From the outside looking in
I know I have been gone for a while and this is probably not a good way to return, but stuff happens. The worst part is it usually happens all at the same time.
It began with my laptop, which suddenly needs a new motherboard. My first thought on this is the machine might have been dropped, smacked or electrified by a static shock—I don’t remember doing any of these things. However it might have been one of our Ghosts. It goes without saying that I have been using it a lot because my desktop computer, a five year old monster, has been overheating and shutting off at the worst of times so I don’t trust it. Naturally, all my writing, and The Game I play are on the laptop.
When I heard from the company that is fixing it the first thing out of my mouth was, “Did the hard drive survive?” Happiness surrounded me when she said it did. It quickly vanished when she told me the cost. Since EVERYTHING is on it, I have no choice but to fix it because the thing is only a year and a half old, and I am still paying on it. (I know, shame on me.)
The second distraction; Every Sunday morning, I go visit my mom and hand her a check for the weekly grocery store trip the apartment complex takes. As I was getting dressed to leave, trying to pull myself away from The Game, she calls, “I’m thinking of calling the hospital, I don’t feel good.” Her legs gave out on her a few days ago and she fell in the bathroom, taking the towel bar with her and bumping her head. Just a bruise remained of the head hitting and she had a mark on her side, but she felt better Friday.
Okay, I don’t know why she believes I have to give her permission, but I set her straight, “Well Mom, if you don’t feel right, and think something is wrong, call 911. The hospital is very close; they will be there quicker than I will. Call them.”
“Okay Son.” I believe at times she does forget my name. I told her to keep me informed of everything and call me if she needed me.
I’m sure she sat in her chair where she could see the ambulance pull out of the ER and drive less than a minute to reach her parking lot.
About two hours later, my phone rings—number unlisted. The voice on the other end belonging to a polite female tells me that my mom will be here a while so they can run some tests. They know what the problem is, but they want to find more! Mother also wants to know if I will be coming over soon. I suppose she just wants me there so I can sit in the ER waiting room bored for two or three hours while she is having all the fun.
Three or four hours later, still sitting at home in my very comfortable sweats watching “Priest”, I try to call my mom. Since she left her cell phone at home I have to travel and visit every operator connected to the hospital before I am connected to her current nurse. Twelve ear splitting rings later someone picks up the phone.
In the background, an aged confused voice pleads with someone, “This phone won’t let me call out, it says there is an incoming call…”
That would be me speaking loudly into the receiver, “Helllloooo?” Distant sounds come over the speaker phone as I hear someone being tackled and then a corpse being dragged off into the distance.
“ER Nurses station, Nurse Prachett speaking.” That wasn’t her real name, but it seems to fit.
“Yes, I’m checking on my mom…” Information is reluctantly shared and she tells me they are giving her antibionics (these are normally called antibiotics, but I’m a writer and I can call them what I want to) and will be giving her more tests. I hope she studied well. Of course they don’t know yet if they are going to keep her over night. All they want to do is run tests on this little old harmless eight-one year old so they can soak her for as much money as possible. “Well please tell her I called and have her call me if they keep her overnight.” The chances of an overnight stay were beginning to look good.
At six, my phone rings again. It’s my mom this time, telling me she is being held at the hospital for observation and they want to take some more tests. Of course they do.
Monday morning comes and I spend another exciting day at work in the office, but for only four hours. In my opinion, this would be a good time for me to pick up my mom, its 11:00 am, no traffic around anywhere (almost) and I have nothing better to do then play The Game or write.
“Mom, how you doing?”
“I’m fine; they just got done taking an X-ray of my head…”
“Uh…when did the problem move? It wasn’t in your head before. Did they find anything?”
Being the polite son I am, I let that slide without commenting. “Do you know when they will be releasing you?”
“No, not yet, but maybe as soon as the doctor comes in and says I can be released…”
“Okay, call me when you are officially released and I will come get you.”
“Ok son. Oh, by the way, can you stop by the apartment and pick up some blue jeans, a sweat shirt, my shoes and my cane?”
“Ummm…did they pick you up naked?”
She was laughing so hard she disconnected one of the plugs connected to one of the thousands of machines surrounding her bed and alarms went off all over the place. I’m sure the little room she was in filled up fast. When all the commotion calmed down she told me she was wearing a night gown when the paramedics picked her up.
I know she wanted me there, part of me of course wanted to check on her, but she was in good hands, nothing was horribly wrong, it wasn’t like the last time—the heart attack that turned into heart burn—so I stayed home.
She called again around 6 pm, telling me they were releasing her. She would be done with all the paper work in about an hour and a half. We decided it was a waste of time to have me drive out there and wait—considering I had not cooked dinner yet or eaten anything since noon.
Now I am beginning to get upset, I know the medical profession is cutting corners, everyone is saying Medicare is losing money and the Health insurance companies are grabbing whatever they can. It is reasons like this that the health care industry is so Fraked up right now:
1) They prey on all citizens, elders more than anything and more so at the beginning of the year so they can grab whatever deductable they can from the patient. Thus putting their victims in a larger financial hole than they are already in. And if they have trouble paying the $5000.00 bill they raise the prices of everyone’s insurance.
2) They waste their time and the patient’s time on useless tests. I don’t know how many they gave her and I won’t until I get the bill, but the only thing they found was the infection which they figured out in less than an hour. Come on.
3) Her, and then the insurance company, are going to be charged for a private room (which she did not ask for) until Noon on Tuesday, which she wasn’t using since 9pm Monday. I am sure that after an hour or more cleaning it they will have another patient laying in it. That means they are getting paid twice from two different patients for the same room for at least a day.
Of course this is only the opinion of an outsider looking in; I have no real proof of how the medical profession works. I just like to complain about it.
One good thing, Mom is home, with a borrowed walker that she thinks she needs. She is doing fine. A few other issues have kept me from my writing these last couple of weeks, but I am beginning to get back into the swing. I’m spending a lot of time reading “On Writing” and “The Tarnsman of Gor.” When I can keep my eyes open to read the Gor book anyway.
What are you working on now? What are your distractions?