“I DO NOT RECOMMEND THIS WEIGHT LOSS PROGRAM”
by Rick Jones, Husband of the Minister's Wife
In early April I spent some time in our local emergency room with food poisoning. We don't know what caused the food poisoning. It was something I ate, obviously, but considering my love of food, that doesn't narrow down the list of possibilities much. I'm sure it wasn't Lois's cooking. Maybe it was that fast-food sandwich I found under the driver's seat of our van. The fact that I could not recall the last time I'd been to that burger joint might be construed as a warning sign.
Whatever it was, it hit pretty hard. My digestive system was already compromised from being subjected to oral antibiotics for a month due to a toe infection. I had worked on Monday night, and spent most of Tuesday futilely trying to rest, but staggering to the bathroom at least twice an hour. I am absolutely sure that there was absolutely nothing left in my entire digestive system [trust me, you don't want any details]. For the first four hours, I thought I might die. For the next four hours, that didn't seem like such a bad idea. For the next four hours, I wasn't really thinking at all. I was getting delirious, which explains why I kept telling Lois that I shouldn't go to the ER because I had to go to work again that night.
Finally I was too tired to argue. Lois helped me stagger to the van. She drove to the hospital.
I'm sure you know how boring an ER waiting area can be. So it must have been a thrilling diversion for all those people waiting there when I walked in. I had staggering down to an art by then, and it was enhanced by my exhaustion. It was probably just delerium, but I thought I heard a small child saying, “Weebles wobble but they don't fall down.” Folks were probably amused by the fact that Lois was beside me, steadying me with one hand and carrying a small plastic wastepaper basket in the other, anxiously hoping I would not have to throw up into it at any second. I'm not sure how everyone felt when I did [quite noisily]. Actually, I may have provided my fellow ER visitors with some comfort as they started thinking, “I'm feeling awful, but it could be worse. I could be that guy.”
The next three hours are a blur for me. I know Lois was there. I know that about seventy-two other people were deemed in greater need of help than I was. I know that when they said I was being admitted [for the toe infection, not the food poisoning, which by that time was over] I was thrilled, because regular hospital beds are much more comfortable than ER beds. Emergency room beds are not designed for people who desperately need sleep. They're designed for masochists who fantasize about saddle sores.
But seriously, folks – I'm grateful for the care I received and while I joke about it, I have no complaints about the hospital staff. And I hope they all have a good sense of humor – in case they read this article, and I end up in their care again.