Saturday, 9:35 p.m.
I arrive in the emergency room. I had been at a party earlier in the evening when I accidentally cut my finger. My finger wasn’t severed, but it did have a very deep cut and I thought I might need stitches. I check in at the admissions desk and I’m told to take a seat and wait.
Saturday, 10:40 p.m.
I’m still waiting to see a doctor. The waiting room is filled to capacity and I expect it to be a long night.
Saturday, 11:15 p.m.
Several ambulances pull up to the door and EMTs wheel in several people on stretchers. I hear that there had been a pileup on Freeway 215 and these were the victims. I can see a doctor performing triage and the most critical cases are taken into exam rooms and maybe directly into surgery.
Sunday, 1:25 p.m.
I decide to give up and go home. If I hadn’t bled to death by that time, I could probably wait until Monday to see my regular physician.
My evening in the emergency room wasn’t a total loss, though. I learned a valuable lesson: Never voluntarily go to the emergency room!
Script by Dr. Lucy Tse