Wednesday, January 7, 2009

Taking the bus against medical advice

Yesterday, I went along with Angela for her first ever endoscopy, but this post isn't about digestive troubles (as exciting as such things may be--and yes, everything is fine).

Angela was specifically instructed that she would not be permitted to leave the hospital by herself, since she would be fairly drugged up for the procedure itself and might still be loopy when they sent her home.

I had the following conversation with the nurse who admitted Angela shortly after we arrived:

Nurse: "You have your car parked down in the garage, right?"
Me: "No"
Nurse: "How did you get here?!"
Me: "We took the bus?"
Nurse: "How will you be getting home ?!?!"
Me: "Well I'd thought we'd see how she was doing, and either take the bus or call a cab."
Nurse: (suspiciously) "Hmm...a cab...I guess that's OK...but she CANNOT ride the bus. You HAVE to take her home in a cab. She might fall or something on the bus."

I took her admonitions seriously, and expected a seriously loopy Angela once they finally released her. As I waited in the appropriate location for her to be released, having secured sufficient cash for a cab ride home, I was surprised when a fairly perky Angela was delivered to me by wheelchair. She popped right up and we headed outside to address our transportation options. She very vociferously insisted that she was perfectly capable of riding a bus and there was no need for a cab. The nurse wasn't looking, so I decided we could risk it.

Um. Yeah. She was completely fine. I'm pretty sure we've both ridden the bus more impaired by, say, a couple beers, many times in the past. What did the nurse think would really happen on a quiet mid-day bus? It's not like Angela was driving the bus.


MN_homesteader said...

Welcome to life w/o a car. I have a friend in CO who is car-free and when he and his Wife had their baby the hospital was a PITA regarding getting the Mom and baby home even though they were taking a cab in July.

Anonymous said...

Came across your blog a few months ago and, first of all, I wanted to say how much my wife and I appreciate it. You are an inspiration to us as we are trying to live a "car-lite" lifestyle here in Memphis, TN - very
non-pedestrian/bike friendly with a pre-historic public transportation system. We were in Cambridge about two years ago and we were quite envious.

Anyway, in defense of the hospital and speaking as an attorney who sits on an advisory committee for a local hospital, they were probably scared to death of incuring some kind of liability. You would be surprised what people will sue a hospital for. No excuse, but unfortunately yet another case where common sense takes a backseat to avoiding a lawsuit.

Thanks again!

Angela V-C said...

Thanks for the comments! We also had a hysterical trip home from the hospital (about a three block walk at the time). I went in a cab with the car seat, while Dorea walked home with the baby.

And I definitely appreciate how hard it would be to cut down on car usage elsewhere. We really do have the good life here with all of the public transportation options and so much within walking distance.