Saturday, September 25

What's with this ER thing?

Yesterday I was working very hard not to cough because my side felt like it went into burning painful overdrive when I did so. The doctor and his nurse had been working to find a solution for a bit of the day, however the only solutions they could come up with involved pills, which isn't really an option when you're coughing, nauseous, and had thrown up a few times already. At the end of the day (and after Lisa had driven to MDA to pickup some stuff for me) the doctor decided my pain was high enough and it wasn't being managed well so I should get off to the ER.

Being the good patents we are we dropped everything, gathered up some of the stuff we had dropped, put it into a bag and rushed to the MDA ER. (Which was almost impossible to find) Where we waited for two and a half hours to get me into a room. Seriously, the most laid back ER we've ever been to. Their system (which I think is flawed) runs a little like this: You wait to be seen by the triage nurse, and then you get into the cue of available rooms. However, this is a where the breakdown occurs, the doctors (who I would assume are mostly students getting in hours), get to pick the case they want out of the triage pile. Sooo, like say in our case, where we weren't interesting enough to be picked up we sat there for about an hour and a half AFTER the nurse said, "They'll have a room for you soon." [Ed's note: This information about how the system works comes from the nurse at the front desk.]

We were eventually seen, but pretty much an hour after people who we had seen come in after us get helped. Then we got in, the Doctor showed up before the nurses, or even before I had finished getting into the hospital gown, looked at me, poked me, said I probably had a cracked rib, said I needed painkillers, and left. (Never saw him again) The EKG guy showed up, slapped stickers all over me, attached them to his machine, then pulled them all off and left. Then the nurse came in, tried to start an IV (with what felt like a Bic pen), she failed, saw I had a port and wanted to access that. At that point an IV/ blood draw nurse came in and I asked if she could run an IV so they didn't have to stick me twice (Port and blood) and so she did. She did a great job and I was IV'd.

They ended up hitting me with pain killer over the next hours and stuff to help me not feel so sick. I also got an x-ray where they rolled me into all sorts of strange positions.

Eventually the word came back that I did not have cracked ribs, nothing showed up on the x-ray and they had no idea what was wrong with me. And sent us home. (We got home about 2:30am and I think I was asleep about 14 seconds after my head hit the pillow.)

My side is still in pain this morning, but at least I know some things: It's not cracked ribs, I don't have pneumonia, and like most things MDA budget a good three hours into your life where you won't be doing anything before you see a doctor. At this point I am thinking I tore a muscle or something (though no one has suggested that yet) and so I'll attempt to keep the coughing to a minimum and apply heat and cold to my side in an effort to see if we can't heal this sucker up.

Thank everyone who saw the post and prayed for Lisa and I as we headed again into the bowels of Academic medicine. Thank you for the continued prayers and support. Next week I have an appointment on Monday, Tuesday, and Wednesday.

Oh, yes, one other thing of note, we signed the lease for our new apartment. October 21st is the day we acquire keys.


1 comment:

  1. I did something similar soon after I graduated from high school. They had me wrap it in a thing that went around my chest. That helped it feel a lot better. You could pick up a wrap like that at any drug store, I think.


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