Monday, September 11, 2006

ER adventure

I ended up at the ER on Saturday night after trying to put some weight on my foot and having it cause LOTS of pain. By the time I got out of the house and to the car, hopping on one foot, it was about 7:45pm or so. Night in the ER was long, yet sort of an adventure. Roommate took me for rides up and down the hall. On my gurney. We were there until after midnight. I now have a soft splint and crutches and have stayed home from work today. This loss of freedom and independent movement sucks.

A quick recap our adventure (my first time being the patient in a big city ER):
  • As I limped/hopped in the doors of the ER an agitated older gentleman was trying to flee his friends and family who had brought him in. And when I say agitated, I mean lots of arms waving and other wild gesturing. I tried my best to avoid him as I hopped (yes, hopped, anyone who wasn't staring at the flailing guy was watching my slow progress) over to the desk to register myself. Once they got me inside the desk area, seated in a wheelchair, the agitated man took off again, nearing knocking down Roommate, who was walking into the ER after parking the car. Like eight staffers and security people took off after the elderly gentleman. We also overheard conversations that the man's family was having with hospital staff. From this we concluded that he might've had a stroke of some sort or a diabetic blood sugar freak out and that "the martini probably didn't help things."
  • Eventually they got around to officially registering me., ordered X-rays and then they told me that I couldn't eat until X-rays were done. Bastards! I mean how could this possibly effect the outcome of my X-rays?
  • Roomie went out to get food at the only place open in that area- Au Bon Pain. Thankfully he soon returned with a corn muffin and croissant. Mediocre pastries never smelled so good! Any business that is located near the Beth Israel ER could make a killing by staying open late, especially on weekends. I don't know why more don't.
  • No room at the inn- this means that I got put on a gurney in the hallway. Busy hallway too. I was like a curiosity in a museum.
  • I did get to observe the goings-on in my unit. Like the agitated elderly woman waiting for her nursing home to pick her up. They came to claim her around midnight. Turns out she's 90! This woman didn't look a day over 80 and, except for her agitation, seemed kind of clearheaded. She only wanted to stand and wait by the nurses station. They would not let her, as they have to keep patient privacy a priority.
  • A student at a local college had gotten trampled at a free punk show of some kind. That had to suck. She also messed up her ankle.
  • Nurses seemed nice and competent. It took forever to see a doc and when a guy came to transport me to X-ray, I insisted upon going even without having seen a doc yet. I'd been told by a nurse that ankle X-rays had already been ordered by someone. This set of X-rays was for my ankle.
  • By the time our area of the ER (the Blue area) was pretty empty, no one seemed to care what you do. This would be when Roomie was taking me for gurney rides up and down the hallway. We also tried to see how high the gurney could go and I had almost touched the ceiling when a nice young man came to get me for my second set of X-rays.
  • Second set of X-rays: the head resident seemed to think that I might've broken a bone in my foot and they needed slightly different angles to see. Oy vey! More contorting of my body and swollen foot. Just what I wanted after being there for over four hours.
  • Doctors were probably younger than me (I'm 27). Kind of a scary thing, as it took 3 of them to get the splint formed and on my foot. That hurt. Roommate's girlfriend was nice and held my hand through it.

After they finally finished putting my splint on, it was 1:30am. Where does one find food in Boston at that time? IHOP. Wow, was that place ever a melting pot at 2am. Eurotrash, students, urban youths, bikers. You'll find them all eating pancakes and bacon at the IHOP in Brighton.

I hope this is all coherent. The pain pills are making me a bit silly and sleepy. Much thanks to Roomate and girlfriend for coming with me and keeping me sane.


Rhea said...

I've accompanied friends to the Emergency Room in the past. What a window on humanity! If you aren't in too much pain, you can really get lots of fodder for your writing in an Emergency Room.

Freudian Slip said...

I feel for ya! I tore my meniscus and had to have knee surgery. Had to walk on crutches for over a month and it s-u-c-k-e-d!

Only now am I now walking without them. It sure makes you appreciate what its like to be healthy :)

Hope you are feeling better.