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No Kidding

I called my mother last week to apologize. I apologized for anything I ever did, might do, have been perceived to do or ever may do in the future to make her at all unhappy.  The reason for my sudden request for forgiveness has to do with a visit to a local emergency room I had the night before.

I was watching a late night comedy show and although the jokes were good, they weren’t quite good enough to bring on the side-splitting pain I was starting to experience.  After realizing it had nothing to do with the taco I recently devoured, I quickly took to the Internet.

After a few minutes of reeling from the descriptions of every possible cause that the online world could throw at me from appendicitis to bladder cancer, I was actually somewhat relieved to learn that I was having my first (and, hopefully, only) bout of kidney stones. 

The hospital staff was gracious, quick and employed the pain medicine with blessed and speedy dispatch.  I spent the night in the emergency room. (For his sake, I hope I never meet the self-described real estate guru whose infomercial ran all night on the television just out of my reach.)

I was admitted to a room to await the specialist’s review and in quick succession, was visited by the nurse who put her name and phone number on a white board in front of me (nice touch), a case manager and a quality assurance professional who asked me about my hospital visit so far. This was an older local hospital that was undergoing a major renovation—seemingly not only of the physical space, but the staff interaction and attentiveness as well. I was (between screaming for pain medicine and wanting to go home) suitably impressed; not only with their reaction, but with their interest in involving me in the conversation. I was not just patient in room 211, bed 1, but I was being asked about my opinions. Actually, one of my opinions was that too many people asked me the same questions about my opinions over and over. (I was assured the new computer system would help them with that problem.) The doctor came and released me immediately to go home and (as they say in the kidney stone arena) wait for all things which must pass.


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