Austin, Hipstercrite Life

The Emergency Room is a Scary and Confusing Place at 2AM

“Somebody stabbed me with a screwdriver!”

These words traveled with a ten-person entourage on their way through the ER doors last Friday morning at 2AM.

Geoff and I were at the ER because he had a 103 fever and was coughing up blood.

Not coughing up blood in a Robert Shaw at the end of Jaws when he gets bitten by Jaws kind of way. More of a, Geoff: “Ew, is that blood in my mucus?” and Lauren: “HOLY MOTHER OF GOD! WE’RE TAKING YOU TO THE ER RIGHT NOW! NO TIME FOR PANTS!”  kind of way.

You see, Geoff is a wee bit of a hypochondriac (I love you, baby) and I’m a bit of a nervous Jew who is petrified that everyone she loves is dying all of the time.

This combination leads to barely thought-out sprints to the ER, but to our credit, spitting up blood is not something that is normal.

It scared us enough to take him to the ER because that’s the only friggin’ thing open at 2AM.

As though it’s a prerequisite for getting submitted into the ER, we waited our obligatory hour in the lobby for no reason. There was a mention that they were “overbooked”, but mostly we saw attendants shuffling around with coffees and cell phones in hands.

At least within that hour we got to see the girl who was stabbed with a screwdriver.

Now, I’m going to say it was pretty funny.

I’m sure she was in pain and for that, I empathize with her. What I don’t empathize with her about is that she was stabbed at a club by another girl over a boy.

This we learned over the VERY LOUD cell phone conversation she had with the stabber’s friend.

These women were most likely in their late 20s- they were not children or overly excited handymen.

I also saw the vagina of one of the females in the screwdriven girl’s entourage. Her choice in dress could best be described as looking like a legwarmer on a tree trunk.

Seeing her vagina made me not want to sit in the lobby chairs.

All this was going on while the attendants insisted that Geoff wear a SARS mask in order not to infect anyone else with his still undiagnosed ailment.

After the commotion and entourage involving the stabbed girl grew to tsunami-like proportions, we were finally ushered into the Emergency Room where we waited another hour.

Tim and Eric Awesome Show, Great Job! was on in our waiting room.

The interesting thing about Tim & Eric is that for a good chunk of the population (including Geoff and I), they make you feel confused and anxious.

Watching Tim & Eric in your ER waiting room should have been a nice reprieve, but instead, it made the already tense and comical happenings of the night all the more strange.

Tim & Eric are the last people I want to see when someone I love is spitting up blood.

Tim & Eric makes me feel dirty….and not in a good way.

And then came the part where they took Geoff’s blood, bottles and bottles of it, for no apparent reason. There it sat on the desk beside the bed for another hour as we watched Tim & Eric, waited for the doctor and mostly wanted to GET THE LIVING FUCK OUT OF THE ER.

The very sweet and young doctor came in, gave Geoff a shopping list of ailments he could have, including West Nile Virus, and tests and treatments we could pursue before ending with, “I’ve given you way too many options here.” We confirmed that the blood in mucus part was not something to worry about and the doctor happily said he’d go write a script for Geoff that would help with his flu-like symptoms.

Then another hour went by.

I watched as my boyfriend turned from an exhausted, but still strong, sick man to a little child squirming in his seat as he realized a.) the blood catheter was still in his arm and b.) that it was about two inches long.

This was possibly the most challenging time of the whole evening: trying to get a grown man to look at you and stop thinking about the rubber tube in his arm.

The staff made sure to send the insurance card collector to our room before anyone took out the catheter, even though we begged her to find someone to take it out of him.

I sound like a I have a lost of disdain for the ER staff, but in truth, they were fairly nice and I could never in a million years do their job.

I guess it would be nice if they were a little more attendant and friendly, but I guess when you’re dealing with club girls stabbed with tools, you’d be a little jaded too.


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  • Reply Christine Marie September 25, 2012 at 12:19 pm

    I know this wasn’t a funny topic but you made laugh pretty good a few times in reading this. I do hope Geoff feels better and you both are well.

    • Reply hipstercrite September 25, 2012 at 4:55 pm

      Awww thank you! He is on the road to recovery. Damn colds/flu-like thingies take forever!

  • Reply Allison September 25, 2012 at 4:12 pm

    Yeah, if all the stupid people would stop stabbing each other with screwdrivers the staff might actually have time to help people who are actually sick. Oy.

    Hope Geoff gets well soon!

    • Reply hipstercrite September 25, 2012 at 4:56 pm

      Thank you! He’s getting better. I really feel for the staff. They have such a difficult job. It just sucks b/c you can see some of them are so jaded…

      • Reply Allison September 25, 2012 at 8:28 pm

        Yeah, I’m sure they’re like, “I’m glad I spent 4 years in nursing school so I can tend to drunk bitches who beat each other up with screwdrivers.” I don’t envy them – they are heroes in my book. Dealing with the sick, the injured and the stupid.

        For a good laugh, there’s a SNL sketch called Appalachian Emergency Room – I highly recommend. Better than Tim & Eric.

  • Reply Cathy Benavides September 27, 2012 at 10:13 pm

    I am so confused….. when I got to the club in my finest hoochie attire, I usually accessorize with the smallest purse I own. How the heck do you get a screwdriver into your clutch?? Was someone anticipating a fight? Is that a normal addition to your clutch when clubbing? Sigh…. I’m obviously not hip to what the kids are doing these days. Excuse me while I go look for a screwdriver to match all of my evening bags.

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