Emergency Room

Aikya Param
5 min readJan 13, 2020

Not A Favorite Vacation Spot, OK?

Image by engin akyurt from Pixabay

I spent the past Monday up to 2:30 PM Tuesday in the emergency room. One of my friends in a city about an hour from me is an Emergency Room Doctor. He loves it. He continues with enthusiasm even though it requires him to start his workday at midnight. Does that seem strange to you?

My idea of an emergency room is a place bringing in gunshot wounded person after gunshot-wounded person with lots of other less seriously affected folks waiting for care. I waited with hundreds of other people in such an ER in the county hospital years ago. At the time, I had no health insurance. Ambulances brought people severely injured in accidents and victims of shootings and stabbings to the adjoining County Trauma Unit. From the ER waiting room, there was a large door, left open, to the Trauma Unit. I could see through it as person after person was rushed in by EMTs. Now, however, I am retired for 6 years after working for fifteen years for one of the largest health care providers in my state. Those years working earned me good health insurance.

My mini-stroke

At church last Sunday, I experienced something like a TIA (Transient Ischemic Attack), a brief stroke-like attack that can last only a few minutes, up to a few hours. The TIA did not render an arm or leg on either side, numb or immoveable. Nor did either side of my face sag. Instead, I had a few minutes not understanding what people said to me (receptive aphasia) and several hours of confusion.

When I called my Science of Mind practitioner, Katherine, to settle on an appointment day and time with her, I told I had been a cognitive train-wreck for several hours earlier on Sunday. Katherine advised me to call my health care provider. It sounded to her like a TIA (Transient Ischemic Attack), or mini-stroke. Her husband had one some years ago.

When I took my blood pressure afterward, it was high and went higher before coming down at last. I called the Advice Nurse. He said the doctor he consulted might send me to the emergency room. Enter the gruesome partners: (1) my idea of the county hospital emergency room, partnered with (2) the prospect of a scary several thousand dollars bill, according to recent news. I didn’t want to go. The doctor said it was okay if I went to see my doctor the next…

Aikya Param

Rev. Aikya Param is a minister at Oakland Center for Spiritual Living in Oakland, California, a published author and visual artist.