Sunday, April 11, 2010

The Mahogany Wasp

Never heard of him before yesterday! He was hanging out in my flower bed and as my un-gloved hand grabbed a handful of weeds, he grabbed me. Instant, searing pain...right there on my right thumb! After a couple of deep breaths, I made my way into the house for all the home remedies I could find. Vinegar, baking soda, ice. I was madder than a wet Mahogany Hornet. After a time my whole hand and arm looked like the one attached to the Incredible Hulk, minus the green. A call to my nurse practitioner sister convinced us that I better get to a Dr. Alas, the local walk-in clinic closed at 6 pm...we got there at 6:13. to the hospital ER! My swollen-minus-the-green arm moved me to the top of the list of sufferers. They took my info, temp. and weight and moved us back into the waiting room. It was there that we experienced a full blown education of humanity. Everything known to man was in that room! All kinds of people, ages, races, sizes, & genders (male, female, trans-male, trans-female) The children were particularly pitiful, hot, crying, scared. There were sneezes, coughs, vomiting, heart pains, broken bones, tummy aches, fever, got the picture! One young man arrived with a Crocodile Dundee knife stuck in his pants! AND an old lady with a swollen-minus-the-green arm! Ambulances kept arriving, one about every 10 minutes with another crisis. After an IV and careful monitoring we got out of there in a record 7 hours. One man complained that he and his wife been there FOURTEEN hours, waiting. Well, the medicine is working, I'm not having any breathing attacks, and they tell me that after a few days of more medicine my arm should be back to normal, and the Mahogany Wasp will be a distant memory. All that to say, it's taking a while to process what I witnessed in that very confusing place. We were living inside a tv show!! When we left 1 a.m. there were still 50 people waiting to be seen and more ambulances arriving.
There are SO many people suffering physically! And so many brave and good nurses and Dr's. working patiently and kindly (most of the time!) I'm amazed at the dedication and mental stability that it takes to work in an ER! I'd last about 2 minutes as a care-giver instead or a care-taker! I've vowed to NEVER go to the ER unless bleeding profusely, a bone is sticking out somewhere, my heart is attacking, or a wasp has caused me to stop breathing. They've got their hands full there! I think I'll go hug a nurse, or a cute doctor! AND remember to arm myself with a can of RAID when I go to the flower garden.

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