I'm Mik. Model, mother, moron. Future meta-magician. Former logic clinician.
My better half and I own Brainfood Bookstore in Longmont, Colorado. It is the only exclusively indie- and local-lit bookstore in the nation. We meet a lot of crazy folks.
Testimonial from a former roommate:
"Living with you was like living with a quiet little opinionated deer person who floated around like a ghost and said smart/nutso things and ate seaweed. "
I love Colorado. I love mountains. I love hiking. I read and write. I raise my children to the best of my ability. I have lupus and have defeated early-stage cancer twice, so I pretty much fully support the use of medical marijuana.
Going to the emergency room yesterday was basically the worst experience of my life. Essentially, I hit my hip while wrestling in the sand on the beach while camping, and what looks like a vein immediately bulged out of the thin skin on my hip where I have a pregnancy stretch mark. My boyfriend immediately was like, “We have to leave and go to a hospital,” but I didn’t want to ruin his night so I toughed it out for two hours, despite the fact that I was in excruciating pain and my friends kept making comments about how accident-prone I am. I kept a cold can of beer on it but it kept getting worse so I finally asked my boyfriend to take me home so I could put real ice on it. I broke down crying and he insisted on taking me to the hospital, despite the fact that I told him it would be so embarrassing and it wasn’t that bad.
Well, we get to the hospital and we’re answering the usual questions for the checky-in lady. She asks how long it’s been bad enough that I can’t walk without assistance (John was practically carrying me), and I told her that I have arthritis. She says, and I quote, “You’re too young for arthritis!” I reply, “I have lupus.” Nothing.
She puts me in a bed to wait in a screened off section of the waiting room, because I ‘look so miserable.’ My boyfriend keeps asking me what he needs to say to make them hurry. He’s used to ER visits being for difficulty breathing, and as soon as I say I have lupus, they wheel me back. But a bump on my side isn’t exactly an ‘emergency.’ I keep losing consciousness because of the pain, unintentionally scaring the shit out of John.
Finally they see me. The doctor looks at it, then looks at the nurse, then back at the bump. He pokes it, hard, completely ignoring my whimpering. Finally he informs me that it’s cellulitis— a skin infection. My boyfriend and I both say No. It popped up suddenly upon impact. Not an infection. Well, he says, then it’s probably just an abrasion. Mind, there’s not a single thing wrong with the outer surface of my skin. No cuts, no scrapes. It’s clearly something from the inside out. I’ve had one once before when I hit my hip on a doorframe, but it didn’t poke out so bad and only hurt when touched. The doctor says he can order a CT and a sonogram but he’s sure they won’t show anything and will just add to my bill. He’s not worried about it being a clot because it’s not hard and anyway clots in the trunk aren’t anything to worry about. He said they’d be more worried if it was on my leg. He says he doesn’t even know what to diagnose it is because it isn’t anything. My papers come, it says my diagnosis is ‘abrasion.’ It says, in not so many words, I went to the ER for a boo-boo.
They ask if I’ve taken anything for it. No, I don’t take painkillers. I have bad kidneys. Do I smoke. No. Do I drink. No. Do I do drugs. No. “Not even marijuana?” Well, marijuana. For pain, my boyfriend adds. “It’s still illegal,” the nurse says. “In this state anyway. I have a son in California who gets it prescribed—” If I lived in California, they’d prescribe it for lupus. “Do you have a prescription for marijuana?” No. “So you just take it for the hell of it then.” My boyfriend is ready to punch her. “Have you taken anything yet for the pain?” I’m ready to punch her.
The doctor asks if I want a Lortab. I say I have bad kidneys. He says Lortab is Tylenol-based so it’s processed by the liver. I accept the Lortab.
He brings it to me and my boyfriend says this is bullshit. You can’t just give her a Lortab and send her home. You don’t even know what’s wrong. The doctor says well what do you suggest I do? My boyfriend says I don’t know you’re the doctor, you should figure it out. The doctor says this is the emergency room and we treat emergencies and she can go to her doctor on Monday but for now all we can do is help the pain. I’m crying at this point. The immediate care is closed, I say. It’s 2:30 in the morning, or I would have gone to immediate care. I know it’s not an emergency. It just hurts. I’m crying. The doctor tells me I don’t need to get so upset that I cry. I’m not upset, I sob. I’m in pain.
This is why I didn’t want to go to the emergency room. I’m tired of being treated like I’m stupid.
Eventually the doctor avoids getting the shit beat out of him by my boyfriend and we go home, but I’m wondering. Has anyone else ever had anything like this? Not an encounter with a moron doctor, but something poking out of thin skin (like a stretch mark). It pulses and bulges so that’s why we thought it’s a vein. And it’s incredibly painful. Any ideas?