Wednesday, June 29, 2005

Emergency Room Blues

I've given explicit instructions to my loved ones that if ever my health is in enough danger to call the paramedics, they are to make sure I'm sent to any hospital other than West Jefferson. If my health is in so much danger that I don't have a choice(West Jeff being the closest hospital around when I'm on the West Bank), I've instructed them to shoot me twice in the head and once in the heart, just to be sure. Such is my loathing for West Jeff Medical Center.

I have been having abdominal pain for months now. It comes and it goes, but lately it's been so painful that I was forced to call in sick from work. Being the smart bitch that I am, I procrastinated going to the doctor until I could procrastinate no more. I went to a regular physician who did nothing but look at me and ask a bunch of stupid questions. No lab work. Just questions. She proclaimed I probably had acid reflux and then prescribed me a generic form of Zantac. She said to see her in a few weeks if the medicine didn't take affect. Have a nice day and here's your bill.

Was that the end of it? Of course not. I took the medication like a good little girl. It didn't work. I came to the conclusion that all doctors are idiots. This conclusion came to me while I was clutching my stomach, curled up in the fetal position of my mother's bathroom floor. That's pretty much where I stayed the rest of the night. I should have called an ambulance right then and there, but that would have meant going to the hospital. There was no fucking way.

"Why do you hate doctors and hospitals so much, oh magnificent Karma Girl," you must be asking.

I'll tell you why. Because every fucking time I go, I'm sent to Waiting Room Hell where lost, injured souls wait in vain for medical assistance. Whether I see a regular practitioner or go to the hospital for an emergency, I'm always made to wait. When you finally get to see a doctor, they give you a quick once over, a measly Band-Aid solution, and a bill that requires you to hand over your first born child.

Case in point: Wednesday morning. My stomach pain is too much to take. I call my boyfriend who has been nagging me to get my ass to a doctor for weeks. I tell him he'll have to drive because I can't drive in the fetal position. After a quick round of I told you so's, he picks me up and asks me where I want to go. Okay, I'm thinking, I could go to that quack that prescribed me the Zantac or I can go to the nearest emergency room(West Jeff...sigh). At this point, I figure I might as well cut to the chase and go to the hospital. If something's terribly wrong, they'll be sure to spot it and admit me, if need be. And I have insurance, so I'll probably be in and out in no time, right? Right?

We talk to the receptionist who takes my info. Then I'm sent to the back where they take my blood pressure, temperature, and so forth while asking a lot of stupid questions. I'm having déjà vu, but I try not to worry. Because I'm in a hospital. And I have insurance. After that, I'm sent to the main waiting room and told to wait until my name is called.

Time marches on. And on. And on some more. It's been two and half hours. People who have come in well after I did are being called to see a doctor. My boyfriend is getting pissed.

"This is a crappy hospital," he says. "If we were on my side of the river, you would have seen a doctor by now."

He goes to the back to talk to a receptionist. The nurses take my vitals again and tell me I will get the next available bed that isn't taken by a patient being brought in by the paramedic team. As I'm sitting down, a group of paramedic rush in with three more people.

"Guess you just got pushed back, baby," my boyfriend says. I decide not to hurt him, fearing my status will be pushed back further.

It has now been close to three hours. My boyfriend talks to the receptionist again. I'm finally told to go through the double doors where a nurse leads me to a bed sitting in the hall. I'm told a doctor will see me in a moment. Apparently, the medical profession's idea of what a moment means must be anywhere from an hour to an hour and a half because that's how long I waited on that bed. In the middle of a cold hallway. With no blanket.

The doctor sees me and asks me the same fucking questions the nurses asked me. He tells me he's going to order some test for me and walks away. After waiting some more, I tell my boyfriend to go get something to eat. He asks if I'll be okay on my own, but I could tell from the look on his face he was eager to get out of there. I kiss him good-by, and promptly fall asleep waiting for the healing to begin.

Pictured Above: Not the healing...but hey, at this point, I'll take it.

The first test is a urinalysis. I'm sent to a dirty bathroom with a piss drenched floor and told to pee in a cup. I give the nurse my cup o' yellow sunshine and lay back on my bed in anticipation of another hour long nap. I am surprised when only fifteen minutes latter, another nurse returns with a cart full of needles to take a blood sample. The fun truly begins. I tell her she will probably have problems finding a vein. This happens every time I give blood, I tell her. She feels up both of my arms, finds what she thinks is a vein, and sticks that sucker in. Hmm, she says. It was there a second ago. I can feel the needle swinging back and forth while she digs for that damn vein. She tries the other arm. She tries to find one in my right hand and then my left. Then she gives up and gets another nurse who repeats the process. Tears are streaming down my cheeks as they finally find one in my left hand. Where do they train these bitches?

I fall asleep weeping until a nurse nudges me awake. I'm told to strip and put on a hospital gown. I'm sent to another waiting room before they send me to get x-rays. The x-ray tech says she's glad I'm thin because it's so hard to feel for bones in a fat patient. I don't know whether to take it as a compliment or to be totally insulted, so I keep my mouth shut. X-ray's done, I get dressed and go back to my bed.

After another eternity, the doctor finally tells me I don't have anything serious. He says I'm pretty blocked up and that I should take the laxative of my choice when I get home. He also says that I probably should see a specialist just in case I have gastritis. Pats me on the head and sends me on my way.

The cost of constipation: $2,000 with a $125 co-pay on my insurance.
Next time I'm ill, I'll prescribe myself some hemlock. It'll be less trouble and my insurance covers burial.

Friday, June 24, 2005

Just Call Me Mistress Karma Girl

I deal Black Jack. I deal 3 Card Poker. I will soon be dealing Minibac if I get through the three day class without pulling my hair out. I don't deal craps because I suck at math(I can count up to 21 on a good day) and because there is nothing deadlier than a Karma Girl with a long wooden stick in her hand surrounded by bitching customers. When I think of me dealing craps, I imagine myself in a black leather body suit, six inch fuck me boots, and fish net stockings. I imagine myself beating my customers black and blue, screaming, "TIP THE FUCKING DEALER YOU USELESS WORMS!" while men hand me their purple($500 chips) begging for more.

Looking back, perhaps I should have taken that craps class after all.

A customer came in the other day and got down on his knees begging me for a Black Jack. No, seriously. On his knees. With his embarrassed girlfriend standing right behind him rolling her eyes, probably wishing the casino would 86 him permanently. I would deal him one good hand out of five. Then he would push the chair he was sitting on out of his way and get down on his knees and beg for a Black Jack or a winning hand, at the very least. When I didn't deliver, he'd say, "Woman how could you! Can't you see I'm down here on my knees? What do you have to say for yourself?"

I replied, "You ruined a perfectly good pair of pants for nothing."

"I ain't wearing pants(raised eyebrows from my side of the table), I'm wearing shorts, so what do you have to say to that?"

"Guess those bare knees are getting a work out tonight."

His girlfriend snorted.

I dealt another crap hand and he started speaking in tongues. I shit you not. Tongues. Those of you raised Catholic or whatever other soulless Christian faith is out there, you probably won't know what I'm talking about. Have you ever accidentally changed the channel to a religious station only to be transfixed by some guy in an expensive suit, waving a bible, and talking at lightening speed in some weird language you just couldn't place? That's talking in tongues. You see it a lot in the Pentecostal church, but I had never dared dream I would hear it at one of my Black Jack tables. He lost pretty much every hand after that, which only goes to show you, if there's a god, he/she/it don't play.

"Stop calling on the Old Ones, babe. Cthulhu doesn't give a shit about your crap hand."

Friday, June 17, 2005

Beware the Hummer

I am slowly being driven insane. The other night, the Hummer sat at one of my tables. I'm a black jack dealer, in case you haven't read my profile. I've been dealing the swing shift for two years now. You meet the most interesting customers on swing shift. There's a woman who comes in that we have dubbed "the troll" due to her short stature and the fact that she's ugly to everyone, customers or dealers alike. There's a guy we call "the black Don Juan", because he's African American(duh) and every time he comes in he offers sexual favors to one of our floor supervisors-much to her chagrin. And, of course, there is the man I like to call "the hummer" who looks like what Hitler's older autistic brother would have looked like if Hitler had an older autistic brother. Greasy hair, a funny mustache, and a blank expression.

The thing that really irritates me about this guy is that he sits at a table, taps his knee vigorously shaking everyone's chips, and hums. Continuously. One long, annoying hum. He'll break long enough to mumble, "Unbelievable!" under his breath after losing a hand. Because there's nothing more unbelievable than losing your money in a casino. Somebody call Ripley's Believe It or Not.

You would think I'd be used to the crazies after two years of dealing to them and with them, but for some reason this man brings out the homicidal maniac in me. I don't talk ugly to him or anything that would get me fired, but whenever I see him, I imagine myself lifting the lid of my chip tray and beating him senseless with it.

It makes me realize I could never have a career in espionage. If I were caught by the other side all they'd have to do would be to flash that bright light in my face and have an interrogator hum at me. Beat me, cut off both my nipples, dip my head in frying grease. Nothing would get me to spill my guts quicker than hmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmm...


"No, seriously. I'll take the deep fryer. Just...make that bastard shut up!"

Tuesday, June 14, 2005

Reminders of My Zealot Past

I was raised Pentecostal. Assembly of God-hellfire-damnation-do-as-I-say-the-bible-says-and-whatever-you-do-don't-go-thinking-for-yourself-'cause-that-way-leads-to-trouble-Pentecostal. At least, that's the type of church my family attended when they did go. My parents liked to practice their own brand of submarine Christianity. We'd go if there was a crisis in our lives. My older sister comes home hung over after a night of partying. "Let's go to church!" My live-in cousin turns out to be a would-be rapist with a drug problem. "Let's see what the Lord can do to heal this family!" My father dies...So on and so forth. Once the crisis was averted-or when my mom figured whatever was on TV that Sunday was more inspiring than a sermon-we'd blow off church until the next crisis. I think most Christians are like that.

Today I'm a born-again Agnostic which means I believe in the possibility of a god, but I won't place bets on whether He/She/It really exists, much less what religion He/She/It subscribes to. I don't think anyone has cornered the market on truth.
Lately, it has become in vogue to put down the Christian faith, which I find is just as bad as the Christians putting down everyone else. It's also an unwise course of action seeing as most Christians love to be made martyrs. Putting their faith on the barbecue grill is as good as giving them head. They live for that shit! The problem is, they keep doing stupid shit that gets them into so much trouble with the secular world that they might as well be lighting the match themselves.

This brings me to a little web blog I found through
Cruel Site of the Day. Apparently some sixteen year old gay kid named Zach came out of the closet to his Christian parents. They took it pretty well considering their faith-by carting him off to some Christian boot camp that's suppose to degayify him in a few short weeks. This is as calm and rational as most Christians get when it comes homosexuality. The boot camp is called Love in Action (who makes up the names for these places anyway?) and apparently the moron who runs it thinks it would be better for his clients to commit suicide than to quit his program. At least, that's what everyone is saying he said. Whether the comment is true or not, it fits with what most Christians think: Better to lead a miserable lie of a life or die than to give up what some pasty-assed minister thinks is the love of the one true god.

Reading Zach's blog, I had to wonder what my parents would have done had I been gay and decided to tell them. I'm pretty sure they wouldn't have thrown me in a Christian gulag (they couldn't have afforded it), but I have to wonder if they wouldn't have called some people from the church to "pray" over me. This is what happened that night my sister stumbled home drunk and is one of the many reasons I am not a heavy drinker today.

Screaming, "In the name of Jesus, begone foul spirit!" isn't helping my hangover, bitches.

Friday, June 10, 2005

Welcome To My Hell

I promised myself I would never stoop to starting one of these damn things. As a kid, I had an obsession with unfinished diaries. I would see one at a book store, ooh and ahh over the thing. I would buy it. I would keep it for a week, tops. Then I would throw it in my bedroom closet to be forgotten until sometime in the next decade when I bothered to clean my room. There I would find it rotting with a dozen other journals, diaries, and notebooks chock full of the same old whiny crap kids write when they're in the mood to write instead of burning their retinas watching hours of television. And boy was I ever an angsty little punk! If you're good(and I get drunk or stupid)I might post a few excerpts from my embarrassing past.

"Dear Diary, I have a white girl afro perm now...sigh."

Chances are, this blog will be just as whiny. The only difference between a sixteen year old Karma Girl and a twenty-year old Karma Girl is that instead of bitching about school, acne, and the "incredible pain of being" she will be bitching about work, her sagging ass, and the "incredible pain of being annoyed". Be prepared.