I had to work today, and then Angela and I were going to meet up for dinner. It was a classic day for me in the Emergency Department, which was filled with the regular ‘frequent fliers’. I would love to get in their face and just tell them to get out of the department, but I’m certain that administration would side with them, even if I proved that they were drug-seeking or malingering. After all, if they have Medicaid or Medicaire from disability or have two cents to rub together, the hospital is more than willing to spend tax payer’s money on frivolous tests. Even these trolls can get sick from time to time, and I don’t want to be left without a chair when the music stops. A good friend of mine was just sued by a patient who had overdosed on Tylenol a few days earlier and didn’t tell him what she did. She had some forty visits in the past six months for numerous pain-related complaints and that particular visit seemed like all the rest. Unfortunately, she was discharged and came back a few days later in liver failure and all sorts of complications. Was it his fault that she held back that crucial information? There seems to be no responsibility on the part of these patients. It is irritating to watch people lie to my face when I really know the truth! Anyway, besides suing him, they reported him to administration and the state board and plastered bad P.R all over Facebook pages and hospital websites. The patient was a troll, jumping from hospital to hospital and doctor shopping for narcotics and usually came in drunk to the Emergency Department in a combative state. She would scream, curse, and hit staff when she wasn’t spitting like an animal. She would claim that she had PTSD and Bipolar disorder as an excuse to act out in any inappropriate way she wanted. I just call that bad manners. I think she had received over fifteen head cat scans last year from falling down while in her drunken state. I’m certain she’s going to invest her payout wisely! I’m going to open a liquor store next to her house.
So my problem patient was an overweight diabetic woman with chest pain. She was in her forties and weighed about 450 pounds. When she would move on the gurney, I would stand back for fear that the whole thing would collapse. She reeked like smoke, which had permeated her food-stained clothing. As she tapped on her phone, texting away, she complained that she couldn’t control her diabetes and that she also had a headache. I had seen her eight times in one year personally, so I knew her well. She always threw in the ‘headache’ part so she could get a shot of pain medication, usually Dilaudid. She couldn’t have Ultram ( a non-narcotic medication) since it gave her ‘seizures’, and Motrin and NSAIDs were out due to anaphylaxis. I would love to put those allergies to the test, for I have never seen anyone have a reaction like that to those medicines, but that is typical of well-informed connoisseurs of health-care. It pays to be ‘sick.’ I did the usual treatments for her. Her blood pressure was out of control because she would skip a dose or two of her medicine and then come in, while her blood sugar rose as she missed her insulin and ate Mcdonald’s food prior to coming in to the department. Today her blood pressure was 230/120 and her blood sugar was 480 (which was her weight as well!) It was pointless to lecture to her, so I quickly treated her vital signs knowing this wasn’t health care but just disease management. Of course, it took us an hour to find an I.V. since she had burned out all of her veins from the thousands of visits over the years, leaving us with just a small vein in her great toe as our saving grace. It is a thankless job, and I knew I would see her in a few days again.
I was glad to get home tonight. Work drained me, but at least it paid the bills, which were pilling up exponentially. Between the money I lost with Melanie and the few thousand I had sent to Cherise recently, I was hurting badly. My credit score had dropped some 50 points recently.
Angela was going to be my relief tonight. I was excited to get over to her place and showered quickly in preparation for a fun night. So I drove to Angela’s and made a few quick calls to Cherise and Melanie. I made them brief, almost like a check-in on Facebook. By the way, I disabled my Facebook account because Angela was driving me nuts about her wanting me to change my relationship status as ‘in a relationship’ with her. I told her I had a friend who had been harassed by drug-seekers on Facebook, and I didn’t want to go through what he did. She bought the excuse. In reality, Facebook is a great way to lose a job, as experienced by three staff members who posted a selfie with a patient and got reported by ‘Friends’ and subsequently were fired by administration for violating patient ‘privacy.’ I’ve seen a few relationships get fucked up by Facebook as well. It’s better not to post.
Angela was dressed in loose-fitting clothes when I came in and seemed a bit less excitable than usual. Of course we hugged and kissed, but that didn’t lead us to the bedroom immediately. I asked her if she wanted some wine that I had brought, to which she told me ‘no,’ a word she had used a lot lately when it came to any alcohol. I thought maybe she had just gone dry for health reasons, so I hadn’t asked her about it, but I popped the cork anyway and handed her a glass, which she never even sipped. We chatted for a bit as I went through the bottle, after all, it was a great tasting Bordeaux, and I didn’t want to waste any! I did the driving to the restaurant for dinner. If there is a God, he was definitely watching over me, because I got pulled over shortly after we left. I’m a bit drunk, but I don’t know how much – definitely near the edge. Luckily, the officer knew me and merely asked that Angela, whom he also knew, do the driving. “I’m certain she didn’t drink tonight with her condition,” is what the officer said. “Her condition?” I asked myself.
We finally got to the restaurant, and I was starved. Since Angela was doing the driving tonight, I ordered a few tequilas for myself to celebrate my near-miss DUI. Angela was quiet tonight. Not fun, not talkative, and very distant. Aloof. I figured it was some PMS thing. Periodically she would text to some random person on her phone. I began to wonder if I bored her or if she was going to break up with me. It took about another hour before she finally relaxed enough to engage in formal conversation with me.
It felt nice to be walking hand-in-hand later tonight when we began to wander back home. I realized then that she wasn’t breaking up with me ‘in her condition.’ We walked the long way back to the car in a slightly breezy but warm night. Angela stopped and stared at me at one point. I thought she was going to say something, but instead, she pulled me over to her and began kissing me. For some reason, she began crying while we kissed. She must really love me.
I pushed Angela back and looked her straight in her tear-filled eyes. We stood near a dimly-lit road light that reflected off her rounded cheeks, highlighting her softness. It seemed like forever until simultaneously we both said, ‘I love you,’ and we began kissing again and hugging like two entangled snakes in the wild. And yes, we did go wild, quickly heading back to her place, where I deprived her of her clothing, bit by bit and quickly had my way with her. She let me do everything to her tonight. It was beautiful.
We laid on the bed after, with her on her side, pressing her breasts into my arm. Periodically, she would softly kiss my neck with her lips and rub her small, perfect hands over my stomach and thighs. I had no more energy left to go back in her, even when she tried to elicit more action with her mouth! If only I could borrow future times for this moment. Then she started to talk gently.
“Babe, I’m glad that Blake broke you into the news when he pulled us over. I just didn’t know how I was going to start this whole conversation.” Angela proceeded on as I popped my head up off the pillow. “I’m pregnant, and I don’t know what to do.”
She began sobbing uncontrollably as I sank my head into my hands…..