It’s 7 PM, Thursday, at one of the many hospitals in America.
My doctor advised me to go to the E.R. because of kidney pain and high fever.
The hospital is full of sick people. Not just the E.R., but the whole hospital is full up. There is not an available bed in the hospital.
What do you do when a hospital gets filled to the brim with patients?
I don’t know the answer.
I’d put a motel sign out front that reads, “No Vacancy.”
Seriously though, these are for real, sick, dying people.
The lady next to me has diabetes. She came in with her blood sugar out of whack, and she can’t get it back on track.
She is in a wheelchair.
She is sitting there with her knitting supplies in her lap. She looks like anybody’s granny.
“Sir, can you help me take my blood sugar?” She asks.
“Yes, ma’am. I’m diabetic, and I know how,” I tell her.
I check it and her blood sugar is 52! You may not know this, but when you go below 70, you seek medical attention.
“Do you have any tablets to bring it back up, ma’am?” I ask
“No,” She says.
I tell the front desk that she needs attention now.
Five minutes go by, and nobody comes to help. I go back to the front desk and tell them again.
I can tell the front desk is frantic.
“Sir, every doctor, and nurse in the hospital is with another patient. I’ve told them that this is an emergency. I don’t know what to do.”
I know that what I am about to do could get me in trouble. In my mind, at least. It would mean me getting involved.
I go to the drink machine and search through the drinks choices, figuring out which one is best to bring sugar back up, and I swipe my credit card and push the button.
I walk back over and see that her friend has arrived.
“You know her?”
“Yes, I’m her friend.”
“Okay, her blood sugar is 52, she needs to get sugar fast, here is some
‘sweet tea,'” and I hand her the bottle.
“Thank you, sir.”
“You’re welcome,” and I say bye to my new friend, who I shall call “Granny.”
A few moments later, a nurse runs out with a kit in her hand and runs over to “Granny.”
I feel better now.
A teenage girl comes in with her mom and sits close to me.
The teenage girl is crying and visibly upset.
The mom walks away to make a phone call.
I don’t know why she walked away to make the call because she is hollering loud enough for everyone to hear.
“This is me; Sissy is suicidal again!”
“Yeah! She went through her hissy fit, but this time she won’t calm down, she’s determined this time, so I brought her to the E.R. No! Don’t come down! You know she hates you! I’ll call you back when I hear something.”
Now, I don’t want you to laugh at what I just typed. All I did was type what I heard.
In the meantime, “Sissy” is sitting close to me and is seriously upset with life. She is crying and doesn’t want to live.
I know all too well that teenage suicide is real.
She thinks that whatever comes next, after death, has got to be better than the hell that she is going through here on earth.
And I got up and went outside.
On my way outside, I see a man is in a wheelchair with a leg swollen up as big as a watermelon, and he is crying in pain. His wife has his head on her shoulders.
The place is full.
And it becomes all too real. I feel sadness and pain all around me.
I keep walking outside.
I get outside, and I can hear sirens—ambulance sirens.
At one point, I hear the medical helicopter flying overhead.
I tear up thinking of the pain inside this place where I am—And this is just one hospital out of all the hospitals all over the world.
Again, it becomes too real, and I can feel the hurt and pain.
I tear up some more.
At this moment, I wished I had never stopped smoking because I could sure use a cigarette by now. I pop a mint into my mouth.
I know that they take the sickest first, and I am ambulatory, walking around, not suicidal, not dying, and I’ll be last. At this time, it’s 9 PM