How to Get Helped in the ER (without having to wait).

Maybe it was the tight grimace on my pale face. Maybe it was my hunched over, 95-year-old lady stance. Maybe it was just the pajama pants with mismatched gym shoes look I was sporting. Or maybe it was the constant whimpering that emitted from somewhere deep inside me every 30 seconds.

Whatever it was, when I walked into the ER on Friday night, there was no hesitation on the part of the staff. They had me checked in, registered and into a room (with an actual door) before I could say, “somebody hand me one of those pink buckets. I’m going to puke again.”

By the time I got there, it had already been a long day. A day that had started seven hours before when I walked into an urgent care center, thinking I had some sort of weird bladder infection and could get myself some antibiotics and back to work before the clock ran out on my lunch hour.

Yeah. Not so much.

Truth is, no one there could figure out what  was wrong with me. Everything checked out fine. Meanwhile the stabbing pain that had driven me there on a day full of deadlines grew worse…and worse…and worse…until it was all I could think about.

Finally, they sent me home with some painkillers, shrugging their shoulders and wishing me good luck.

I would have thanked them, except I was too busy vomiting on the bushes outside.

Home we went, where I alternated between laying on the couch, pacing the floor while foaming at the mouth and rocking myself like a crazy person, completely consumed by the searing pain that wrapped around my middle.

I was certain my appendix was rupturing. Either that, or I was dying. And at that point? Anything that would have ended the pain would have been welcome.

So off to the ER we went, hoping to find better answers. I didn’t get any of those, at least not right away. But you know what I did get? An IV full of beautiful, merciful drugs. The dry heaving stopped. I could open my eyes. Granted, I didn’t want to, as I was floating on a pink fluffy cloud of narcotics, but I could.

Later, they did a bunch of tests and determined that no, actually my appendix wasn’t about to burst. They sent me home with some more drugs, instructions to “wait and see,” and an appointment scheduled at some far off date in the future. And in the meantime? My insides continue to torment me, with no clear end in sight.

But that’s okay, because I’ve discovered the secret to good service at the ER. It’s not about the amount of blood. It’s about how crazy you look (and sound). And I? Am very good at acting crazy.

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