When the hospital gets too full to accept new patients, we start holding hospital patients in the emergency room- it sucks. Not only does it give us significantly less room to see “emergency room patients,” it’s uncomfortable for admitted hospital patients- and boy, do they let you know.
I make the make the mistake of going into a “hospital room” to answer a call light. It was at that point that things spiralled out of my controlled. The “sweet old lady” that I’d come to help turned out to be a very grumpy- control freak. Do this, do that, we’re gonna do things my way- she flat out started losing her cool with me while I tried to help her onto the toilet, telling me, ” would you just listen to me- we’re gonna do it my way!”
So when your iv line is on the verge of pulling out of your arm, and you have no room to move around because you were dead set on doing things “your way,” maybe it’s time to listen to the guy that’s in the emergency room every day.
The noise and chaos that comes with a full emergency room can only get worse with the addition of a “siren.” When I say a “siren,” I mean a patient that wails and whines incessantly- without pause or relief. I’m not talking about crying in pain or screaming in anguish- I’m talking a droning whine that goes on and on and only changes in script.
“Stop bumping the bed, who’s bumping the bed, oh please, oh please, stop bumping the bed!” News flash- no one is bumping the bed. Nails on a chalk board amplified by a megaphone- that’s what we’re talking about here.
It’s one thing when a patient has dementia and doesn’t understand what’s going on and is crying out for non-existent friends to turn down the tv. It’s a whole other thing when the patient is totally aware of their surroundings and continues to spew the same line over and over again like a two year old repeatedly asking- “why?”
The phrase that really got me laughing was, “what is that constant beeping noise” repeated in a whine of desperation, back to back- continuously. “Please, someone, what is that constant beeping noise?” Even though the patient wasn’t even in a room with something beeping, they were apparently obsessing over the noise. As the trauma PA walked pasted the patient, she was in the middle of another round of “someone, please, someone- what is that constant beeping sound?” Ma’am, unfortunately that’s the sound of the hospital,” says the PA as he walks past her. Apparently, she wasn’t satisfied with that answer because the non-stop whine continued.
I was happy to get out of there and unwind- I went and performed at my first open- mic. Some of the performers sounded eerily similar to the patient that whined in the hallway all day. If you watch my video of me singing Gavin Degraw– you can see a guy walk by in a camo jacket at the beginning. When he performed you couldn’t hear practically anything that he was saying- except every once in a while I could make out one phrase- “law enforcement.” I have a feeling I’ll be seeing him again…