You’d think that living in the Ghetto would be hardcore enough for me. Nope. I’ve got to have Ghetto Medical Insurance. Truth be told, Kaiser PermaGhetto has been very good to me and the care that I’ve gotten is for the most part, spectacular. However, navigating the ins and outs of PermaGhetto is like trying to buy toilet paper in Russia: there are always really long lines, crazy languages and everyone smells.
I arrived early and grabbed a cup of coffee before heading up to the waiting room. Along the way, I passed an actual hobo IN THE HALLS who was taking a moment to rearrange his possessions.
Um, ok. “Good morning.”
“WHAT’S WRONG WITH YOUR EYE?”
“Er, uh, um…” Elevator, please arrive. Joining me in the elevator was a giant woman who dwarfed me. This will prove to be the highlight of my morning.
“Where you goin’?”
“Third Floor, Urgent Eye Care.” I responded.
“Ain’t that on the Fourth Floor?”
“I’m pretty sure it’s on the third. That’s what they told me, at least.”
I emerged on the third floor, easily finding the appropriate office filled with elderly people from every country in the world. I got in line and listened to an old Irish man at the counter.
“Now when’s me appointment as I been waitin’ nearly an hour.”
“I told you, Mr. O’Malley. It’s on Thursday.”
“So, I’ll just be waitin’ over by the plant, yes?”
“Nope. You need to go home. Today is Tuesday. You’ve got to come back on Thursday.”
“Tursday! Oh, right, right.”
He gathered his things and proceeded to sit down in the waiting room. I finally made it up to the desk, forked over a fortune and waited with my OK! Magazine.
In waiting 45 MINUTES to see the doctor, I witnessed no less than three interpreters come through, one of whom having just disagreed with a patient and was lamenting her inability to shut her anger off.
I heard that.
I also witness Miss Giant Elevator sheepishly arrive on the third floor. Yeah. That’s what I thought.
Finally, they call what I assume was my name. “Erishabitch Spotwahn.”
“THAT’S ME!” I leapt from the chair and was guided to the back room where “Emily” asked me a series of questions. The great thing about the eye doctor is that they only ask you questions pertaining to the eyes, as opposed to the whole, “Who are you sleeping with, do you do drugs, get on the scale, please” third degree. I filled Emily in on my night of hell, offering that something clearly got in my eye and was driving me nuts.
“Emily, I haven’t slept a wink, so to speak, since 1:30 this morning. Help me.”
“The doctor will come in a few minutes.”
I re-read OK! Magazine. Then I read some pamphlets on cataracts. Then I read the photocopies on the walls, announcing seated exercise classes and free blood pressure testing.
“It seems something got in that pretty left eye.” She smiled and while short, I decided I liked her. I explained my tale of woe.
“Okay, I’m going to put some dye drops in your eye now and we’ll take a look. Then I’m going to flip the lid and look under there.”
“I don’t like anyone touching my eye.”
“No one does.”
Fair enough. Mustard yellow drops fell into my eye and down my left cheek and I was immediately instructed to fit my head in some big contraption while a rainbow of lights flashed in my eyes. Then, with great swiftness, she took some horrible instrument of torture and flipped my eyelid. It actually wasn’t that bad.
Finally, she pushed the face holder away, dabbed my crying eye and scooted her stool back.
“You’ve got an ulcer on your cornea.”
“There’s a tear in your cornea and it’s infected. We call them ulcers. You need to go on antibiotics. Like, now. Oh, and you need to come back on Thursday because I want to make sure this doesn’t develop into something more serious.”
“Oh my god. Okay.”
“A corneal ulcer isn’t a big deal, really. We’ve just got to treat it. It happens a lot in dogs.”
She laughed. “In humans, too! Oh god, in humans too. Sorry.”
With that, I was instructed to the pharmacy. Within 10 minutes, I had my appallingly expensive antibiotics, which need to get dropped into my wonky eye every two fucking hours. Upon arrival home, I immediately looked up “corneal ulcer” online.
I think the worst part is when they list the most commonly affected breeds.
With MY eye disease.
That’s just great.
Oh wait, no. That’s not the worst part. What’s the worst part?
The goddamn patch, which incidentally, is now where it belongs: in the trash…