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On avoiding going to the hospital.

On avoiding going to the hospital. published on

You may find it difficult to convince someone that your chest pains “aren’t that bad” when you are found wrapped in a blanket on the couch at half-past midnight, answer questions about why only after long pauses and with much shiftiness of the eye, and have the Merck Manual open in your lap to the section about coronary artery bypasses. Nor does it inspire confidence to hide the book under the blanket.

We eventually got Mom to go to the hospital last night. It turned out to be pleurisy, a lung thing, not her heart. She complained that pleurisy “is something Victorian people got,” which she, a sophisticated modern person whose mail arrives mostly in the form of zeros and ones and whose kitchen contains three separate electrical devices dedicated to the complex challenge of mixing things together, should not be required to suffer. She then went back to her crocheting.

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