As I waited with my boyfriend, Corey, in the Emergency Room loading dock, nurses, aides, cleaning people and, I think, some illegal immigrants would rush through. The energy was frenetic. It was like someone spliced together all the link and filler scenes from a TV medical drama, and edited out the entertaining parts where you find out the doctor’s sleeping with the wife of the man who runs the hospital who is an alcoholic/pill addict and, even more tragic, votes Republican.
We learned that Corey had appendicitis. They wanted to perform surgery that night. Our plans to play poker and go dancing would, in all likelihood, have to be cancelled.
A cute picture of my boyfriend, Corey
Corey is a self-professed control-freak, and this would reveal itself in many ways. He would grill anyone who entered our room with the same battery of questions, to which he would receive, more or less, the same answers. I didn’t ask why, but I secretly theorized that he was waiting for one of them to “slip up” and say something like, “Well, you may be feeling discomfort because your uterus is over-extended,” to which Corey could then raise his pointed finger and exclaim, “Ah, ha! Got you! I’m a boy and I don’t have a uterus! Because of my hysterectomy last year.”
My boyfriend won’t find that joke funny, but he’s all cripple from surgery, so I’m safe.
Anyway, my favorite part of that phase of our hospital experience was when Corey called a nurse in and complained of the placement of his IV injection.
“Some nurse,” he sneered, “insisted on putting my IV in on the inside of my arm, which I hate!” He pointed to the top of his forearm. “This is where I want my IV. Inside, where he put it, is more painful than my appendix!”
The nurse nervously scanned Corey’s arm, looking for a new place to inject the IV, within Corey’s specified skin geography. The nurse rubbed one vein in-particular…
“Ooh, yeah!” Corey perked up, “That one’s good. I’ve had that one used before – it’s great.”
It sounded to me as if he was consulting a wine list.
“Ooh, yeah! The Château Margaux 2003. It’s great.”
On a medical note, here is a picture of my liver.
Corey’s spent a lot of time in hospitals for reasons I won’t go into here because it’s personal and I respect his right to privacy and I don’t wanna look up how to spell big medical words.
My least favorite part in the Emergency Room was when one of the nurses – a man in his 30’s who looked like a Korean version of Charlie Brown – was explaining what causes appendicitis.
“Basically what happens," he explained, "is that something like a seed or poop gets caught in the appendix and the poop or seeds irritate it. So, it’s just like poop, that doesn’t get pooped out and makes the appendix swell.”
As I dug my own fingernails into my palms so that the pain would distract me from barfing or leaping across the room and “irritating” the nurse with my fists, he continued:
“Humans don’t even need the appendix. Rabbits do, because of all the lettuce and plants they eat; they need it to help process the fiber for food, but we just poop it out, y’know, we just poop it all out.”
Oh my f-wording God…
I know Corey endured surgery and all, but I think, after that monologue, the greatest suffering to be had that night was mine.
"I process fiber, Doc, but you just poop it! You poop it all out!"
Eventually, come nine o’clock and after waiting in the tiny room with wires since early in the day, we were escorted up to our private room on the 8th floor. We lucked out and got one of their luxury suites. It was roughly the size of my apartment, but with a better view, and supplied us with a ‘fridge, an expansive and tastefully designed restroom, a flat-screen TV… heck, I was kind of hoping Corey would come down with SARS or something, just so we could really settle in for a while.
The poor guy had been pumped full of disorienting drugs which made being a control-freak challenging. I think at some point he commanded the curtains to make him a Caesar salad, which would have been kind of endearing, if only he wouldn’t have gotten so furious when they forgot to put the capers on the side.
I’ll continue the saga tomorrow. It’s late, I’m tired, and at the risk of giving you a “spoiler” I want to go cuddle with Corey and watch “Borat”. Yes, my sweetheart survives, which is a good thing, because blogging about his death would be harder to make funny.
…Oh, and I’m love with him. That, too.