Top Ten thoughts after my annual visit to the emergency room

By Torry Stiles

(Dear readers: It’s become a tradition on the pages that I kick off the new year with a visit to the hospital emergency room. It’s not a pleasant experience but I’m guaranteed a bunch of stuff for this week’s column.)

10. There is a class of patient that the staff refers to as “Frequent Flyers.” They may or may not be sick but like being there. Some of them know the staff on a first-name basis and some come prepared with an empty suitcase or two.

9.  If you don’t know how you got to the emergency room on a 20-degree day wearing only sweatpants, socks and a T-shirt then I think we can probably agree your problem is not strictly medical.

8. No number of threats to sue will get you past Nurse Ratched at the front desk any faster. She’s heard it before, and she has actual bleeding people ahead of you.

7. Being in the waiting room doesn’t entitle you to a free sandwich. Toddle yourself up to the cafeteria like a big boy.

6. Chest pain gets their attention, especially if you’re a repeat customer like me. Lead with the chest pain and they don’t immediately ship you off to the local Clinics-R-Us.

5.  Last time I was here I spent a few hours on a gurney in a hallway and got sent home. This time I made it to an actual room. I never got the chance to play with any of the neat stuff parked in the hallways.

4. If you’re healthy enough to kick the deputy’s butt you’re probably not sick enough to be seen right away.

3. Nurses are still the greatest. I try to be extra-nice to them since they may at some time need to shave me in places I usually don’t.

2.  I had my third heart catheter. On the fifth one they punch my ticket for free French fries.

1.The ER is no place to be sick.