretched out, I was in the perfect position for my next “minor” medical procedure that was about to happen…she was there to take my temperature.
Oh…those were good times. Tune in next week. It only gets better.
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