Fuck Hospitals & Doctors But God Bless Nurses and Pediatrics
(An Excerpt From My Upcoming Memoir)
The following is an excerpt from a collection of stories I plan on self publishing in 2018. It is 2/3 of just one of the short stories in what will be a collection of deeply personal, entertaining and unique experiences I've lived through and have been working hard towards summoning up the courage and creativity to share with the world, in a way that matters since 2013. They are the stories that have made me who I am, for better or worse; good bad or indifferent. Further details on title, release date and pre-order availability will be made throughout the rest of 2017 and thank you to all of you who have shown their support.
As much respect as I have for those that dedicate their lives to the medical profession, I genuinely despise the institutions they conduct their business in and here are more than enough valid reasons why.
I mean in fairness, nobody loves hospitals. Aside from child birth and few and far between divine intervention type medical turnarounds, most people’s experience with or memories of hospitals are generally terrible. I just choose to write about mine for entertainment purposes
My first experience with hospitals which I obviously have no recollection of but was passed down to me by word of mouth by two pretty credible sources who I call parents, was non other then when I was born.
My birth should have been an omen of things to come. They had to pull me out with forceps which when I say out loud I can’t believe was ever a real fucking thing that people with degrees or anyone else for that matter actually did or even thought was a good idea.
It went terribly, obviously. I was left with a black eye as a new born.
Had this happened today there’s no doubt in my mind my parents would have made a cool million off my birth by settling out of court with the hospital.
But instead they just passively aggressively apologized and sent me home with a shiner.
Newly delivered kids are ugly enough without bruised eyes. Imagine the shame I feel still to this day every time I look at those pictures. Somewhere there is a rich doctor that got away scott free with bruising my newborn face with forceps, meanwhile i’m down to my last cigarette.
When I was a kid my mom suffered from seizures pretty regularly. She would have them and me and my Dad would go see her at that same God awful hospital I was born at. Seizures are a terrible thing to watch anyone you love suffer from, even as an adult.
Watching my Mom go through that at 4 years old is one of the more terrifying memories I have and my memories of going to visit her in the hospital are just as awful.
I don’t recall how old I was exactly but i’d say by the time I was 7 or 8 I started suffering from terrible migraines. Debilitating headaches that would cause me to miss school and would pretty much leave me unable to move off the couch. I’m thirty years old and have experienced my fair share of physical pain in my life but still am not certain any of it has come close to the amount of pain migraines caused me. It would literally hurt to move. It was always a pain that would feel like it would never subside and then when it did there really was no better feeling.
Eventually I began missing so much school that my Dad took me to see a specialist.
The first Doctor I remember talking to on our first venture down Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia was essentially a psychiatrist that implied I was lying and asked if anyone at school was hurting me, he was wrong on both counts. Eventually they took an MRI of the inside of my head and found a sizable cyst near my brain. I wonder how the psychiatrist that implied I was lying felt when he heard about that one. Doctors then gave me a long laundry list of things to avoid eating and drinking in hopes of reducing how often the migraines would occur. Not being able to eat chocolate or drink sodas with caffeine in them as a ten year old might have been as painful as the headaches themselves. To this very day I have a strong standing resentment against Sprite.
The only way a Sprite looks appeasing to me today is if there’s liquor in it.
Now that I think about it,given the fact I wasn’t allowed to have chocolate or caffeine,my parents should have let me put liquor in the Sprites they were force feeding me, just out of pure sympathy. Liven them non caffeinated cans up before you give them to me would you Dad?
So every few months I’d have to go back down CHOP for an MRI on my brain.
In all seriousness, CHOP truly is an amazing hospital. Through all of the time that I spent there as a kid I don’t ever recall being afraid, or even disliking it to be honest. It was a pretty sweet deal, I got the day off from school and would go lay real still like in a machine where they would play my favorite radio station, for a lady who was always overly nice to me and would check on me via intercom throughout the whole process. The staff and the work they do down there at not only CHOP but at pediatric hospitals all throughout the country truly is amazing and I’m forever grateful.
My Dad would always take me to the McDonald’s downstairs when I was done. That was a big deal back then, we were broke and besides all kids love McDonald's. It’s not until later in life that you realize the steak on the egg and cheese bagel is definitely not steak and the egg is not egg,
Eventually the headaches began happening less frequently. Doctors kept an eye on it via MRI even though they didn’t anticipate it would grow. They instead predicted it would eventually begin to decrease in size which it thankfully did. By the time I was twelve or so they said I didn’t have to come for my regular every 3 month MRI. Then one day they just said I didn’t have to come anymore and that was miraculously kind of the end of it aside from the fact that when I do get a headache even today,its really bad. However I don’t get them often, no more frequently than anyone else I guess.
Years later I was in a car accident and the lawyer I was talking to suggested I go in for an MRI, simply because that’s what lawyers do. Even though I gave the technician that was giving me the results this big preamble about the cyst and how it was preexisting as if the technician would maybe think the car accident I was in somehow caused a cyst to instantaneously grow near my brain, the results came back completely clean. No cyst to speak of. I’ll drink a Pepsi to that.
As if enduring the brunt of that before the tender age of twelve wasn’t enough to scar a kid, that is just the tip of the iceberg that has been my experience with hospitals. My next two trips to the hospital would be caused my own bad decisions, ego and the result of living wrong for longer than I care to remember.
On one of the more humbling nights of my short thirty years on this earth, I was taken to the emergency room by my cousin, as my head and nose were both split open pretty badly by someone I hated senselessly for so long.
In his defense I had it coming, in my defense he weighed twice what I did. I drank and did enough drugs for the both of us as well as the four people who stood there watching, one being an ex girlfriend. I digress…
After I had my head split open, wiped blood from my face with the jay-z shirt I had been wearing and threw it at the dude who was responsible for the blood that now covered the shirt, I called my favorite cousin and told him what happened. In a very incoherent fashion, i’m sure.
He came and got me and convinced me to let him take me to the emergency room despite my drunken arguments about being uninsured.
To paint an accurate and vivid picture, to say I was visibly intoxicated would be an understatement. My face was covered in my own blood.
It was sometime around midnight on a Tuesday and into the emergency room walks a drunken bloody mess, with the help of his three mainly sober good samaritan friends and cousin. What I remember from my short visit is a blurry, bloody highlight reel that goes a little something like this.
I’m wheeled into a hallway on a gurney and just kind of left there, as is probably common with uninsured peasants such as myself.
At some point I realize I only have one shoe one and start screaming for my cousin to ask him where my other shoe is,while simultaneously hitting on any and all nurses that walk by, not realizing at the time I was still covered in my own blood.
Due to my incoherent and obnoxious drunken yelling fit about a missing shoe, my cousin realizes I've been left in this hallway for the uninsured for all this time, still covered in blood and still very much bleeding. He begins a yelling fit of his own that eventually gets me some medical attention.
A male nurse asks me what my pain level is from a one to a ten and I tell him a ten in hopes it comes with narcotic pain medication because as the story of my next hospital visit will tell you, of all the drugs I’ve loved over the years, they were always my poison of choice. Much to my disbelief, I was handed a 5 MG percocet a moment later; despite being clearly visibly intoxicated.
Suddenly this trip seems worth it. My demeanor immediately lightens.
In one of many of the acts that have happened to me you have or will read about, ones I might not believe had they happened to anyone other than me; the same male nurse that offered me and gave me the pain pill no more than twenty minutes before essentially asked me if I wanted another one. Maybe not in those words but that’s what I heard and that’s what he gave me.
Throughout this short stay I was repeatedly asked who I had been assaulted by. In one of my more subconsciously racist moments, I insisted it was a group of black kids and also there was no need for a police report, in a very Sons Of Anarchy like fashion. No seriously go back and watch, when shit gets real they always blame the black guys.
It should also be mentioned during this visit my breathing was examined with a stethoscope and I was told I had “the lungs of an 82 year old that smoked”. I was 21 years old.
Shortly thereafter my head was glued shut and I was sent on my way. Upon leaving I used the bathroom and it was there, much to my horror I realized my face was still covered in my own blood. At no point was I so much as cleaned up or wiped off. Days later, I was mailed a bill for $9,000 that has nor ever will be paid.