By Mike Garrison
A Moment with Mike is a weekly opinion column where LiveRC’s Mike Garrison gives his take on hot-button issues, general topics, and conversations within the RC industry. The views and opinions expressed in this article do not necessarily reflect the official policy or position of LiveRC.
Over the past few weeks you may have noticed a number of missing Moment With Mike articles. Several of them were missing due to the fact they fell on holidays, however, several more were missing due to an unplanned stay in the hospital with a stomach virus. While I can’t say that spending a week lying in a hospital bed with nurses and doctors dressed in Darth Vader masks and hazmat suits to care for you is something I enjoyed, I did learn a thing or two during my stay. Come to think of it, staying in a hospital is a lot like R/C car racing. Don’t believe me? I’ve put together a list of just a few ways a trip to the hospital can be just like a bad day at the R/C track…
- When you first arrive at the hospital ER, finding a seat is a lot like finding a pit spot on a busy race day. You first make eye contact with other patients in the parking lot, initiating the first race of the day – which is to unpack, barrel through the front doors, check-in, and find a seat before the other guy.
- In the ER you only need one seat to occupy yourself, however, much like the pits at the track other patrons seem to sprawl out and take as much room as humanly possible. Without a sign saying one seat per person / one pit space per racer, a single patient/racer is liable to take up an entire waiting room/pit table worth of space all to themselves.
- In the pits at the R/C track everyone wants to have their pits look the “fastest” of them all. They set up their custom pit mats, pit boards, and car stand with freshly painted bodies, new tires, and bright pit light to spotlight their space. In the ER everyone wants to look the sickest of them all, so they set up their most sickly-looking blankets, pillows, and puke bag with the deepest coughs, moans, and groans they can muster up.
- Before racing starts, everyone likes to get out on the track for a bit of practice. During practice they push the limits to see how fast they can go without going over the edge. Before being seen at the ER, the triage nurse calls you back for vital signs and general questioning. During the triage interview you inflate your symptoms to see how fast you can be seen without being too unbelievable.
- After practice the heats are setup, and you are finally ready to race. As you get lineup you’re stoked to get going, but then you realize that in the same race is the new guy who has not a clue what he’s doing, and is a total hack-fest hazard. Likewise, in the hospital you are finally called back after hours of waiting, you are stoked to finally be seen and start feeling better, but then you realize it’s the nurse’s first day on the job that is about to shove a needle in your arm to start an IV.
- After surviving your heat race/IV insertion, your feeling a little more confident and ready for the next round of qualifying. This is the race when you are leading on a TQ run, but on the last lap a turn marshall on his cell phone steps on your car. Similar to when the IV fluids having you feeling better and you’re already planning what’s for dinner when a new doctor arrives to inform you of a liquid only diet and that you won’t be leaving the hospital anytime soon.
- Following your race, you have to return to the track to turn marshall. While doing so, you slip and fall on a slick jump face and smash into the ground, all while cars are racing around you. Following being seen by the doctor, more tests need to be ran in which you are slapped with extremely sticky monitor pads on the hairiest parts of your body at the same time some sort of IV dye is making you nauseas, all while trying to hold your breath for the CT machine man.
- Once qualifying ends, you’ve made it to the A-Main but you start 4th. After lap 1 you are somehow in the lead, but a lapped car going the wrong way on the straight sends you flying off the track and back to last. Just as when you start feeling better, your tests are coming back better, and things are looking up – you puke on the nurse’s shoe, resulting in yet another day in the hospital.
- Following the last crash, your nerves are high, and you continue to crash time and time again throughout the race. Every time you crash it seems like the turn marshalls get slower and slower. Likewise, after puking once, the sick feeling continues to get worse and worse. Begging for something to make it stop, you punch the nurse call button over and over and over, with the response time becoming slower and slower and slower.
- After the mains are over you have spent so much time at the track, and had such a rough day, that all you want to do is go home and relax. As you’re cleaning up your pit space in a hurry, you are ambushed by that one guy who wants to tell you all about how great his day was instead. Once you’re in the hospital for so long, its only a matter of time before the crazy old lady next door wanders out of her room and into yours wearing nothing but an untied gown and IV pole. No matter how many time you press the nurse button on the side of your bed as a distraction, she isn’t about to leave without telling you one more story of her youth.
These are just a FEW of a long list of ways that a hospital stay can resemble a bad day at the R/C track, but in the end, even a bad day at the R/C track is still better than a great day in the hospital.