April 23, 2013

Emergency Room

I spent two and a half hours in the emergency room today.

Why is less important than the process. Let me say only that the call was necessary, and the results were negative, and I was not the subject of the call.

We first started with a trip to an "Urgent Care" facility. The injuries were deemed "too severe" so we had to head on down to the Memorial Hermann Emergency Room in Memorial City.

We got there quickly, and I would guess we arrived at about 11:00. We checked in (immediately) and the patient was "enrolled" (triaged, I guess) in two minutes.

The patient came to sit and chat with me while we waited. Now, let me be clear, the patient was not in any pain, and while the patient's appearance was ghastly, there was no imminent danger. I suppose you could say there was no emergent condition.

But the waiting room was not crowded, and we chatted peacefully for about 10 minutes before they came to get us and put us in a room. We were lucky to get a room with a bathroom (bonus!) and sat in THERE and waited for maybe 10 or 15 minutes.

A nurse came in to ask some questions (what happened. Did this guy beat you up. Are you in pain, are you on any meds) and then she left. She was very nice and friendly and efficient.

In another ten minutes or so the doctor showed up. He had an assistant who was there to write everything down, and an apprentice doctor to watch what he was doing.

He pushed and prodded, and looked deep into the patient's eyes. He declared the patient fine, but "As long as the patient is here, we will do a cat scan"

So we waited another 10 minutes or so and they came and wheeled the patient to the cat scanner.

A short ten minutes go by, and the patient returns.

They say it will be about an hour. to get the results, so we settle in. I ask the doctor if I can get some sandwiches, and he says that is fine. So I amble over to the canteen, and grab a ham sandwich and a turkey sandwich, some chips and water.

I return to the room and we have a little emergency room picnic. It wasn't too bad.

The doctor comes back shortly thereafter and fusses at me for letting the patient eat (He was the same doctor who said it was OK) and we could leave soon.

About five minutes after that, the nurse returned to take some blood pressure and give us our walking papers.

Down to discharge we go.

ANOTHER five minutes or so and we were gone.

It was shy over 2 1/2 hours, which I would say is not too bad. We never waited too long, and many people interacted with us.

As much as the medical system in the US is in trouble, it worked for us today.

April 21, 2013

Mourning and Celebration.

The weather in Houston has been unseasonably cool. And dry. By this time of year we are usually looking at 80s during the day, maybe even the 90s, and the humidity is starting to rise.

But not this year. I hope that this portents a cool summer.

Yesterday was a very busy weekend day by my standards. We started out early, as Blaze insisted on going outside about 5:30. That's OK, as we knew it was going to be a long day. We had our coffee, toast, and banana as we do every day, and did some chores around the house until about 10:30. At that point we went out for breakfast at Theo's, our local Greek diner. We had a funeral to attend that startedd at 1:00, and it was going to be crowded.

One of Doreen's book club members, whom she has known for 20 years, passed away while riding her bike on a country road outside of town. She was in training. for the MS 150, a bike ride that raises money for Multiple Sclerosis. She had been the director of a small private school here in Houston for about 30 years. She was only 56 years old

The funeral mass was held at All Saints Catholic Church in The Heights, where the book group originated (all the members once lived there, now I think only three do.) and was extremely well attended. I can't say quite how many people this church holds, but every seat was full and people were standing in the side and rear aisles. The homily was a very nice tribute to her service. I can't really attest to her character (I did not know her) but based on the tears it was a nice tribute to that as well.

After the service there was a reception at her house, only two blocks from the church, where friends and family gathered to remember and honor her. It was all very moving

She lived only a couple of blocks from a house that I owned and lived in back in the 1990s. Strangely enough, I know the current owner, but have not seen the inside of it since he moved in and made some renovations.

So we walked over and rang his metaphorical door bell. (Of course we called his cell phone. This is 2013, after all. Does anyone have doorbells anymore?) He was gracious and let us in to see the changes he made. He added onto the kitchen and lighted up the place. It looked very nice, and he said as long as he stays in Houston he will stay in that house. I can see why. He also added onto the garage apartment, making it much nicer, and bigger that it was before.

We left and made it home for a quick nap.

Then we had to march over to a friend's birthday party just south of Rice University. This was a lot of fun, and we knew many of the people who were there. It is always good to catch up with friends. The food was outstanding, and the drinks flowed freely.

We got home about 10:30 and I was doing last rounds with Blaze. I started called her to come in when I heard our next-door neighbors calling her as well. Iaughed and called out (over the 10' tall solid wooded fence) "John, you are a bad neighbor!" He laughed and asked us over for a final glass of wine.

Doreen had already gone upstairs, so I had to get to her before she got undressed. (Or course, there being neighbors we have had drinks with them in our lounge wear in the past) I managed to get to her with only her shoes off, so we ambled over.

They had a big fire going in their outside pit fireplace (remember the weather) and we enjoyed a final bottle of wine with the two of them.

A nice end to a busy, sad, happy day.

April 8, 2013

Moby Dick

Oh! many are the Fin-Backs, and many are the Dericks, my friend.

-Herman Melville

April 6, 2013

A foot

Came out to the porch this afternoon and saw this foot sitting on our ottoman.

We have a lot of feral cats in the neighborhood right now, so I guess someone was having a snack.

But they left only a single foot.