Tag Archives: Emergency department

Clinic Flashback

This might hurt…just a little.

Less than 48 hours after rushing Mr. Husband to the clinic because of his run in with a Q-Tip we found ourselves right back at that same clinic. This time it was me. About 6:30 am the previous morning my body, for some inexplicable reason, decided to evacuate its entire contents through every available orifice in the most violent manner possible.  I couldn’t even keep down sips of water. By that afternoon I developed an excruciating headache, fever, abdominal pain and was becoming delirious because of dehydration.

I was too dizzy and weak to walk on my own, but the Hubman managed to help me dress and stagger from house to car, and then from car to clinic. Not long after that I found myself lying on an exam table with a Doctor scrounging around in my nasal cavity with…a Q-Tip, of all things. She did it to test and verify that I had the flu. Turns out that she was wrong, I didn’t have “the flu”, I guess “the flu” is defined as one of the ones included in the annual flu shot hoe down, but she was concerned because I had a high fever and was dehydrated.

Turns out the clinic cannot administer IV fluids for some reason, so the doctor instructed Hubman to take me to a hospital emergency room. He left me at the entrance to park the car. I managed to stagger to the desk and was giving 587 forms to fill out. At around form 3 my eyes blurred and I couldn’t see even with glasses on and could no longer stand. I slid to the floor dragging the forms with me and my fevered brain began contemplating the patterns in the linoleum. At this point a nurse asked me if I would like a wheelchair. So nice of them to offer.

So began a 5 hour wait for my turn to see a doctor. My head hurt so bad that I couldn’t keep it down to just groans and began sobbing uncontrollably. At some point in there they tried to draw blood and had great difficulty doing so. I managed to remark that since I came there hours before because of severe dehydration and had not been offered so much as a sippy cup of water it might be a good idea to address that problem in order to squeeze some blood out of me. They didn’t see it that way. For the outrageous price of health care in the US one would think it would be a little better organized.

Finally they admitted me to the inner sanctum where I got to crawl into a bed. Eventually I got a blanket and was even examined by a doctor. They said I was dehydrated, duh. And hooked me up to 2 bags of some miracle solution and then hit me up with an anti-nausea medication and a powerful pain-killer.

Not long after I was told that I had a stomach virus and was discharged with 2 prescriptions for medication and instructions to rest and drink lots of fluid. You know hospitals used to have pharmacies where you could get prescriptions filled and go directly home to begin your recuperation from the ordeal of the emergency room. Not anymore. Now you have to go in a treasure hunt for a 24 pharmacy if you need medication immediately. Thankfully, Mr. Husband took me home before doing that.

My decision going forward is that the only way to enter this particular emergency room is via ambulance. At least you have a gurney to lie upon while waiting.

I’m reasonably sure that I’m going to live after all. I’m also going to make sure I have prescription strength anti-nausea medicine in my home arsenal for future emergencies. The doctor told me that there really isn’t anything like it available over the counter.  Maybe even go all out and take a first aid course and learn how to give myself IV fluids. And I am never, ever, never going to the ER I went to last Friday. I think that decision alone will increase my chances of survival!

Near Earth Q-Tip

Q TipSometimes a major or even minor disaster can jerk back you to earth so fast it makes you dizzy. I was sitting in the den, wrapped in a blanky, zoning out, half writing and half watching Downton Abbey. Great show by the way.

Suddenly Mr. Husband appears at the door. He just said my name and stood there. I took one look at him and my heart jumped to my throat. Then our entire 10 years together flashed before my eyes. His body was white as a fish and his face and head were purple. He had his hand clapped to the side of his head. I thought “dear God, he fell in the shower and bashed his brains out; his hand is what is holding them in.”

I managed to calm down and thought, well he’s not having a heart attack because he’s standing up and he’s not clutching his chest and he’s talking OK. Also, if his brains were in fact bashed out, there would probably be more blood visible.

He said “I think I ruptured my ear drum.” What?  Turns out he was using a Q-tip and started fiddling with the radio in the bathroom.  When he returned his hand to his ear he missed and jammed the offending Q-Tip down his ear hole. Yoowwch.

I’ve been plagued my entire life by persnickety ears and know that it is not something you take a wait and see attitude around. Unless you are just dying to find out what it feels like to have a flaming ice pick shoved in your ear.

I jumped up and said “we’re going to the emergency room… now!” He muttered some vague objections and I repeated, “Get dressed; we’re going to the emergency room now!” I don’t even remember what he said because I was ignoring him. We were going to the Doctor, and I wasn’t taking no for an answer. If his ear is damaged, he’s opened a pathway to get coodies in his middle ear or brain.

We ended up in a walk in clinic near the house. The doctor looked in his ear and said, “Well you’ve ruptured your ear drum.” For some unknown reason I burst out laughing. I tend to do that when stressed out. It was a laughter of relief. I was concerned and relieved at the same time. I recounted what my ear doctor has always told me. “Never put anything smaller than your elbow in your ear.” The doctor chuckled and backed me up. She said “yup, Q-Tips are dangerous items that really don’t belong in your ear.”

So Hubman is OK, thank you God. And has a prescription for antibiotic, pain relieving ear drops and instructions to follow-up with a doctor in 5-7 days to make sure his ear is healing properly.

Back home he talked to his mom. After she finished her freaking out, her question was “well how are you supposed to clean your ears?” The answer is you don’t. Your ears clean themselves.

It’s another case where companies have a product to sell and launch an ad campaign to create a “need” for that product. It’s OK to use Q-Tips on the outer part of your ear, but they do not belong in your ear canal! That little bit of cotton at the end does not change the fact that they are a sharp object. If you absolutely must, make sure you are not multi-tasking at the same time.

Hi Ho, Hi Ho, To the Infirmary We Go

The Infirmary

My grandma antenna started to twitch yesterday. Darling grandson was looking a little peeked and fidgety. He also wasn’t eating or drinking much of anything. This is a kid who can put away a side of beef at one sitting and have room for desert. So we had a little talk and I asked him to please be honest with me.

30 Minutes later we’re off to hospital. The guy thought he was gonna tough out his problems on his own and not tell us. He was giving it his best shot, but I was scared to death he was going to keel over in my living room.

He’s severely dehydrated, among other things. We had 7 seven hour stay in the Emergency Room. They gave him some medicine to calm him down.  Then he went via ambulance to an inpatient facility for a 3-5 day treatment program. I was so terrified that I felt like vomiting myself, but I managed to keep up a semi-brave front. When they took him away I gave him a big hug, told him I loved him, and told him that he needed to be completely honest with the people who were going to help him.

Demons in a Duffle Bag

I knew the very second that he showed up at the airport that there was more going on than he told us. A young man willing to leave, on a moments notice, with a nothing but a few clothes, has to have some demons in his duffel bag. This grandma has been around the block a few times and seen it all.

He’s embarrassed and said he didn’t want me to think he was a scumbag. I told him that being embarrassed is a good sign. It shows that he has enough self-respect and courage to know and admit that he has made mistakes, and some destructive choices. I’m proud and grateful that he asked for help and that he trusted me enough to come to me & grandpa Hub-man for that help.

Please pray for him especially. If you have any leftover prayers, send them Mr. Husband’s and my way. I love this boy/man with all my heart and hope that he is strong enough to pull through this and make some good choices in his life.

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