I applied my laboratory tested botanical with serenity, secure that I was finally taking responsibility for myself by fighting the visible signs of aging. I slept the sleep of the righteous.
The next morning my vision was double, like on booze. Two horizon lines: one, as level as the strings on the neck of a violin; the other a bow angling up and down across the first in a nauseating movement. I was betrayed by Sweden's sexy-ist scientists. Damn Helsinki!
My right eye was suddenly untethered in it's socket sloshing around like the last ice-cube in a melty vodka. Hoping this would go away by itself, I stumbled around like that for three days.
On my way to the emergency room I bought a pirate patch at the drugstore. It helped me to not fall, but mostly I wanted feel as though the nurses wouldn't think I was stupid. Oh well...
The first ER took a look at the pirate patch and sent me to the "Main Campus" at Charles Circle, where they suggested I go to the ER at the hospital "right next door". Three ER's in ten hours, and I hadn't been triaged. Finally a neuro ophthalmologist suggested I might have nerve palsy, and no one should touch me 'cause I probably had high blood pressure and should be sent back up Fruit St. to MGH. They sent for a wheelchair, but after fourty-five minuets I decided to walk up. On TV they always put pressure cuffs on people in emergency rooms, why not in real life?
After ignoring the nurse's admonishment that I should wait for a wheelchair, I walked up the hill. Thinking that maybe I had nerve palsy (they say it does just go away) and high blood pressure. Well of course I'd have high blood pressure; I'd been bamboozled by bimbos dressed as scientists and then turned away by nurses dressed as bimbos.
Now I returned to the ER a few hours later and this time there was screaming. A team of EMT's and Firefighters were bringing in some dead burnt kids from a car wreck. The last thing I remember thinking was that the fireman looked like he was in shock. Then the smell, the boy, and I was in shock.
I made it home. I guess I fled.
The next morning I went back to the emergency room where I had started. The day before I hadn't gotten anyone's name or business card. To this day I haven't made that mistake again. I asked the receptionist for her card before I would answer any questions. I was holding up the line. I would not step aside. She lost her English.
The nurse who had originally sent me away the day before came out from behind the Plexiglas to "handle this". I didn't look very good, so she said. Her attitude suddenly got all professional and fast acting. I was guided into the exam bay. A younger gansta' style nurse got into an argument with a clerk (or gangsta's assistant) over who got to ask me the questions. Typically, I find a pissing contest good sport and love to play or wager, but not this day.
I pulled out my phone. The bickering stopped.
"What are you doing?"
"Calling myself a fucking ambulance"
"Wait, wait, wait! Don't do that"
"I need to a Doctor right now, no more questions" and I launched into the whole story.
I was interrupted, told to be quiet. I told the story anyway, loud enough for everyone to hear, as I was ushered into the company of a small frightened Doctor.
My blood pressure was dangerously high, it had crushed the nerves around my eye. I was admitted into the Emergency room to be given intravenous drugs to get my pressure down to a safer level. Palsy does just go away if your blood pressure goes down. The bills do not. Plus the meds were expensive. I was going to need free health care.