My Emergency Is Not Your Urgency

| The Netherlands | Working | June 29, 2013

(I go to our general practitioner after coughing up quite some blood. He calls me later that afternoon, telling me to pick up a form there and then head to first aid ASAP. Slightly panicking, I jump on my bike and race towards the doctor’s office, where I hear I might have a pulmonary embolism. Then I race to the hospital. My mother and brother are with me.)

First Aid Nurse: “How can I help you?”

Me: “My doctor just told me i had to get here ASAP, and this is a form I needed to bring. I have no idea what’s wrong though.”

(After waiting an hour, in an examination room, the doctor takes my blood pressure, puts the cuff on my arm, and leaves. Not sure what to do, I leave it there as it squeezes my arm every three minutes to the verge of pain. Another doctor comes, I reexplain what is going on, and he leaves after taking some tests. After another hour, a third doctor shows up.)

Doctor: “Well, it seems you indeed have a pulmonary embolism. Meaning you have to take shots every day from now on.”

(Without warning, the doctor grabs my shirt, exposing my belly, and JABS a needle in it, making me squeak in pain.)

Doctor: “Don’t be a wuss! That didn’t hurt! Well, now we need to keep you here for about three days, just for monitoring. You can’t do anything physically intensive though. The blood cloth that’s stuck in your lungs now might shoot to your heart or brain otherwise, so we need to bring you to your room in a wheelchair.”

Me: “So… you’re telling me I could be dead already? Do you have any idea how fast I raced on my bike to get here?”

Doctor: “Oh, but didn’t your general practitioner tell you that any form of exercise could kill you at this point? ”

Me: “No, he didn’t.”

(Looks like I escaped from death that day by an inch, just because I was poorly informed. After taking blood thinning medication for almost a year, I’m fully recovered.)

 

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