More health-related crap today. I’d kinda assumed that after all the post-fever sickness and sleep, (which I’ve found out was food poisoning, cos other people I was out with last Saturday all fell ill too, and we ate from the same fancy buffet), I assumed I’d be through the crazy-hours jetlaggy sleep schedule. Nah. I found myself awake at 3 am watching Miami Vice DVDs. But I also had a pain in my chest. It was pretty persistent for a couple of hours, so, considering my family’s history with heart disease, I let my demons get the better of me and decided to go to the hospital. (I’ll point out right now that all is fine, my heart is healthy and beating as it should be doing.)
So I go out onto a nearby main road, hail a cab, and tell the driver where I want to go. He asks if it’s me who needs the A&E; department or am I going to see someone there. I tell him it’s me, yet that still doesn’t alert him to me possibly not wanting to listen to Slayer really loud.
Once at A&E;, I look for the reception. It’s an office with a glass window which allows me to see there’s no light on. I ring the bell. No answer. I walk around, find a nurse who’s dozing in a nearby room and ask him where I need to go. He points me back to the lights-off office. I go back, then notice, right in the back of the office is a dim computer screen. Sat in front of it, a woman. I knock on the window. She saunters over as if she’s listening to the last kick of a penalty shoot out in the World Cup Final and really doesn’t want to be disturbed. She turns on the light, opens the door, and shrugs at me, which I took to mean as, “Wassup, dude?” I tell her: chest pains – family history – bit worried.
She asks for my insurance card and begins one-finger-typing my name and details into her ancient computer, tutting at the screen intermittently. I try to imagine – and this is the shit thing about blogging, you can’t stop imagining how things can be written about – how I can describe her. This is how: a child’s clay sculpture of a horse flattened out into vaguely human-shape. With a dollop of ketchup at the top.
“What’s your address?”
I tell her.
“What was the street?”
I repeat myself.
“And the post code?”
I repeat myself again.
“And your phone number?”
I tell her I don’t have a phone. She looks at me like I’m some sort of alien.
Then when I tell her that, no, I don’t have my ID card cos I’m English and don’t have to have one (yet), and, no, I don’t have my passport, cos rummaging around my bombsite of post-holiday stuff looking for it was the last thing on my mind before I left my flat, thankyouverymuchyoucunt; well, then she almost exploded with he’s-breaking-the-rules rage. She traipses off and summons me behind her to a curtained off bed in a room with two other beds.
I ♥ Berlin.
A doctor sees me, wires me up to the Elektrokardiogramm thingy and a Kraftwerk song loops in my head. Blood is taken, and I lay there for a while. The next three people I see are female nurses and doctors; all of which are, it’s my pleasure to say, like some sort of indie rock/wellness version of a Benny Hill nurse sketch.
I’m already feeling a bit better, cos I’m in a hospital, and that’s a good place to be if you’re a bit paranoid about suddenly keeling over. Then a doctor comes back, tells me the EKG was all good, and the blood tests were all good, but to be sure, they’d like to do more tests in four hours. Okay, that’s cool with me. Thank you.
Then I notice I’m not wearing my watch. This is a bit odd, cos I always wear it. and I’m gonna be here, strapped to this machine measuring my heart beat and other stuff for four hours. How does this work? Awake, nothing to read, watch, listen to? Don’t you know I’m a child of media saturation? So, I rather melodramatically imagine I’m a tough-ass criminal in “the hole” at some super bad prison, doing a 4 hour stretch for murder one.
After examining the mathematical make-up of the ceiling pattern for a good half hour, I start thing about God. (This must be why so many criminals turn to Jay-sus when they’re “inside.”) If we’re all God’s creatures, and there’s a place in Heaven for us, does that include the trees that we kills for pencils and IKEA desks? And if the translation of my Minipops book from English to German isn’t quite what I’d hoped for, what chance is there that the Bible got translated properly from back in the day when it was probably word-of-mouth stories for a while before some chap wrote it down? and in that case, why is it that we look at people who claim to have talked to God nowadays as some kind of loony? I have no answers.
Then, lying there topless, I find some fluff in my belly button. I wonder if the Benny Hill nurses saw it. Could be worse, though, could have some really inappropriate tattoo on my belly, like Pricess Diana straddling one of the World Trade Centers with Al Qaeda flying into the other on the other side of my belly button.
A woman with stomach pains is brought to one of the other beds in the room. I eavesdrop. She’s had six kids and two abortions. Some time later, her mobile phone goes off. And the ring tone is, fuck me, the sound of a baby crying. Please Lord, give me a sitcom, I’ve got the script for one episode right here!
After waiting for four hours wired to this machine, I’m starting to feel claustrophobic. Another nurse comes in, takes more blood, and leaves. An hour later, still wired up, going a bit loco, the doctor comes back in, tells me I’m totally fine, I can go home, and please pay at the office on your way out. Ketchupy Horse woman has gone, thankfully. Her replacement, Eminem’s spoddy brother, is even less polite, but I’m healthy so fuck it. I walk out into the sunshine, light up a fag, and get a cab knowing that I really should give up smoking.
Anyway, I’ve not spell or grammar checked the above stuff, so typos and bad grammar a-plenty, I’m sure.
Have a good weekend, y’all.