A Kidney Warming Valentine’s Day Tale

I’m going to tell you the story of Valentine’s Day, set in either 2009 or 2010, I really don’t remember.  It was my first Valentine’s Day after being dumped. It was kind of amazing.

I might have been interested in someone at the time, but I wasn’t really pursuing it and chose to engineer an album for Sacramento-based harsh noise outfit Liver Cancer instead. I was recording it in Geordan’s garage, and part way into the session I started feeling this pinching in my side. I try to shut it out. About half way through the recording session, I suddenly find myself rolling on the bathroom floor in agonizing pain. I was also uninsured at the time. Geordan comes in, “Are you alright, bro?”
“NO!”
“Where does it hurt?”
“Here!”
“I think that’s your appendix. Do you need to go to the hospital?”
“Nah….. nah. It’s probably diarrhoea or something.”
“What’s your pain level?”
“8.”
“Seriously?”
“Fuck, it just hit 9, might be dying, let’s go to the god damn hospital.

So I get a ride from the band out to Sutter Hospital in Roseville. They have me pee in a cup and give me a comfy hospital bed. Two incredibly beautiful nurses come over, start using me as a human pincushion and pressing down firmly on places that are supposed to hurt. Basically, it was the most action I’d had in months. They mention blood in my urine. Great. Every uninsured American wants to hear that they’re peeing blood. At least red pee on Valentine’s Day is festive, right?

They do some kind of a scan on my abdomen and just leave me unattended in that room for hours. I have to say, you have not lived until you’ve spent Valentine’s Day in the emergency room. The grand rotation of insanity that ensued made me not feel lonely in the slightest.

First, we have an elderly man who is a tad bit wasted. He doesn’t like his hospital bed. He might have a bit of dementia. He decides he’s tired of hanging out in here and just leaves in the hospital gown with his bare ass hanging out. Shortly thereafter, nurses are scrambling around trying to find the man. He’s humbly returned with police escort and handcuffed to the bed. I sense a BDSM theme forming.

Next, we have the girl. I see her wandering around the hall in a daze, hateful look in her eye, ghost white, and I start thinking, “Huh, what are you in for?”

One bad fucking night. That’s what she was in for.

She goes into the womens’ room and locks the door. Suddenly, there are 2 police officers outside the bathroom door banging on it. They demand she unlock the door or they’re going to unlock it and drag her out. Well, they unlock it and drag her out kicking and screaming. They bring her fiancé in to try to calm her down, but he really, really isn’t helping.

It starts getting ugly when she throws a bedpan on the floor and hurls her cell phone at a nurse. She’s screaming up a storm. The cops hold her down and cuff her to the bed. When do I get to be restrained?

This sad woman was a paranoid schizophrenic with a bladder infection following a medication abortion, and the police are there because she’s on suicide watch. Her fiancé starts coming around periodically and being horribly frigid and cold. Regardless of your stance on that subject, it’s a horrible experience for a woman to go through, and this guy finds that to be a mild annoyance. A schizophrenic dating a sociopath sounds like the beginning of a really bad movie. At one point he walks in, tells her that he never really loved her, and just fucking leaves.

FIREWORKS ARE LIT NOW! She starts convulsing in a maelstrom of loathing and sadness. Here come the authority figures and medical technicians. “Give her Geodon.”
“No! No! You don’t know my medication! You talk to my fucking shrink! I take Seroquel! Don’t give me that shit!”
“Did you bring the shot?”
“No! I don’t want it!”

I probably should have warned you this story goes from being darkly comic to kind of terrifying. She starts to fade out, and for some reason they wheel her out into the aisle like she’s on public display for the rest of the ward. She’s half coherent and the guy handcuffed in the bed next to mine is starting to sober up and chimes in. “They’re trying to help us you know.”
“…gurgh…..ggg….fuck……you……”

They continued on like that until she finally passed out. A friend of mine at the time who was also my emergency contact pops in. There was an ongoing joke that we had the same bad taste in women. He jumps straight to “Who’s the hot girl cuffed to the bed?”
“Dude… just…. no….”

Doctor comes in, tells me I have a kidney stone, I need to drink lots of water, and that’ll be $10,000. Liver Cancer named a song after it, you can listen to it here:

Happy Valentine’s Day everyone!

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