In the emergency room, the triage nurse calmly asked me questions, but it was hard for me to answer. The combination of Benadryl and drug-addict speak going on behind me made my responses muddled in my own mind.
The nurse wanted to know how much pain I was in...and all I could hear was moaning...thankfully, this time, it wasn't mine. Are you having trouble breathing?
Kind of...I want to laugh.
The woman behind me grunts as responses...and hasn't bathed in days. I can smell the Old Crow. She wants medication because her hip hurts....but she won't confess to how many drugs she has had. When cornered, she pretends she doesn't understand English, and then is told she won't receive any medication unless she answers the questions. Her moaning and ESL-ness stop. She drinks a lot, she confesses, but no drugs. Then the moaning starts again. It's so fake...but she won't quit. She keeps this moaning up for over an hour.
I'm quiet...and trying to keep my dinner down.
The wannabe patient at the triage window is arguing with her cane. Yes. Her cane. It is, to my knowledge, not a magic cane...nor is it capable of speaking. But she argued with this cane to get off the ledge of the window that separated the haves in the treatment center and the have-nots...those waiting to get in.
I been bit by a spider! She proclaimed to her cane. I know it, too. I'm black...VERY black...and where I be bit...it's all red.
Her cane didn't believe her...and the receptionist asked her to sit down. Majority rules. Two to one. She sat down.
My intestines start to turn inside out. I don't know how else to explain it. They just do. My body doesn't like peanuts...and they seem to invert my insides. This is how I feel when I am asked to return to the waiting room. My throat didn't close up this time...I got to the Benadryl in time. My mouth, filled with over-salivating spit, gets a cup and a seat. I'm fine with that. The "I'm going to die" feeling is gone.
Upon my return to the waiting room, I am surrounded by the moaning hip lady, waiting for her meds, and the spider woman. She sees a pincher bug on the ground. She leaves her cane out of this one:
OK, everyone. Everyone, LISTEN UP! I don't want you to think I'm retarded, but I am afraid of bugs. I am going to kill this one!!! And she stomps and stomps and stomps on the pincher bug. It doesn't die. Both the spider lady and her cane find this to be an omen. They move to a different seat in the waiting room.
I really want to puke...my reaction is getting worse. I try to think of anything but my swollen body...and the nausea.
It is Halloween, so there are drunk idiots there...two seem to be about 18. One is named Bitch the other named Ho. I know this because they have the following conversation:
Bitch, you better hope yer foot aint broken.
Ho, it's fine.
Bitch, you fuckin' lame.
Ho, you graduate from college with that mouth?
Bitch, fuck you. I graduated from high school. Now, I wanna burrito.
Ho, I can't fucking walk.
Bitch, you such a bitch. I'm hungry, bitch. I don't care 'bout yer fuckin' foot.
Ho, seriously, you a ho.
Bitch, you a bitch. I'm gonna tell 'em we'll be back.
Ho, OK, but I can't fucking walk.
Bitch, it's ok...you can limp to the taco shop. I needs a burrito up in here.
And they left....limping and cursing all the way.
I was under observation for over an hour...and this time, I was lucky. I got the Benadryl in my system before the hives, and the throat, and the vomit.
I imagine how it would feel to die from this allergy...and I think that it would suck. Itching and puking and suffocating to death.
No, I tell the fifth person of the night, I don't have my EpiPen on me...they look so upset...like I'm the stupidest person they have seen all night.
Man, that hurt most of all.