OK, last night.
The phone rang at 0330. I checked. It was the front desk stating that the Mrs from cabin 7146 needed medical assistance. My first thought is that anyone calling at this hour must really need help. So I was tempted, in my sleep deprived haze, to collect the cabin bag and head up. Then sanity made a brief appearance and I instead called the room. I identified myself and used a wonderful phrase taught to me by Kelly. "This is the emergency on call nurse, what is the nature of your emergency?"
Well, Mrs. 7146 said, "A few weeks ago I was sitting on my sofa and I started sliding off, because of the plastic. I was going real slow and my friend asked me what's happening and I told to help me because I was falling. And I kept falling because I had a car accident a few years ago and went to see the doctor. My urine was really dark, almost brown. I think it was cystitis or something, but my doctor gave me some pills that made it better, but made me pee red. I can't see my doctor until (pause) 4 this afternoon which is (pause) almost 12 hours from now. Can you get me those pills?"
As you can imagine, it took me a while to parse this narrative. I asked her how long this had been going on and she said a few days. So, she waited until 3:30 in the morning on the day before we get back to call and seek medical attention. I mentioned that it would be $150 just for me to go down and open the clinic, not to mention the doctor's fee and any media cines on top of that. She sounded offended that I would presume to charge a fee for this. So, I told her that she could stop by the clinic when it opened at 0800 and see the doctor before boarding.
"Will the still be a charge?"
"Yes, but it will be less."
"Well, never mind then."
Back to sleep. Eventually. It took some time as my mind tried to process who would make that call. I did manage to fall back asleep though. Just in time for...
The phone rings.
It is the front desk. Mr. 5056 is standing there and he needs medical attention. I ask them to put Mr. 5056 on the phone. It is now 0500.
Good Morning Mr. 5056, this is Eric, the emergency on call nurse. What is the nature of your emergency?
Well, I think I have a bug bit. It's raised and kind of pinkish. I have, maybe a few red areas on my stomach and around to my back.
How long have you had this?
Oh 2-3 days.
Well, sir, I can save you considerable expense by suggesting that you come by during normal clinic hours at 0800 this morning.
But it hurts.
I understand sir, there is a $150 dollar charge just to open the clinic outside of normal hours. The doctor's visit and any medicines or treatments would be on top of that.
Don't you care that you might have an outbreak of bedbugs or spiders on your ship?
I would never suggest that sir, we would be very concerned about that.
Well, I have insurance.
Of course sir, we would present an itemized bill you could use to send them a claim.
Well never mind then.
So, now I am really tired and I get to sit in the Ft. Lauderdale airport for 6 hours waiting for my flight.
It will be good to get home.