Thursday, October 8, 2015

Hospital Skeezers

I woke up Wednesday, determined to start another period of sobriety, after having slept fitfully, waking up periodically in the throes of feelings of guilt and shame. Did I really sit there on my spot, spewing anger and looking at every young African American as if he might be the next one to grab my tips and run?

The teeth that had been bothering me a couple weeks prior, but then had stopped, causing me to put the chore of calling around to set up a dental appointment on the back burner; started bothering me again.

The problem had been under the surface, more in the jaw than the gums, but has flared up, giving me another compelling reason to go on a health kick.

I know that tooth problems have systemic "roots" and that the liver somehow factors into things.

This was told to me by a Buddhist lady who was a practitioner of "eastern" medicine, but it somehow rings true with me. After all, aren't the months or years without toothaches attributable to the body's being able to fight off the offending bacteria, and isn't it a weakening of the immune system which allows a foreign object which gets forced down below the gum line to reek havoc, and turn into an abscess? Like I say, it makes sense to me.

I had started drinking on a night when I had a toothache, and now, 2 weeks later, I woke up this (Wednesday) morning looking like a squirrel with its cheeks full of nuts, and feeling feverish.

I am at the University Medical Center, and have been here for about 4 hours, in the emergency waiting room. I have been put through "triage" at a "medium" level, perhaps due to my having told them that I was in pain.

I don't see anyone else, out of the other couple dozen people here, oozing blood or having seizures.

On Hospital Skeezers

Most of them seem like the types who, in my prejudiced eyes, I see as "hospital skeezers."

Hospital skeezers are almost always seen, even in public, wearing the turquoise colored scrubs and a plastic wristband.

They seem focused upon the task of garnering a "disability" check each month, knowing which clinics to go to, and how to act and what to say to which doctors. They very often have narcotics for sale on the street. Muscle relaxers, Vicodin, you name it. They know that the existence of "mysterious back pain" is something which cannot be proven or disproven by x-rays or other tests; and I suppose they know that if the pain fails to improve or worsens, the doctor will "step up" the medication to something which has a higher street value.

This requires the hospital skeezers to pursue a busy schedule of arranging transportation, keeping appointments, visiting lawyers, "specialists" (in mysterious back pain and bad feet) etc., and it seems like a lot of them don't even have time to change out of their scrubs, and so you see them on Canal Street at night very often, passed out drunk on the sidewalk -a vision in turquoise.

This is not just my frustration talking; over having to wait all day to be seen and, most likely, given antibiotics (and told not to use alcohol in conjunction with them).

The Icy Stares

The icy stares that I have been getting from the other "patients" remind me of those I got when I used to go to the labor pool, where there were invariably guys there who had outstanding warrants, or who might have even jumped bail somewhere, and who might be wondering if their particular situation "warranted" the county extending its dragnet to where they were. And seeing a bespectacled white guy arouses suspicion.

In my prejudiced eyes, they see me as a potential inspector from an insurance company that they are trying to skeeze, perhaps trying to get a photo of them out of their wheelchair and walking around or just some kind of agent from some kind of narcotics division.

You've just read: 673 words.

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