Jan. 8, 2018

Emergency room experiences part 2

On the following Wednesday, I saw my primary care provider.  She prescribed medication and wrapped both of my legs.  She scheduled me for a follow up in seven days and told me to go straight to the ER if the symptoms worsened.  She had a feeling it was an infection.

By Friday, my calves had gotten worse.  They were bigger and more painful.  After having gotten advice from priceless friends, one of them a rockstar nurse, I went back to the ER, and it a little bit better than the last visit.

The ER was packed, and I was by myself as everyone was at work.  I checked in and sat as close as I could to the triage rooms so that my pain-filled walk was a short as possible.  I gave the triage nurse a heads up about my health status, my medication list, and informed her that I was just there the previous Saturday and came back due to worsening symptoms.  Four and a half hours later, I was in yet another “room” in a hallway.  I was wheeled in and transferred to a gurney.  Let me tell you, if you have never had to spend hours on a gurney and no other option, you are lucky.  They are painfully stiff and are horrible for people like me with fibromyalgia and spinal issues.  I had two flareups from the time I laid down on it until a doctor was able to see me.

This time, I had a nurse that seemed to care.  She was genuine in her concern and her care of my needs.  The ER doctor that finally got to see me?  She was a hundred times better than the one I saw on Saturday.  I was lying on my back, with my beanie covering my eyes and trying to rest.  She gently placed her hand on my arm and gently got my attention.  She was genuine in her concern for my problem and didn’t seem to rush to get me out of there and open up a bed.

After a round of lab tests, I was given intravenous fluids.  I was told that I was going to be able to go home with a couple of prescriptions for antibiotics and pain medication.  That made me happy because I hated the gurney.  As a precaution, they took another sample for lab tests.  When that came back, I was informed that I was being admitted because what had begun as a skin infection turned into a systemic infection and my discharge time unknown.  I needed to have a few rounds of IV antibiotics as well as hydration as I was dehydrated.  The nurse that informed me of it was sympathetic.  She made sure I knew that it was serious because a systemic infection for someone with my health status is very dangerous.  She warned me that if I had waited longer to come in, I would have had a serious problem with sepsis.  That was more than the nurse from Saturday gave me.  This nurse searched and found a pillow for me.  They were low on supplies and pillows were like unicorns.  That comparison made me laugh.  She tried to help me be as comfortable as possible and used humor to ease it all.  She also informed me that I’d be moving to a room with a bed that was more comfortable than the gurney I was on.

Finally, at 11:30pm, I was approached by a doctor that didn’t seem to understand much English, was rough in his examination, and curt in his responses to my questions.  This signaled to me that the next phase of treatment wasn’t going to be a good one.

 

Next…emergency room experiences part 3.