Gut Rumbles

February 22, 2008


Originally published July 8, 2003

I arrrived at the hospital at 0925 today, and the day-surgery waiting room (which is about the size of a large restaurant) was so full of people that I couldn't find a place to sit. I filled out my registration card and leaned in the corner next to a potted plant until some family was called to see about a loved one and three seats were available. If I hadn't been close by to claim one, I would have been shit out of luck, because a stampede ensued.

I looked at the people stiill standing. I didn't see any elderly wimmen or infirm men, so I didn't give up my seat. (I WOULD HAVE for an elderly woman. I was raised that way.) An infirm man should just have the good grace to DIE, if he can't stand up on his own, in MY humble opinion.

Why do you think I'm having this operation?

I sat there listening to a couple of true environmentalists, bedecked in fine clothes and wearing the kind of male jewelry that only rich, retired, Hilton-Head-living, golf-club membership-toting, out-of-the-loop dimwits speak. They are retired and have a boodle full of money. They criticize people who cut down trees, now that their three golf courses are built. They mourn the loss of the Red Snapper off-coast, because the all waters have been "fished-out."

Bullshit. The last time those creaky old farts ever fished for snapper was probably 40 years ago and I caught six keepers last summer. My maintenance engineer at work just gave me about 10 pounds of kingfish steaks that he caught while on vacation. He had TOO MANY fish for his freezer.

Tell me the waters are "fished out" after you GO FISH THEM. Talk about "saving the planet" when you move out of a planned community, abandon the golf course and live in a Unibomber hut. Talk to ME about people who "cut down trees and plow the ground for a garden, just because they like to cut down trees and destroy the earth." I fucking HATE people like that. What the hell did YOU ever grow in your life except OLD, you bastard?

I sat there listening to those two self-satisfied asswits until 1015, when I was called to the front desk. If I had been forced to listen to that shit the "environmentalists" were spouting for ten more minutes, I would be in jail for assault and battery tonight.

John Denver set the standard for that sort of idiocy. His motto was, "I got here first, I cut down MY trees, I built a mansion, and I don't want ANYBODY ELSE DOING WHAT I DID! So, I'm going to work on Saving the Earth, now that I'VE GOT MINE!!!"

What horseshit.... but, I digress.

I went to the desk and filled out duplicate copies of every goddam form they had from 21 months ago, except for a change of address and phone number. That process took 30 minutes because the (nurse? secretary? homeless person?) attempting to plug the information into the computer had a difficult time doing it. I wanted to leap the counter and do it for her.

But I put up with the crap because I really want this operation. I learned one simple thing while I was there. Since the government and insurance companies got involed in the health-care business, NOBODY has to be competent anymore, except the doctors, and they pay A LOT of malpractice insurance to keep lawyers out of their wallets.

It is a fucked-up system, and the more the government gets involved in it, the more fucked-up it will become. Show me ONE example where I am wrong.

I finished the paperwork and was told to go back to the waiting room. I found a seat this time. I sat there for another 45 minutes and almost missed it when they finally called my name. I was a zombie by then.

I went back to a tiny office, went through an interview with a genuine nurse, who was pissing away HER time and MINE by filling out a questionaire I could have emailed from my house, and I FINALLY got a blood sample and an EKG at 12:00. What a pathetic waste of time and energy that was. I could have done every bit of that shit at work in the Medical Clinic and had our company Nurse Practicioner fax it ALL to them, for FREE. As it went, my insurance company will probably be charged over $1,500 for that crap.

I am supposed to be at the hospital at 0515 in the morning. The operation is scheduled for 0715. I'll wager that I'll sit on my ass for AT LEAST an hour out there in that waiting room before they get ready to dose and cut me.

If my company ran that way, we would be bankrupt in six months.

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