Monday, June 04, 2012


So I was at my local wrestling club last Tuesday night, a week after my 50th birthday. Yeah, I know: why was someone my age spending his evening doing a young person’s sport? Shouldn’t I have been watching House while eating fattening food and clogging my arteries like a normal middle-aged American? Well, if there’s one thing you can say about me, it’s that I’m not normal. I have too much energy to spend my evening in front of the television. Meth addicts routinely tell me to calm down.

Anyway, I was getting a great workout and feeling as young as ever. I was holding my own against someone who’s quite a good wrestler, enjoying the fact that I was able to keep up with him despite the fact that I haven’t been his age since the Carter administration.

Then it hit me. His elbow, that is. Right smack into my left eyebrow. I knew right away that it had split me open because this sort of thing had happened more than once before. Well, that and the blood pouring onto the mat. It was only a flesh wound and I could have continued, but if I had, no one would have wanted to work out with me because I looked like the first member of the zombie apocalypse.

I drove to the Baltimore-Washington Medical Center’s emergency room and, as is always the case right after a holiday weekend, it was packed. Many of the patients had life-threatening ailments such as headaches and stomachaches, so I didn’t mind letting them go first.

I waited in line like I was depositing a check at a bank. I called my girlfriend to let her know where I was, because every woman likes to know that her man is in the ER. She said that she would be there soon, despite my protestations that it wasn’t necessary because I would surely be treated after the other 872 million patients had been given their Tylenol.

When I got to triage I asked how long it would be before I got treated. The guy asked, “Do you really want to know?” I said yes. He told me that I would be lucky to get out of there before the next election. I then started entertaining the thought that I really didn’t need stitches, that I could spend the rest of my life looking like I had a third eye, when he suggested that I go home and come back in the morning when the wait wouldn’t be nearly as long. I shot out of there like Lindsay Lohan out of rehab.

When I got home I looked at myself in the mirror and, when I was finished retching, took a photo of myself for later Facebook posting because, as we all know, Facebook users are so bored that they will even comment on people’s posts about what they had for lunch.

After a painful shower my girlfriend, whom I had called on the way home, butterflied my wound to keep it at least partially closed. While eating dinner she suggested that we go to Anne Arundel Medical Center, which might not be as busy as the other hospital. We drove down there and, wouldn’t you know it, there was no one in line. They took me right away. For 20 years I’d been waiting behind the entire population of Senegal for my emergency medical needs when all I had to do was come here to my own private hospital. I felt stupider than Dan Quayle at a spelling bee.

Before stitching me up the doctor injected me with lidocaine. She warned me that it would burn a little, which was like warning the Titanic passengers that they would get a little wet. I thought that she was cauterizing the wound with a soldering iron. My groans of agony caused my girlfriend to have a vasovagal episode wherein she couldn’t move and she sweated like Kirstie Alley at the beach.

The surgery itself was a breeze. The doctor fixed me up with 8 sutures in a matter of minutes. All in all I was in and out of the hospital in about an hour and a half, which is less than half the time it would have taken to even be seen at the other hospital. So when you need emergency medical care, come on down to Anne Arundel Medical Center. But don’t tell the Senegalians.


At 12:00 AM, Blogger Anne Beggs said...

Jeez, I remember that picture, then had a senior blonde moment and in a facebook minute promptly forgot about it.

Dang it. You are having all the fun--I'm reading these out of order, so colonoscopy, skydiving and now this.

You should email me your new blogs so I don't miss them.


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