Published by PaintingChef on 23 May 2007
At about 2:00 yesterday afternoon my work friend Sheila walked up to my desk and very calmly and very quietly asked me to take her to the emergency room because she thought she was having a heart attack. Being someone who likes to think that she can remain calm in situations such as these, I, also very calmly and quietly, said alright, let’s go. (However when faced with situations related to shoe sales, dishes in the sink, fertility drugs, and the god-squad brand of militant republicans we grow here in Georgia I go all twitchy and squinty)
We got into the car and immediately I started the running questions in my head… beginning with “Holy shit. I have NO IDEA where the emergency room is.” Perhaps you are unaware of this fact but Augusta, GA has roughly 12 hospitals per person. There are hospitals everywhere. And by everywhere I mean that they are all stacked within a 10 block radius downtown. You also may or may not know (most likely not… unless you are my sister and are still experience post-traumatic stress syndrome and intermittent twitches from that time I was the DD at your bachelorette weekend in Atlanta because I was all knocked up but actually I wasn’t anymore I just didn’t know it and MAN I could have been drinking tequila) that when it comes to navigating city streets I immediately take stupid. The thought of one way streets and no left turns and OH MY GOD PARALLEL PARKING JUST KILL ME NOW cause me to break out into hives. And possibly pee just a little.
The second question that was dancing around in my head was whether this was a situation that warranted the whole hazard lights on and running red lights with the bobbing and weaving in the traffic. I quickly decided that since I recognized Sheila’s distress as an anxiety attack (being no stranger to them myself) I would avoid exposing her to repeated near-death situations and would instead proceed with the whole “calmly and quietly” theme. Breaking theme in the middle of a party is bad form anyway.
I did manage to get us to the emergency room with no wrong turns and only a couple of horn-honking incidents. As this was my first Georgia emergency room event I was unprepared for the events that followed. In a span of roughly three and a half hours I was witness to…
* 7 separate crystal-meth incident sightings
* 1 shirtless child bleeding from the head being held by very unconcerned parents
* 1 infant being fed chocolate milk from a bottle by aforementioned unconcerned parents
* 1 bloody towel abandoned by unconcerned parents when they took their children (one bleeding, one hopped up on chocolate milk) and left without ever seeing a doctor
* 1 woman who called herself “Aunt Francis” and drove her whole brood to the emergency room in their pajamas because her husband had “the thumpings” again
* 2 children (one adorable and one truly unfortunate looking… so sad) ignored by Aunt Francis and allowed to run all over the emergency room waiting area in BARE FEET in close proximity to abandoned bloody towels and crystal-meth incidents
* 1 woman who had just given in completely to gravity and was letting her fun bags swing so low I briefly thought they were an oddly shaped fat roll
* 1 nail-gun incident
* 2 fist fights (I only bore visual witness to one of them, the other was loud and behind closed doors)
* 1 toothless hospital administrator
For those of you keeping score, that covers my crazy quota for the week. All other crazy will be marked “return to sender”. So I’m hoping my mother won’t get offended when I wait until Sunday to return her phone calls…