They Don’t Nose What They’re Doing

, , , | Healthy | November 11, 2017

In a matter of two days, what I thought was a pimple in my nostril turned into something horrific. I wake up in the middle of the night to the entire lower half of my face swollen. I have a high fever. I have no choice but to venture to the ER.

The whole time the ER nurses are questioning me, I’m feeling condescended to. They seem to think that since I’m not in a great deal of pain that the swelling can be written off as basically nothing. They give me three pills to send me on my way. The next night the swelling is worse, I’m throwing up and in a great deal of pain. I return to the ER. They “lance” my nose but hardly try to get anything out. They give me more of the same pills and Percocet. They claim the swelling will go away in 24 hours and not to worry; it’s nothing serious.

My aunt and mother grow extremely concerned. My aunt calls around and finds a nose specialist/surgeon. I talk to him on the phone. He wants to see me immediately — also, it’s his day off! My mother ends up flying in because she is so worried. She makes it just in time and goes in the room with me to see the specialist. He takes one look at me and says, “We need to perform surgery immediately.”

He essentially had to cut open my nose, drain it, and put a tube in it. He got about a cup’s worth of infection out. After the surgery, he pulls my mother aside and asks what the emergency room tried to do help me to get better. To sum it up they essentially gave me the wrong type of medicine and overlooked my condition. He tells my mother that if I waited another couple days to see him I might have died. The infection could have traveled in my blood stream to my brain and become deadly. This happens frequently due to the location of the infection, and people die from ERs overlooking it.

You Walked Right Into That One

, , , | Healthy | November 10, 2017

My boyfriend is away on a trip for several days. On the first day he scrapes his leg on something, but the cut isn’t deep and he doesn’t think anything about it. By the end of his trip, his leg is swollen, sore, and hot to the touch. When he gets home he can barely put weight on it, and once we get ice on it and the swelling goes down, we see that his calf muscle is knotted up, creating a huge ‘dent’ in his leg. Worried that it could be something like a blood clot, I insist on rushing him to the ER.

We get there, and my boyfriend insists on walking in, though I drop him off as close to the doors as I can, so he doesn’t have to limp too far. He almost doesn’t make it through signing all of the paperwork because standing hurts so much. We get to the back quickly, and a doctor sees us and states that they will do an ultrasound to rule out a clot. All good so far.

After the ultrasound tech leaves we wait. And wait. For about an hour.

Finally a nurse comes in and asks if we’re ready to leave. After some confused glances, we point out that we were never given a diagnosis. The nurse apologizes, saying she thought we’d already spoken to the doctor because our paperwork was up for discharge, but she’ll go get him right away.

Okaaay…

The doctor comes in, tells us it isn’t a clot, and that it must be an infection. What kind of infection is not stated (they didn’t test to find out), and she bids us goodbye after stating that there will be a prescription for antibiotics for him at our pharmacy.

Then my boyfriend tries to get up… but can’t. After an hour and a half of having his leg elevated, bringing it below waist level is incredibly painful and he can’t manage it. Note: I am 5’3″ and 170 lbs; he is 6’4″ and 260 lbs. I cannot help him out alone.

I go out into the main hall and explain the situation to the doctor, and how we need some way to get my boyfriend up and out of the ER. He says, okay, we’ll get him some pain medication. Cool. Sounds like a plan. So we wait again.

For. Another. HOUR.

Finally I venture out again and flag down a nurse. Guess what: THEY FORGOT WE WERE STILL THERE. Like, just completely forgot a patient was still in a room.

The nurse has to go flag down the doctor again, and I go back to the room. Not too long after, a new nurse comes in and hands my boyfriend a piece of paper. It’s a scrip for pain medication, to be filled at our pharmacy. So… you know… not helpful in the least with our current predicament.

We explain to the nurse the problem, and she responds, in the most condescending voice possible, ‘Well, you walked INTO the ER, so clearly you CAN walk.’

Both my boyfriend and myself are just stunned by the audacity of the statement. When he came in at triage he gave his pain as an eight. We are now telling them it has gotten worse, and the response we’re getting is basically ‘walk it off, p****.’

Attempts to reason with her are fruitless — she just repeats the same thing to us and even implies that we are being ungrateful for the better prescription for pain medicine (‘Originally, we were only prescribing you ibuprofen, but we were nice enough to write you this prescription, too’). After arguing in circles with her for a few minutes, my boyfriend builds up enough rage-adrenaline to heave himself out of bed and just grit through the pain, though he turns bright red in doing it. The nurse seems to take this as a victory and flounces off — no offer for a wheelchair or crutches, even just to get to the car.

On the way to the car we agreed that unless one of us is actively dying, we’re going to the next town over for ER care from now on.

Numb To Death

, , | Healthy | November 10, 2017

(Earlier this year I have cataract surgery on my right eye, and I am very nervous about it, never having had eye surgery before. The nurse knows this and is doing her best to keep me calm while waiting for the surgeon. Then this happens:)

Me: “Will I feel anything during surgery?”

Nurse: “Oh, no, your eye will be dead!”

Me: “…”

Nurse: “Sorry, numb! Your eye will be numb!”

(Whew.)

You’re A Cabron

, , , , | Healthy | November 10, 2017

(I, and two friends, go to visit a friend in the hospital. We know his room number, but it doesn’t correlate to the floor he is on, so we head back down to reception to find that out. When we get there, there are people ahead of us. One of them rips into the receptionist (who is in a security guard uniform) because they hadn’t been speaking English. At least half the population of Orange County speaks Spanish, if not natively, very fluently, like most of southern California. I offer my opinion:)

Me: “I think the basic problem here is that you’re an a**-hole.”

Man: “You think I’m an a**-hole because I think they should speak English?”

Me: “Yes. That’s why I think you’re an a**-hole.”

(He tries to offer up every racist justification in the book, and in reply to each one, I say:)

Me: “And you’re an a**-hole.”

(After about 30 seconds of being reminded just what part of the human anatomy he was, he got disgusted and left. I didn’t notice it at the time, but apparently the receptionist/security guard spent the entire time trying desperately not to laugh, and nearly succeeding. I sincerely hope she went home and told her family the story over dinner — in Spanish.)

Eminem Would Have Problems

, , | Healthy | November 9, 2017

(I have just moved to the Netherlands, so my Dutch is not very strong and I generally hope nobody ever asks me questions. This leads to little problems, such as when becoming member of the local hospital:)

Receptionist: “Okay, that’s all set, now I just need your postal code and we’re done.”

Me: “Uh yes, it’s ‘1234AM’.”

Receptionist: “‘N’ for Nico or ‘M’ for Minnie?”

Me: “What?”

Receptionist: “The last letter. Is it an ‘N’ for Nico, or an ‘M’ for Minnie?”

Me: *slightly panicking from questions* “Right, yeah, M for Mico. That one.”

Receptionist: “…so, M for Minnie. Got it.”

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