Hava has had a rough few weeks.
She has been fighting a nasty tummy bug that led to horrible diaper rash. (Chronicled here.)
And as soon as the worst of that virus was gone, she contracted a horrible, wet, phlegmy cough.
We decided to get her checked out by our pediatrician, since it appeared she was double-dipping in the viral pool. The doctor diagnosed her with, well, a cough. Her fever continued to rise and her cough got worse and worse, so our doctor recommended a trip to the ER.
Which leads me to the point of this post:
Ways a Hospital Emergency Room is Like a Las Vegas Casino!
1) Once inside, you have no concept of time. Casinos are notorious for not having clocks, maintaining the same light and music patterns 24/7 and putting the main action areas far away from the doors and windows. Hospitals also skimp on the natural lighting, and time just passes differently there. The ER we went to last night even utilized my favorite casino trick – they painted the ceiling like a sky, complete with clouds! (For the best example of this, may I suggest the Tropicana Casino’s “The Quarter” section in Atlantic City?)
2) Judgy McJudgerson. Yeah, you do it. You look around the room and judge the life decisions of everyone else there that made them end up in the ER. Morbidly obese? Backyard wrestling? Drunken bar fight? Not too different from the way you categorize casino patrons, too.
3) It’s no place for kids. On a more serious note, anytime a kid is in an ER or a casino, bad things have or will happen.
4) The “One More” Theory. I speak from deep experience that there is no “one more hand” at a casino. You say that, which leads to at least another hour deciding if you should hit on 13 with the dealer showing 16. (Blackjack rules are complicated, man…) Hospital ERs can suck you in the same way. “One more test and we’ll get you out of here” can lead to hours and hours and hours of waiting.
5) You have to leave to get good food, but you don’t want to. There generally is no cafeteria near an ER. There are tons of vending machines, but how long can you sustain your energy with Cheetos? (The answer is 4.3 hours, but consider it a hypothetical question.) So, in order to get real, good, nutritious food, you have to leave the ER. Not an option, right? You came there to get medical attention or be with someone who needs it. Casinos bring you anything you want to drink on the floor, but not even candy or mints in the way of food. You need to leave the floor to eat…but you came to gamble, dangit!
6) Cashing-out can be painful. Casino cashiers are wonderful at making you feel better after a rough night. You bought $400 in chips and are looking to get $3 back in cash after a really rough streak? They know the right words to say. The discharge office at an ER can tell when you’ve had a long, hard run through the ER system. It takes a gentle soul to collect a co-pay from someone who spent 10 hours waiting for one exam.
7) The Nurse/Cocktail Waitress Problem. As mentioned above, you can order a beverage from a cocktail waitress while at a casino. And then not see that drink materialize for an hour. The waitress has a 10-table area, giving her, what, 80 people to be concerned about? What takes so damn long to make a rum and coke? The same thing goes for ER nurses. They’ll come in for a quick update, and say a test will happen soon or they will bring medicine or what have you…and then disappear!
At the end of the day, we’re thankful that our ER experience was long, but smooth. We saw families wait for hours just to be seen, while we spent just 20 minutes in the waiting area, and then had a (relatively) comfortable private room for the rest of our time there.
We’re unbelievably grateful for the nurses and doctors which did thorough tests to find everything ailing her.
But most of all, we are beyond happy to have our baby home.