Unfiltered Story #101597

, | Unfiltered | December 9, 2017

My boyfriend is on his way home from a trip to a convention. We’re texting as he’s riding back with a friend, and he mentions that his leg has been hurting for the last few days – he says that he scratched it on something the first day he was away, and it’s been hurting ever since.
When he finally does get home he is limping very badly – and when I get a look at his leg it is incredibly red and swollen, and hot to the touch. We get some ice on it, and when the swelling recedes I realize that his calf muscle is actually seizing, causing a pronounced indent in the back of his calf that the swelling was hiding. It’s about 3am at this point, so our only option is the local ER.
When we get there, my boyfriend almost can’t complete the paperwork at the desk because his leg is hurting so badly it’s hard to stand. It should be noted that my boyfriend has walked off a hit-and-run accident (as a struck pedestrian) and TWO stabbings. If he says something hurts, it -really- f***ing hurts. This will be relevant later.
Once we’re seen by a doctor, they tell us about what we expect – that it could be an infection, but it could also be a Deep Vein Thrombosis (blood clot in the leg), and they will be doing an ultrasound to rule out the latter before anything else. So far, so good.
The tech that does the US is very nice and knowledgeable – she does her thing and tells us that the doctor will be in with our results shortly. This is where things start to go downhill.
We sit waiting for about an hour. I’m starting to get nervous, thinking that the long wait means they’re prepping to admit him for something serious. Finally a nurse trots in and asks us if we’re ready to go home. My boyfriend, very confused at this point, asks if that means it wasn’t a clot. The nurse pauses, and asks if the doctor had been in to see us. We say no, that the last person to speak to us before her was the US tech. The nurse waves it off as no big deal, saying our paperwork was up for discharge, but says she’ll go get the doctor for us.
He comes back and tells us it’s not a clot, that it’s cellulitis, and gives my boyfriend a prescription for antibiotics and ibuprofen for pain. In hindsight, it probably should have worried us that they just declared this without a) taking any sort of swabs or blood panels to determine the type of infection, or b) even looking at the seizing muscle, as by now the swelling had masked it again, but we were just relieved it wasn’t anything more serious at the time.
We start to leave, but encounter a problem. It’s now been an hour and a half that my boyfriend has had his leg elevated, and when he tries to lower it to the floor to leave, it is incredibly painful. He tells me he doesn’t think he can walk out of the hospital – and he is a foot taller and 100 lbs heavier than me, so I won’t be of much assistance.
I flag down a nurse right away and explain the situation – I don’t even ask for a specific solution, I just tell her we need a way to make it out to the car so we can leave. She gets the doctor for us, and he says he’ll get some pain medication for my boyfriend. And then we wait. For another hour.
Finally getting fed up, I leave the exam room again to find out what is taking so long. It turns out, they forgot we were still there – and actually not too long after, someone tries to wheel a new patient into our exam room because it was marked as empty.
Finally, a new nurse comes in and hands my boyfriend a prescription for narcotic pain killers. To be filled at our pharmacy. My boyfriend tries to hand it back, explaining that he doesn’t WANT a prescription for painkillers – at most he wants a single dose, in his hand, so he can get out to the car. The nurse explains, very condescendingly (she speaks very slowly and in a ‘pre-school teacher’ sort of tone), that originally they were only going to prescribe him ibuprofen for the pain, that they were doing him a favor by writing him this stronger prescription, and that we need to leave now – clearly not having listened to my boyfriend’s problem at all. Getting frustrated, my boyfriend points out that we would LOVE to leave, as we’ve now been here for near three hours, but his leg hurts too much to walk on. The nurse’s response?
‘Well, you walked INTO the hospital, so clearly you CAN walk.’
There is no shaking her from this opinion – and she continues talking to my boyfriend and I like we are on the same mental level as a toddler. At this point, my boyfriend is so mad and just wants to go home that he FORCES himself up onto the leg. His face turns bright red and I can see him shaking from pain and anger, but the nurse seems to take this as a victory and flounces off.
He manages to limp out to the car (no one offered any form of assistance), and finally we’re able to go home. We never filled the narcotic prescription.