Tuesday, April 26, 2005

Freaks Me Out

This morning I had to run my mom into the hospital in Austin for an MRI. She tore her meniscus and the x-rays they took didn't tell a whole lot about what they were going to have to do to fix it so an MRI was the next logical step. Personally, I think it's just another way for the hospital to milk money out of my mom and her insurance.

When I had to have an MRI and an ultrasound this last summer in order to make sure I didn't have a tear in my carotid artery, as I looked over the statements they sent me I noticed that all of my test results were examined twice. Why, oh why, would my results have to be examined twice. They were negative and my arteries were completely fine (they diagnosed me later on with exertion migraines). I could maybe understand having the test results examined twice if the first time through one doctor thought that he/she might have found something and needed a second opinion, but if the results look just fine, what's the point of a second opinion? More frickin' money, that's what. They could double what they were bringing in and give me some technobable reason as to why they needed to do it. I was more than a little pissed when that happened because it meant that I had to pay more out of my pocket as well as my insurance company paying more.

Now while my mom was in having her MRI, I sat and listened to an audiobook that I had on my MP3 player which I brought along. I needed something to keep my mind off of everyone else there. You see, hospitals freak me out, which is why I try not to ever go unless something is terribly, terribly wrong with me. It's so eerie walking into the waiting room and being surrounded by all of these old people you know are just going to kick the bucket in a couple of weeks. Sure, I know, have respect for your elders and crap, but some of the people are just downright scary.

Like today, for example. While I was waiting this old man came in, no one accompanying him, and sat down a little ways away from me. As he sat there, I thought he had died because after a bit he completely stopped moving and his eyes were focused on some point way off in the distance. He didn't move at all for probably 10 minutes. When he did, I was pretty relieved, but then he went back into his statue impersonation again!

A few seats behind the fake dead guy was a hideously gigantic woman. In the waiting room they have chairs with arm rests on both sides and they have benches that can accomodate to people. This lady filled out one of the benches like a normal person filled out one of the chairs. If you remember how Violet puffed up to gigantic proportions in Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, you might just get an idea of her size. I can't imagine how people get to be so large. I can understand how some people get fat, but this is beyond fat. People shouldn't get this large unless they're eating junior varsity football teams for breakfast.

Rounding out the cast of creepy characters was an elderly man who I honestly thought might explode. As he sat, he was constantly fidgeting, and when he was up moving his entire body looked as if it would shake itself apart. I felt sorry for the old guy because it must feel like he's living his life in a blender or other such kitchen appliance that causes things to vibrate vigorously.

As much as I enjoy people watching, I don't enjoy the morbidity that it takes on when you do it in a hospital. More often than not I feel like I'm caught in a zombie movie. Hospitals are scary places.

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