Ali and I rarely get sick and never have emergencies*. The last time she was in the ER was when she got pneumonia over 10 years ago and my last time was maybe 1990 when I was discharged because I didn't even need stitches. Other than that, I most recently was there with a friend and spent most of the time in the waiting room. So today, when Ali burned her hand at work and we headed off to the black hole that is "Urgent Care", we left thinking, "How does this work!?"
First of all, there is nothing urgent about Urgent Care facilities. We all know this. Today we spent about 40 minutes in the lobby of one while the receptionist called our work to ask about workman's comp procedures before we were told we had to go somewhere else. Excuse me, what? Drive to another Urgent Care place? Well, it turns out we were directed somewhere totally wack that only handles spinal injuries. This is where we were met by complete cunts who informed us that they were not an urgent care facility and did not take walk ins. Yes, thanks, bitch, but where is an urgent care place? At least offer the girl with a burned hand a cold compress! They also told us that to see anyone we would need an attorney, a claim number, and an adviser. Again, they're really taking the urgency out of our afternoon.
From here we decided to give up on finding a place our company approved of and headed to the Fairfax Inova ER...oh, but can it ever be that easy**? A woman in the parking lot stopped us, apologized for being nosy, and told us to contact her law firm because they deal with workman's comp cases and we should really get an attorney before we're screwed by "the man". OMG.
Fairfax Inova was awesome. Not only did they give Ali a cold compress in triage, but they expressed concern and sympathy for her pain. We told them our story and that they are our favorite, which I think made the guy making Ali's ID bracelet happy.
What I don't get about emergency rooms is that to me, an emergency involves blood, or broken bones, or babies coming too soon, or people with pains in their sides who think they have appendicitis, or something that absolutely can't wait until the next day for one's regular doctor. I was under the impression that emergency rooms were not for people with general aches and pains, or sore throats, or nausea, or even burns that aren't 3rd degree. Ali and I tried not to go to the ER until it got to the point that we had to go somewhere and it was our last option (especially since our regular doctor was an hour away and her hand was hurting like whoa).
We ended up waiting forever, as is expected. Ali was getting her vitals taken when some woman decided I looked nice and started talking to me. This woman was not allowed to go into the room with her brother (who was having pains in his side) because of her behavior, as the nurse told her. She also asked me what I thought of Barack Obama (who's name she wasn't sure of) and who "that other guy is" and what I think about him. I sort of hated this woman.
After playing a quick game of musical chairs, Ali and I were alone again to wait and be loud and inappropriate in the waiting room. Luckily, we didn't have any unwanted guests and were called in at about 545ish (?). The doctor was awesome, as was the RN, and they had us in and out of there in about 20 minutes after assuring Ali she was fine and would feel better in a few days. Poor boo! Taking care of the co-pay was something else we had no idea about. I guess it's uninsured people who end up owing a ton, but it just feels weird to see a doctor in an ER and then pay a co-pay like you just had a check up. But Ali's fine and she's all bandaged up and adorable, as usual. Thanks again to FX Inova!
So that's what I did this afternoon. You?
*Knock on wood.
**I sound so cynical and I'm not. Seriously.