He Got Shot: My Date in the ER

There’s pros and cons to being single.

One of them is getting hooked up with one, single LA Clippers playoffs game ticket with no boyfriend to have to worry about sitting at home, sulking because his friend wasn’t the one who hooked him up. It was yours and YOU got to go.

I’ve been to several games over the years, from a great friend of mine who I met at Jamie Foxx’s Oscars party several years ago. He’s amazing and always tries to hook me up when he can. Being the sports fan that I am, I absolutely love him for that.

Last Tuesday he texts me and says he has a ticket for me at Will Call for the playoff game that night! I was stoked.

I was at work, and had felt some pretty strong cramps come on, but I wasn’t going to let silly period cramps stop me from going to the game.

I had a few other friends that were at the game that night, too, and was invited out for drinks afterwards.

I was going to tough it out.
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As I got to the Staples Center downtown, my cramps got worse. I was on a mission to find some Ibuprofen and when I entered the Staples Center and asked where I could find some, they sent me to the first aid office. I went in and told them I had some really strong cramps and I was uncomfortable. They gave me stuff to tie me over. And then I went and sat in my seat to enjoy the game.

I also had a pass to go to the suite level that my friend had also hooked me up with, but by the end of the second quarter I was in so much pain still that I was on my phone on WebMD trying to figure out what the heck was going on with me.

The Clippers are playing right in front of my face and I couldn’t even concentrate. The pain was worse than ever. I had to leave.

I went back to the first aid office because I knew something was wrong.

As I walked in, with a pain-stricken face, and me clutching my side, the lady who had helped me an hour or so earlier looked concerned.

She said, “Are you okay?”

I told her the 3 pills of ibuprofen that I had taken earlier didn’t do anything to lighten up my pain, in fact it has gotten even worse.

She made me sit down. They took my vitals and she determined that it was probably something with my kidneys.

The pain got worse as I sat there.

I wanted to just go home and hoped it would go away, but she strongly urged me to go to urgent care or even, the emergency room at the nearest hospital!

Dang, yo. I guess this IS serious.

I was severely pissed off that I was missing out on watching the Clippers play, but the pain was worsening by the minute, so I asked them for directions to the nearest Hospital. They wanted to take me in an ambulance, but I thought to myself, nope! That s*** sounds expensive.  It was nearby, anyways.

I had to go get my car out of valet first, parked a few blocks away from the Staples Center. I knew that if I was at any sort of hospital it wouldn’t be a quick visit.  The last thing I needed was my car locked up or towed somewhere.

As I limped across the street, and picked up my car, and made my way to the local hospital about a mile away, it was getting even worse. Horrible, horrible pain. It felt like someone was stabbing my kidney with a knife and wouldn’t stop.

At that point I knew it was another kidney stone. I had gotten one about 10 years prior. Apparently I’m susceptible to having more, and what beautiful timing to have one happen during a LA Clippers playoff game. So not cool!

I finally made it to the ER, signed their paperwork and was in tears by this point.

As I entered the doors, I saw a world I was completely unfamiliar with.

Keep in mind that I was in downtown Los Angeles, not far from the Financial District, but not also far from Skid Row.

As I took a quick look at people sitting in chairs, I saw crack addicts, pregnant women in wheelchairs, little kids crying, and heard several languages I didn’t understand.

I, on the otherhand, had come straight from the office, and despite me grabbing my lower side, I was looking pretty fancy. My blinged-out necklace, hair and makeup done, designer bag and brand new smartphone stood out like a sore thumb.  A single white woman, looking like a lost little puppy.  Despite the crowd, I felt very alone.

Remember when I talked about the pros and cons of being single? The ticket was a great deal.

Going to the ER by myself, in terrible pain, and not 100% sure what was really, really wrong or how I’d get home? Ah, there’s the con.

However, I didn’t give a flying f*** at the moment because I was in so much pain! This was not the time to care about what others thought of me, nor me of them.

Back to the situation.

The doctors and nurses who saw my face knew I was in pain, too. I was quickly ushered in to have a seat with them, while they asked me questions like,

“Do you feel like you could harm or hurt yourself? Do you feel safe where you live? etc”

I answered their mandatory questions while I struggled to make it through the pain.

They finally administered an IV, gave me some drugs that I popped super quick, and had me lay down on a bed in the ER, which was really just a rolling cot out in the open hallway right across from nurses station where everyone was buzzing about.

It was highly entertaining, considering the circumstances. Scrubs of all colors, everywhere.

The drugs finally kicked in. I had already texted my girl who was at the game, which had just ended. She said she was on the way. Thank God! What would us single women do without our friends? I swear..

As I laid there on my bed, with a needle shoved up my arm, about 5 tubes of blood now missing, and freezing from the cold fluids that were being pumped into my body, I heard the most terrifying call come in over the loud speaker in the ER.

“We have a trauma, level 1. A GSW walk up with wounds to the upper thigh and leg. Again, this is a level 1 trauma.”

Everyone immediately started running and picked up the pace. Rubber gloves were thrown on. Masks were put over faces as people started running down the hall.

A GSW, I questioned? What’s that mean?

Oh shit! They mean “gunshot wound!”

About 15 or 20 doctors and nurses all started shuffling around me and preparing the room right behind my head from where my bed was.

I freaked.

I don’t do well with blood, and the only kind of gun I want to talk about is a Super Soaker drenching me in the middle of July at some outdoor picnic or something.

This guy was being brought in on a stretcher, and if I even saw one glimpse of him, I knew I would probably pass out from shock.

I cussed out loud, and put my hand over my face. This is not something that I was used to dealing with everyday.

Apparently they brought him in behind me and I didn’t dare look. But all the doctors who weren’t in there at the moment were waiting to go into the room, standing by my bed in the hallway.

I could hear them all talking, and even hear the victim in the room right behind me give them his name and the fact that his pain level with a 10 on a scale of 1 to 10. No kidding.

It was then that I heard something I was never going to expect.

Apparently, this dude was shot in the upper thigh.

AND…
…in his scrotum!

DAAAAANG, GINA!

I immediately was grateful about how well my day had been going. No complaints here. I was super good.

An older doctor and a nurse were standing by my bed about 4 feet away. I could hear them talking, and the doctor says,

“Oh, he’ll be alright. Just shove a ping pong ball down there. He’ll be fine!”

I couldn’t believe my ears. Was he serious?! This was a very tense situation! I slowly turned my head to look in his direction.

The nurse and the doctor both looked back at me, caught, but with goofy grins plastered to their faces.

“Oh, I’m sorry. Did you hear that??” He chuckles.

“Yes I did, Doc.”

I quickly realized everything was gonna be ok.

“And let me just tell you…you just reduced my stress level by tons!”

I immediately started cracking up.

Their joking continues, and the nurse chimes in and says,

“Yeah, you know what that’s called? A street vasectomy!”

We all bust up, laughing. This was now comedy hour in hospital.

I suppose in a high stress environment like that of an ER, you must learn how to outsource the stress. I think they had it down.

About 10 minutes later, all the commotion had calmed down.  Cops came in and started talking to the victim. He was stabilized and all the necessary tests had gotten underway.

My drugs were really kicking in now, and I was feeling loopy. The pain had pretty much subsided. Thank, JESUS.

My friend arrived and was ushered back to see me. After I explained to her what had happened to me, I explained to her what the heck was happening in the room behind my head. I also shared with her the jokes and I was laughing all over again. So was she.

We had to stay for a few more hours, to make sure that all the tests they needed were taken care of, and that I would have clear discharge instructions before I left as to what I needed to do if the pain started up again.

After a few selfies on my phone together, and more laughs with the people we’d gotten to know over the past few hours, I had one last consult with my doctor, signed myself out, and headed home with a prescription for some pretty strong pain meds.

I thought back to the shenanigans of the evening.  All things considered, I was grateful for so many things.

I know my future husband will be the one to carry my ass into the ER next time this happens (if it ever happens again), but as a single woman in her 30s in Los Angeles, I’d still say I felt loved and taken care of, regardless of my lonesome single status.

I’m pretty blessed to have such amazing people in my life.  And all my body parts still in tact.  🙂

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