The triage nurse finally got to me after what felt like forever. The only other person in the ER was a old man looking sullen. Two coats tied to a bulging backpack, A napkin in with blood spots and spatter and two hand streaked. I could of been mistaken for one of Hamilton’s homeless.
The decently cute 20 something brunette in blue scrubs and a sweatshirt took down my story. A few minutes later, a older, larger nurse came in and worked on the rest of my paperwork. As she rolls the chair up to the desk, the sullen old man walks in to the room.
“My wife is trying to kill me!” he says, concerned.
“Sit down, Lloyd,” the nurse says. “The doctor will come get you soon.”
“Oh, okay,” he says and shuffles back to his seat.
Wife trying to kill you? I know that feeling, buddy, I thought.
Lloyd became my hero for the night, mostly because he was the only person I saw that wasn’t in the machine of hospital procedure. After the large nurse came waiting in the waiting room, not to be mistaken with the “you’re sick/hurt/dying, take a number” waiting room I was just in. Ten minutes in there and another scrubbed woman took me to a back room.
“The doctor will be with you soon.”
Its an eye exam room.
The head of transport finds me. He says he has a guy on standby to take me back to my car if I’m good to drive home.
I’m passing out in the chair, annoyed and tired. I haven’t eaten in 10 hours or so. I’m sore, my brain is going apeshit, my body is wanting to just slip into sleep. Finally, a doctor looking male walks in to the room. McMaster Medical on his sweater. Med student.
He introduces himself as such. I tell him the story, mention my meds, my work, etc. He looks at nose, sees blood. No shit, doc. Checks ears, breathing. All the fine steps he’s been taught. He tells me that it wasn’t my lungs or any kind of trauma. That the nose sometimes bleeds in cold weather. Mucus dries, cracks and it bleeds. But he’ll check with the actual ER doctor before letting me go.
I don’t know how long it took, but a actual white coated, fully educated doctor finds me. She asks questions again, then goes right to looking into my nose. Within seconds, I hear a “ah” and then she motions her student to look into the device. He nods and backs away. I’m trying not to sneeze with a few inches of plastic on some kind of nose telescope in my nostril with two people who get paid 10x more than I do per day staring down. This is not how I imagined my payday to go.
The doc in the coat tells me that the mix of cold weather, stress and heavy lifting exploded a blood vessel in my nose and sent the torrent of blood down my face. When I sniffed and tried to get it to stop, it went down my throat and irritated my throat which brought up the coughing and the red stuff within. She recommended I not work later that day in Gage Park. 12 hours of outside work in the cold. I agree. I call the 2nd AC and tell him I’m fine and what the doc said. I call transport and they take me to my car. Its over.
Finally home. My mom is awake. I tell her the story. We talk for an hour or more before I slip into sleep.
After this, a series of phone calls wake me up. Its production office, asking how I am and if I’m coming in. I say my bosses are looking for a replacement for me. I get a call from my bosses, they can’t find anyone yet. I tell this to my mom who says, “Guess you’re going in.”
When you’re mom basically says, “Buck up, motherfucker,” you buck up. Just a nosebleed. I’m running on a collective 4 hours of sleep, but I called in anyway and said I could still make it if they really needed me.
They didn’t. They got a union trained trainee to run around the cold in the middle of the night for 12 hours.
I got a lot of sleep.