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Thursday, November 19, 2020

The Follow Up

All in all, this morning’s surprise MGH visit wasn’t awful. At least not until I lost my ER room and was parked, on my gurney, in a crowded hallway. Ya see, Plague45 patients are kept in a separate section, away from us plain old non-COVID emergency cases. Us hallway gurneyed sickies, all masked of course, lined the corridors, practically end to end. The MGH ER was a full house.

Why’d I lose the room? After a CAT scan, a bunch more tests AND being able to walk again, it was clear I was off the drastically dire list. There were incoming cases more acutely urgent than yurs truly.

This was the good and bad news. I was stabile BUT now in a high traffic hallway with no clue as to how long I’d be staying there (an hour and then moved to a room in the neuro building or would I be there for the duration and how long would that be?)

I proceeded to get a little twitchy. Sure, everyone was masked BUT you can’t be too careful around Plague45 germs. I just wanted to get an idea of my stay’s trajectory.

I flagged down a random nurse who, apparently, never had a deaf patient before (shocking seeing as she was no jeune fille). I really just wanted to know if I still had an assigned medic and would she be making an appearance anytime soon.

Nurse Rando began talking at me a mile a minute – I could tell – her mask was flapping. I held up my hand, said “I’m deaf” and was about to hold up my telefonino for her to talk into. Her response? She repeated herself OR said something entirely new. Got me hangin' but I saw that her mask was moving.

I’m sure my disdainful snark, “again (dramatic pause) I’m deaf – that means I can’t hear you,” didn’t endear me to her but, fer fuck’s sake, why do people, especially experienced health care workers, think all they need do is repeat themselves and, miraculously, I’ll “hear” them.

Rando got my nurse for me and, as luck would have it, I was being discharged in a few hours. Yea!

I texted Ten to come get me, signed off on my discharge paperwork and was left in another, new and busy hallway. Abandoned actually. My nurse had once again done a Houdini on me. I found another one and asked, since my paperwork was complete and my ride was waiting for me, could I just leave. Poor dear looked utterly flustered and appeared to just nod yes.

So, I ended up walking out to the lobby to meet Ten, barefoot, in the previous night’s ratty PJs, with a blanket wrapped around my shoulders. I was TOTALLY rockin’ the homeless look.

I do honestly and completely get that the good ER nurses are to the wall, they're heinously overworked. After all, just here in Massachusetts, there were nearly 3,000 new cases of the Republican Virus today
alone and 885 of those required hospitalization . Apart from my one snark explosion, I was a good patient. These angels have more than enough on their plates without having me doing an ER version of Godzilla attacking Tokyo.

Ya know, incredibly, sometimes it’s NOT all about me.


  1. Not out into the lobby, headed out the damned door. Looked right at me, with clothes and blankets in hand and a warmed up wheelchair, and never even slowed down. I had to hollar at the security guy to stop her (I love hollaring at security guys).

    1. :-) Oh, I kinda missed that in my determination to break free :-)

    2. Love Ten's description! You are awesome, Donna. Your "I'm deaf" spiel continues to teach me. Thank you.

  2. Yup, that totally sounds like our Donna, focused and resolute (read: clueless). :-)