Dip Me In Sanitizer Please

Yesterday I had the distinct DIS-pleasure of spending 5 hours in the emergency waiting room at one of our hospitals. Not for anyone in my family, but for the woman I work for and her husband. I work for an elderly couple, 3 days a week, mostly for her but he comes with the package. She's 83 and He's 87.

When I got to their house yesterday he was walking all doubled over, grabbing his groin and talking about how bad it hurts. But in typical Man Style, which seems to get worse as they get older, he said it would feel better soon. He popped a Tylenol 4 and said he'd be fine in a little bit. This annoys his wife to no end so she demanded that she was getting dressed and WE were taking him to ER. I love when older people say WE because I know what that really means, ME.

He asks me if I would be able to stay later today and I knew I was in for a long day. On Wednesdays I get off at 1:30 only for the fact that if I stayed any longer I would implode. They are both very nice people but this is probably the most stressful job I've ever had.

We all get into the car but he said we need to gas up first. The hospital is less than 2 miles away and we have a half of a tank of gas, but you never know, we might run out on the way.

As we pull into the parking lot, he pops another Tylenol and a Valium. These are really her meds but he takes them on occasion.

They take him back pretty quick and she goes with him. I'm left out in the waiting room to see:

A small child that was injured at daycare
A man with a strained back
Another man passing a kidney stone
A small boy coughing
A young mom near tears in pain somewhere
Several people wearing masks obviously in the midst of the swine flu, some still in their jammies
One guy puking in a bucket right behind me
A baby with a fever
Another elderly man having the same symptoms as my charge

Hours and hours of this, nonstop. I tried to move away from the 'masked ones' but more kept coming in. I'd go to the restroom and wash my hands until they were chaffed. Then I'd pull out my hand sanitizer. At one point my lady came out with a nurse and was looking for me. I told them I was trying to stay away from the germs. She asked if I wanted a mask and I said "No, I don't want people to think I'm sick too!"

I know better; this is not an air-born virus. I realize you have to be so close to someone to actually get spit in the eye or something. And I'm not really a germophobe. But still I'm creeped out by being around so many sick people when I'm doing my darnedest to stay healthy. And if this many people are sick what the heck are they NOT doing? Are you people not washing your hands? Do you touch items that sick people have touched then pick your nose? I mean really, how easy is it to get sick? And should I even bother to stay healthy if I'm going to get the dreaded disease anyway?

We were finally able to leave about 3:30. He wasn't admitted to the hospital and said he didn't know anything more than what he already knew. She shoots him "the look" and I know she will fill me in on Friday. I just wanted to get home and wash my hands again. But what I really wanted was to be dipped in a vat of hand sanitizer; that's how gross I felt.

And today I have a headache. Just sinuses.......or?


Grumpy said…
And that's why men don't go to hospitals until they absolutely, positively must. Too many sick people and too many who never come back.
Multibrand said…
Hello my dear friend,
You've got an interesting blog which is easy to access, nice looking and informative.
ethelmaepotter! said…
Oh my. Here's hoping your sniffles didn't develop into anything more serious, and the old gentleman is feeling better.
kden said…
Yep, I'm doing fine. I never did get the full story on him. We gathered hernia but his wife said it involved the bladder too. He's supposed to follow up with some doc but I'm betting he won't go.

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