Monday, November 27, 2006

Fun times at the ER

Okay. Mondays are just not my best days. Last week I spent the day at the vet and the ER vet. Today I spent the latter part of the day at the ER people “vet.” Geez. Go figure. I’m not having much luck here. Late morning I started to feel a bit strange. I was dizzy, food didn’t taste right and my chest felt constricted. Kind of an out of body experience. I am normally a well person with no signs of hypochondria, so I studied myself from afar and asked myself if it was strange enough to act on. I dug the warnings attached to my medication for the cat bite infection out of the trash. Yep, sure enough, it stated I was having a severe reaction. Wonderful. Just great. I knew Rick was picking up his computer at the mall in Rockaway, not that far away, so I called my poor husband. Can you come and take me to the ER? I didn’t ask this lightly, I was feeling very strange.

By the time he came to pick me up, which was about an hour from my first symptoms, I was feeling a bit better and wondered about even going in. I knew my infection was pretty severe and I really didn’t want any surprises if I chose NOT to go. We went to the closest hospital ER to us which was Chilton Memorial. It’s not the easiest place to find.

The doctor there was not as thrilled with what the urgent care clinic had done for me. So, I had to undergo a series of things that were not very pleasant. He wanted x-rays of my hand to make sure the cat bite didn’t chip a bone because he didn’t like the look of my hand, which by the way was about half the size of swolleness that it was yesterday. Hey, doc, if you don’t like it now you should have seen it yesterday! He wasn’t convinced. He told me that most people that come in with cat bites to the hand are admitted overnight with an IV drip of antibiotics. I was beginning to think that I had the constitution or at least the blood of an ox here!

He told me he wanted to do x-rays of my hand, bloodwork and possibly and IV antibiotic drip. Oh, and a tetanus shot; my favorite thing.

They were pretty busy so I didn’t have the luxury of a room or even a private cubicle. My place was a gurney in the hallway. Sweet. I saw most of what was going on, and most of it not very pleasant. One poor older man had suffered a stroke and wasn’t doing well. His daughter, who didn’t speak much English and her husband were struggling. Another man was obviously very sick and waiting on a CAT scan. He did not look good. Then there was the psycho woman who would not stay in her room. She wandered around the hallways, and was flirting with the male nurse that was trying to take blood from me for a CBC test. She sauntered over flirtatiously chatting him up as he kept telling her to please go back and wait in her room. She wanted to stay. I was thinking SLASHER here and just wanted her gone, so I told her I would rather that she didn’t stay and watch my blood draw as I felt strange about her being there. She retreated to her room. For two minutes that is. She kept disturbing everything around her and I was getting nervous sitting out there for all the world to slash. My nurse told me she’d been in many times before. Most of the staff just laughed her off.

My doc flew by on his way to another patient and told me my x-rays were clean. Good. Great. In the meantime I’d been poked with needles three different times. Once for a tetanus shot. Once for the blood draw in my left arm which turned out to not be a good vein. On to the right arm for another stab [did I mention needles are not my favorite thing?], this time a successful one. After five vials of my precious blood, the IV needle was left in my arm just in case they needed to give me an antibiotic via IV. I could not bend my arm without it pricking me. Fun times on a gurney in a ER hallway. At this point I am feeling pretty much okay, the dizziness has left me and I’m wondering what in the heck I am doing here. There is no escape. I am a prisoner in the ER.

While I wait for the bloodwork to come back I saunter down the hall to find a magazine to keep me occupied. Poor Rick. At least I told him before they took me back to go on back to work and get as much done as he could.  At least he could use the time to be productive even if I could not.

I was thumbing through magazines when the psycho patient got mad at her counselor and ran past me down the hall and pushed her way through the automatic doors, thereby taking the door off its hinge. My male nurse and two security guards took off after her through the parking lot. She could run pretty fast. They caught her after a good chase and brought her back to her room. Now she had two armed security guards at her door and she wasn’t likely to come out again. WHEW. I could at least relax now. Well, as much as I could sitting up on a gurney.

My bloodwork came back with normal values but they wanted me to have an EKG before I left. That having cleared I was good to go.

Just another fun day in my life.



My god, how traumatic! I’m glad you’re on the road to recovery, but how awful - not only the bad reaction but then the further trauma of ER procedures, tests, drafty hallways and psychotics running past. Yikes. Take good care!

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