Let us all meet at the ER


Getting old is not for the faint of heart that is for certain. As we age things just naturally tend to wear out or just wear down from years of use and abuse. It seems like I get one thing on the mend and another injury or illness comes charging into my offensive line like the Packers into the Dallas Cowboys football team setting me back 10 yards or so.

As luck would have it, I was struck by some gastronomical bug this past week that seemed intent on resisting any home remedy and ended up in the emergency room in a nearby city. Now I do not know if you have been to any E.R. lately but it is mainly a place where you sit for endless hours watching the State wrestling tournament or some medical journal show on a TV with no sound.

This is not my first trip around the block as Miss Trixie likes to remind me, so I knew it would be a long day when I went in, but I did not expect to be there 9 hours.

This hospital has a unique method to treating people as all the injured, sick, maimed, and insane all sit together in a huge lobby and then are intermittently taken back for tests only to be returned to their seats like a rejected Amazon package from Miss Trixie. There they wait for either another test or their final admittance to a room to see a doctor in the back all the while trying to keep some semblance of sanity, looking at their phones or watching people and guessing what is wrong with them.

The hospital even had this fancy dancy cell phone charger system all set up so you could put your phone in and used a code to open the doors to ensure the safety of your phone while it charged. Of course, it was not working at the time I was there but Ol’ Dutch found a cute nurse with a charger, and she helped me out her entire shift with periodic charging.

I am sure it does not surprise most of you that Ol’ Dutch made friends around him as usual and so the time, although long and boring, passed pretty fast.

I learned of Aunt Martha’s goiter issues, and about cousin Jenny’s thyroid problems that she has had since a child and caused her to gain weight and I can say this. It did make her fill out her chair nicely. I met Bob who sat some distance apart from us. I think he had Covid and Jim, an accountant from Dallas who probably blew out his knee trying to play basketball with his sons. Then there was April who was suffering some kind of complications due to pregnancy and who constantly held the hand of a scared young man who accompanied her.

Not to be outdone, there were several people there who looked like hammered death and did not speak so all we could do was speculate what was wrong with them. Thankfully, some of the “group,” if I can call us that, were long time watchers of medical television shows dating back to Marcus Welby, M.D., and they were pretty good at diagnosing patients as they came in.

A few of the group seated there were really into crime scene shows like CSI and we had to exclude them from the group as their morbid take on every symptom was just too much for us to handle.

I do have to say that the longer I sat there and saw people in all kinds of terrible distress, the better I felt and a weeklong belly ache that Ol’ Dutch had seemed pretty mundane in comparison to their sufferings. But I finally ran the gauntlet through the back rooms and saw a great doctor who assured me that I was going to not only live, but all my guts looked okay, gave me a shot to calm me and my tummy down and sent me on my way.

Leaving the E.R. I felt a twinge of sadness as many of my new friends still sat waiting for their chance at the lottery of being seen by a professional. But I did rest easier once I remembered that we had all agreed to meet again at that very same spot one year from the date like some classmates returning to their Alma Mater.

I cannot wait to compare notes and see the new scars some of them acquired in the next year.

Kevin Kirkpatrick and his Yorkie, Cooper, fish, hunt, ATV, or hike daily. His email is Kevin@TroutRepublic.com. Additional news can be found at www.troutrepublic.com.