Tuesday, July 7, 2009

In Which I Fill My Pockets

I had to take The Boss to the Emergency Room yesterday. She was having some severe lower abdominal pain while at work, so I rushed over to pick her up and bring her to the hospital. The doctor diagnosed the pain as just unusually strong cramping associated with her being on The Rag, and to make a long story short, he cut her a prescription for Vicodin and told her to follow up with her OB/GYN. Obviously, with the Vicodin, she is feeling fine now.

We were there for almost five and a half hours by the time we finally got her discharge papers. The Boss plans on writing a post about the experience itself and the amazing ignorance displayed by the staff in the ER, doctors included, so I'm not going to write about that here. Instead, I'm going to talk about the exam room they placed us in, and the things I stole from it.

After an hour and a half in the waiting room after being triaged, a nurse finally came and brought The Boss to an exam room. It was at the end of the hallway near where the ambulances pull up and wheel in patients on stretchers. The room looked more like a large storage closet than an exam room. Upon further examination, I found this sign just to the side of the door:

Great. They didn't put us into an exam room. They put us into an overflow room normally used for the little kids who shove things up their nose, or those who otherwise have problems with their (you guessed it) eyes, ears, nose, or throat.

Awesome. A quick look around the room offered up some interesting pieces of equipment:

There also was a couple of things you wouldn't normally expect to see in an ER exam room, like these things:

Okay, so the Infectious Waste bin isn't that out of place, but they aren't normally in the exam room itself. In the hospitals I've been in, they are often outside the room in the hallways.

Here are a couple other views of the room:

There was also this creepy picture that described, in detail, the common afflictions of the middle ear. Check out the Damien-esque child on the upper right corner:

As I mentioned earlier, The Boss and I were in the ER for five and a half hours. Out of the entire time we were there, we were in contact with either a nurse or a doctor for about 30 minutes. That left a span of five hours where we were just sitting around waiting... and waiting. As time passed, I got curious as to what was in the cabinets with the intriguing labels. Curiosity eventually got the better of me, so I dug around in them.

I didn't get a chance to take pictures of the bayonet forceps or the nasal suction tips, as each time I tried to someone would walk by the door. I did, however, start to fill my pockets with some of the things I found. The longer we waited for someone to come by the room and talk to us, the more items I took. By the end of our stay, I had amassed a small bounty of things:

And the crown jewel:

(Culture swabs, Q-Tips, Tongue Depressors, Nasal Clips, Tissues, Medical Tape, and a Suture Removal Kit)

Between the twenty pills of Vicodin that The Boss got, and all the First Aid supplies that I managed to swipe, I think we made out pretty good.

For five hours in the ER for severe pain and NOT ONE OFFER for even Tylenol to make her more comfortable, that seems to me like a pretty fair trade, right?


Kat said...

You would have paid $30 for the Tylenol anyways. I say you made out better than ok :)

Salut! chou chou said...

I do this regardless of whether or not I'm a disgruntled patient. They are getting suture kits stolen no matter what.

I am muchos proud of you. Hope the Boss is doing better though!

Heather said...

Oh that is too funny! You made out with quite the bounty! Hope the Boss feels better today!

Sandy said...

Funny....good idea. Wish I'd thought of it the last time I was in the ER for 5+ hours.

Employee No. 3699 said...

Score! I've only walked away with rubber gloves and ginormous Q-tips.

Too bad you didn't get the Bayonnete Forceps, I'm really curious as to what those look like.

Hope The Boss is feeling better.

Moonspun said...

Damnit! I wanted to see what a bayonet forcep looked like!!!
and I so love the Fish Hook removal drawer. Now there's a sign that the hospital is in a rural area!
I think you made out well. Did you have particular plans for the suture kit in the future?
Hope the Boss is doing ok!

Logical Libby said...

You didn't take a fish hook removal kit? Do you know what those are worth on the black market?

Nej said...

5.5 hours in the emergency room....hell on earth!

Mot always fills his pockets when we're there. The longer we wait, the more stuff he "borrows."

I'm doing good if I can stop myself from laughing when someone walks in the door. I leave the pilfering to him. :-)

I'm glad to hear the Mrs. is alright!!!

Maggie May said...

That sucks. You have to be pretty demanding in a busy ER to get attention.

Aunt Becky said...

When I was having Miscarriage #2, they unceremoniously shoved a catheter up my pooter without a single Tylenol. I was crying in pain before, and it was worse after. Assholes.

mrssoup said...

I hope The Boss is feeling better! And hurray for all those supplies! At least there was something good to come out of it!

Children of the 90s said...

This is too funny. Sounds like you made out with quite the haul.

Also...you can get vicodin for that? Interesting...

Cape Cod Gal said...

That is some awesome loot!

Glad the Boss is better. The ER sucks!

Bee and Rose said...

Holy cow! It was a room filled with instruments of torture! Nice haul, though! Hope the Boss is feeling on the mend now:)

Mrs. B said...

The husband of a co-worker got laid off from his job at a pharmaceutical company. He was the guy who gave doctors free stuff to convince them to prescribe his companies products. Long story short.. I've got a bag of nasal swabs if you want to add to your collection.

Inna said...

I know your pain well. I've taken many people to the ER and had to sit for quite some time. On average 5-6 hours, but once even overnight. I never thought to fill my pockets! Will remember that for next time.

Mad Woman said...

I'd say that's a fair trade, although I think if you'd looked deeper, you might have been able to find one of those little do-dads that they shove up inside us chicks....speculum? Could have made for some interesting doctor/nurse role playing :)

Badass Geek said...

Kat: You're probably right.

Salut: I totally plan on getting some more stuff the next time we go... Whenever that is.

Heather: She is feeling better. Not quite up to speed, but getting there.

Sandy: Next time you're there, you'll think of it. I promise you.

Employee No 3699: I really wanted to take one of those, but The Boss frowned upon it.

Moonspun: Where I come from, a fish hook removal kit is a pair of wire cutters and antiseptic.

Logical Libby: I think about $9.47?

Nej: I'm just glad I chose to wear my cargo shorts that day!

Maggie May: This I know.

Aunt Becky: Cooter catheters are not fun, or so I've heard.

Mrs Soup: Right! The next time I need to remove sutures, I'll be well prepared.

COTN: Well, she was in a lot of pain. She wasn't going to turn it down.

Cape Cod Gal: The ER does suck.

Bee and Rose: I guess I shouldn't have complained about being in that room. I did get some cool swag.

Mrs B: Drug reps always get the cool stuff.

Inna: Just don't get caught!

Mad Woman: Oh, it was a nasal speculum. Much smaller than the other kind. And also? I don't think that The Boss would be up for OB/GYN role playing.

Laura said...

That is great! Glad you scored some goods.. and you are right that little kid is really creepy looking on that middle ear conditions pic. A couple times, among my many kidney stone trips to the ER, they have put me in a room where my bed is right underneath this huge door that drops down and goes the full length of the room and in big letters right above my head it says "Do no stand or place anything below this door. Door could drop at any moment." WTF?!

Why Mom Drinks Rum said...

Vicodin? For cramps? I want your doctor. No, really.

Also...SCORE! You are almost completely set for the apocalypse now.

Hope the boss is feeling better!

LiLu said...

How did you not steal the opthalmic drill??

daria said...

Ugh, just seeing all these medical objects and exam room decorations made me cringe.

Lola said...

I'll call you Badass Thief from now on!! Nice work. I love stealing from ER's, and I was pinching myself not to rifle through the drawers in search of the fountain of youth when I was waiting for the plastic surgeon to look at the boy's thumb. Botox anyone?

JessieE said...

wow. all these comments and not one berating you for adding to the high cost of medical care? LOL (couldn't resist) hope the Boss feels better. Cramps are a bitch.

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