For various reasons, my dad is now in the Cardiac Care Unit of Nassau Medical Center, the ugliest hospital I have ever had the misfortune to visit. This monstrosity is the worst example of 1960s architecture—huge and ramshackle, like a suburban high school but with curious summer-camp touches. Not only is it ugly, but it’s obvious that there are forces working diligently to make it smell terrible and be as unwelcoming, cold, and grim as it can possibly be. Because it’s a hospital! Where people are sick! So why would anyone want to make them happy?
My dad is stuck in a corridor, basically. The Cardiac Care Unit is a corridor. A dank corridor with no windows and unsmiling attendants who only interact with him when they have to perform unpleasant procedures. And even then they’re not nice about it. Oh! And there are teaching doctors who approach him with their gaggles of med students so they can treat my dad like a circus monkey while they, say, use the temporary pacemaker to lower his heart rate to almost nothing and then turn it waaay up and watch him twitch. I asked my dad why everyone seemed to be so unfriendly and he said, “It’s because most people here are going to die soon*. They don’t want to get attached.”
Does this not boggle the mind?
Dear dying person,
You say you're going to die soon! So why should we be nice to you? Won’t you take our feelings into consideration? How about thinking about someone besides yourself for a change, jerk?
Since these might be your last days on earth, we thought we’d put you in a dimly lit hallway without a single window or any indication that the sun even exists anymore.** We’ll serve only the most unappetizing of food, too! Mmm, unsalted meat sludge. Eat it and shut up. Also, you’ll never get a television. Or a telephone. Even after you ask several times for both these items. And while we’re at it, we won’t give your loved ones any number or human being to contact when they have questions. So that when we wheel you in for surgery, no one will know! And then while you recover you’ll be alone! Listen: our hospital is the best and doesn’t at all deserve to be destroyed. So shut your trap.
Nassau Medical Center.
Next up: idiot people who sneer at “Park Slope Mommies” on their idiot blogs. Ha, ha! Because all mothers are stupid! Stupid mothers! It’s a good thing the rest of us were created asexually so that we can be disgusted by the disgusting women who have progeny! Ick, ick, ick!
* Not my dad--he’s just fine, I’m happy to say. He will soon be out of this hellhole.
**When I was there yesterday, another patient called out to me, “Please, what is it like outside? Is the sun shining?” I’m not making this up.