Thursday, August 5, 2010

ER: A Cautionary Tale With Life Lessons

I hate to admit that I can't find a picture of the thing on Wikipedia, but they decided to stick a closed, inflatable tube up my nose to provide uniform pressure on the nasal walls.

Okay, fine.

The problem was the presentation, so to speak. When you torture someone, it's helpful to paint a gruesome picture of the procedure first, because anticipation is worse than what you actually do, and the fear produced enhances the pain.

So the doctor showed me a curious object probably on loan from some probe-happy aliens. He informed me that he was going to stick the whole thing all the way up my nose, it would hurt, and I would yell and scream and generally act aggressively peevish, but he would stuff it up there anyway.

My response (no machismo required, I was just tired of the whole business) was to wish he'd just get on with it. I didn't verbalize my feelings, because it's a bad idea to annoy someone who's about to stick something up your nose.

For what it's worth, if I had to do the same thing to someone else, I wouldn't show him the thing; I'd just say, "I need to stick something up your nose, and it'll be unpleasant but quick." And then I'd do it. This is Lesson One.

It didn't hurt. Seriously, it was really uncomfortable, but it didn't actually hurt. I never had plans to take up a hobby along those lines ("Let's see what I can stick up my nose today!"), but I'm dead-set against the idea now.

Then they talked about how I'd get pain meds (Hello! Not hurting, thank you!), and I mentioned that I don't even use aspirin.

I don't know how long he'd been up, but he wasn't paying attention. "Oh, don't use aspirin. It'll make the bleeding worse."

If you're a doctor, always listen to the patient. He may be an idiot, but even so he's an idiot with useful inside information. If you're the patient, try getting the doctor to repeat what you've just said. It will be either entertaining or exasperating, depending on your mindset. This is Lesson Two.

The good news is that I'd arrived at about 8:30 pm (perhaps slightly before) and didn't leave until nearly 11, but my boss (and ride back to work) was still in the waiting room and in a reasonably good mood. Lesson Three: work for someone who doesn't mind taking you into ER and waiting for a few hours. They're hard to find, but it's worth it. He was even a congenial companion on the way back.

Anyway, next time: living with a balloon up your nose.

No comments:

Powered by WebRing.