I hate hospitals and going to them for any reason but yesterday I was encouraged to do so by a few different people. I knew I had a hernia and I could see and feel the bulge (or whatever it is) in my stomach; but I didn’t take it that’s serious. However, I visited my local pizzeria, a classic New York joint, and talked to Joe the old Italian guy behind the counter who had just had a heart attack four days ago but was already back at work because he said staying at home drives him crazy.
After telling Joe about my stomach he wouldn’t shut up and went on and on about me having to get it checked out and then admonished me for my diet of pizza, Philly cheesesteaks, strombolis and the like, which of course I buy from him. After leaving there I called my grandmother and nothing gets her excited more than any hint of sickness or ailments and then my wife and they both I agreed I should have it checked out so I went to Wyckoff Hospital in Brooklyn.
Wyckoff is like most inner-city hospitals in that it is a third-world operation. It is crowded, dirty, unorganized and is manned by staff who just kind of leisurely stroll around and don’t get excited about anything and are not in a hurry to serve anyone. After waiting a few hours and being rudely interviewed and checked on by a gay Asian nurse I sat in the waiting room for three hours as Puerto Rican teen mothers sat with their unruly kids and baby-daddies ( all black btw), transvestites, a woman telling how she puts vegetable oil in her car engine, and a guy telling how his uncle works at the post office but gets a social security check in a dead guys name, so I couldn’t wait to be seen and get the hell out of there.
When I got in the back it was crowded and police officers were hovering over someone who had been assaulted trying to get info on the attackers while I sat next to a young gang-banger who was threatening to shoot up the place unless he got some attention. On the other side of me an elderly Puerto Rican woman was having some religious tracts read to her by her daughter.
I got a bed, and because my name is Lee, was sent a Chinese female doctor to see me, and she was rude and nasty and abruptly walked away without saying anything when she found out I wasn’t Chinese.
So, it was going bad; but then I was sent two residents, one a Muslim woman from India and another a young man from Vietnam and both had did their med school in the Caribbean island of Dominica, and they were very friendly and nice and talked to me until the regular doctor came, a guy from India, and he confirmed I had a hernia and gave me an appointment with the surgical clinic on June 30th. Hopefully two years from now those two residents will be that warm and friendly.