A few days ago, I threw out my back trying to lift my laundry bag. I know, you’re probably thinking I’m a wimp. But as I only do laundry four times a year, you can imagine how heavy this bag was.
But Holy God I was in pain. My back began to spasm, muscles tightening and contracting like a jackhammer. I screamed louder than when I got chased by a bear (and I wasn’t even in the woods.)
This all happened outside on the sidewalk. I collapsed to the ground, holding my lower back, bellowing unholy things. Can you believe not one person even looked my way? Well, one did. An elderly woman. She asked, “Excuse me, but could you keep the noise down? Your hollering is bothering my dog.”
Through gritted teeth, I asked her if she’d call me an ambulance.
“I don’t speak Spanish,” she said and walked away. It was a good thing I wasn’t carrying a gun. My back continued to spasm.
Thank God the police showed up. “Sir, are you in pain?”
“No, I’m trying to break dance.”
“You’re gonna pay for that one.” The cop radioed in the “incident” and requested the paramedics. They showed up faster than a fee on an ATM withdrawal. In no time, I was in the emergency room, lying on a gurney, still screaming and yelling for someone to help me.
A Nurse appeared. “You keep yelling, I’ll have to call hospital security.”
“You can call the Taliban, for all I care. HELP ME!”
“It doesn’t work like that,” Nurse said. “We need a special doctor for you.”
“Am I wearing a helmet? There are a thousand doctors here.”
“By New York State Law, only a Pain Specialist can administer a cortisone shot in the spinal area. And right now, he’s attending to another patient.”
“What kind of fucked-up system is this? You’re telling me that only one doctor out of a thousand MD’s can do a simple procedure?”
The Nurse walked away while my lower back continued to earthquake. The pain was akin to someone repeatedly stabbing you with an icepick. Luckily, the Pain Specialist showed up. I prepared myself for a long procedure. Then the Doctor flashed a needle the size of a missile.
“What the hell is that?” I screamed.
“Your remedy,” said the Pain Specialist.
“You are not sticking me with that thing. Look at it. It’s bigger than you.”
“Turn around, lie on your stomach, lift up your shirt.”
I did as I was told with great effort. Then I felt the needle penetrate my lower spinal area. Before I could protest, the Pain Specialist was gone. Wow, that was fast. Even faster was the remedy. The spasms miraculously stopped. I could actually sit up. Holy voodoo remedy, what the hell did he give me?
In no time, I was back to my ‘ol self. I proudly walked out of the emergency room like a Roman gladiator and went back to retrieve my laundry bag. Figures it wasn’t there. Oh, well, at least I didn’t have to do my laundry anymore.
Till this day, I have no idea what magical wonder drug the Pain Specialist gave me. But something even more painful occurred a few days later. I got a piece of mail, the kind that tells you it’s not a check. I opened it up and discovered a $750 medical bill. But I had insurance. This had to be a mistake.
Then I learned that ambulances aren’t covered by most insurance policies, especially in NYC. What a jip. This was nothing but a racket. And now the words of that cop sunk in. And I used to think Uber was a scam.
You know, next time I need an ambulance, I think I’d rather crawl to the hospital, even if I were gushing blood from a severed artery. Either way, I was gonna get sucked dry. And to think that all of this could have been avoided if I had held off one more day to do laundry.
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