We had great plans for yesterday -- a bit of working in the garden, reading the paper at a leisurely pace, a bit of sketching and graphic work on a new quilt design and the web site then a nice dinner of chicken and fresh veggies from the farmers market
Alas, it was not to be
Instead we spent the entire afternoon and well into the evening sitting in the emergency room of our nearest hospital -- and it was far longer than we needed to be there
Shortly after breakfast the DH said he was having pain under his left arm that sort of wrapped around to his shoulder blade and a bit toward the front. He had taken Tylenol (the only over the counter pain killer he can handle), and it hadn't helped much.
So I called his doctor's office and had a chat with the urgent care nurse who suggested (after asking a lot of questions) that I should take him to the nearest emergency room to be checked out.
Off we go to the ER
The intake nurses were great -- no sooner had I started writing the information on the card at the desk when the nurse came with a wheel chair and whisked him into the room to take readings, put him on oxygen and quiz us about his medications (he carries a laminated card in his wallet -- thank goodness!), his symptoms and especially his allergies -- they gave him the usual id bracelet and TWO red bracelets with his allergies on them
The nurses on the emergency ward were great too -- checking his vital signs, the lab testing done promptly, the x-ray department taking a chest x-ray with their cute little portable unit -- all with normal results, except for one blood test that indicated that he MIGHT have a blood clot somewhere.
So the doctor in charge in the ER tells us that they need to call in a technician to do the special scan to see if there is a clot (usually this is done with a CAT scan, but that involves using a dye that he's allergic to), and they are calling him in. That was at 1:30.
Then began the waiting --- and WAITING --- and WAITING!
Around 2:30 we asked for the doctor to come back in because the pain level had gone back up
Around 4:15 I was back out wanting to know just how long he was going to have to wait for this test, and voicing concerns about the fact that it had been such a long time since he had eaten
By 6:00 he was at the "mad as hell" stage and ready to just sign himself out when they FINALLY came and took him for the test.
While the technicians were doing the test (a wonderfully pleasant husband and wife team), we found out from them that even though we were told at 1:30 that they had been called, they weren't actually called until 4:30!
After the test, they came in and asked him if he wanted something to eat, but they didn't offer to get him his medication (for diabetics that are treated with medication, meal time means the right little pills too)
Finally at about 7:30 the nurse came in and told us that all of the tests were normal and probably he had just strained a muscle in his side. The nurse brought in the doctor's follow up orders (note: from the time the doctor told us at 1:30 that the test needed to be run we never saw him again!)
There on the follow up sheet it said: "Ibuprofen 600-800mg every 6-8hrs as needed for pain"
HELLO! what part of anaphylactic shock didn't this bird brain get? This is why all the RED allergy bracelets -- he's allergic to this stuff, as in, he stops breathing!! We obviously will NOT be following those orders.
and I will be writing a letter to the hospital's administrator about the very poor way this was handled (I'm off now to mix up a batch of "poison" to load my pen with)