Monday, September 20, 2010

Mommy Mondays - ER Visits Suck

This Monday really was all about Mommy for a change. Although not in a good way.  Many of you will have seen my tweets today, recounting my visit to an ER for X-rays on a potentially broken left foot.

Have you been to an ER lately?

They suck. I'm sure the doctors and nurses and everyone else are doing the best they can, but holy heck can we not get a few more docs in there to move people through?  Four hours is how long it took for me to get X-rays and eventually get a doctor to look at them and find time to tell me (in 90 seconds) that I just had a bad sprain.

First was waiting area 1, waiting for the first triage nurse to see me. Got bumped a few times for EMS. Was asked how I hurt myself.

Then move 5 feet over to waiting area 2, where an administrator "registered" me. Could that not be combined with the triage nurse?  Can we remember that I have a potentially broken foot and am having lots of difficulty walking? No wheelchairs available. Was asked how I hurt myself.

Then head to waiting area 3 to wait for the call "inside." That was confusing as the nurse calling us in called 5 at a time and was very vague on where we were to go.

I laughed my ass off when I was sent to "Rapid Assessment." I'd been waiting close to an hour by this point. Was checked by a nurse and asked how I hurt myself.

Called for X-rays fairly quickly. The orderly was great and entertaining.  The tech sort of vaguely pointed me back in the direction of the waiting room I'd come from, once we were done. Remember the foot issue? Still no wheelchair to be found for me. At least not one I could move myself.

Note to self - do not go to emerg with a mobility issue unless you have a companion.

2 1/2 hours later a doctor finally looks at my films, I get called into yet another room to wait for doc to show up. The room wasn't even a real exam room, but I guess they were trying hard to get folks seen. My nurse was superb. So friendly and real and reassuring. She was the first person to give me any indication of how long things might take. And, yes, she too asked how I hurt myself.

The doc asked the same question (seriously, do they not read my chart? or do they think I'm going to change my story to something more interesting?), looked at my foot and told me I just had a bad sprain. And would I like some crutches? Hell yes. My lovely nurse came back and got me fitted out. Told me I had to keep my foot up for a couple of days. To which I made a snide comment about how it would have been nice to have been able to do that at some point during the last 4 hours. I'm sure the X-ray tech could have told me there was no break, 2 1/2 hours ago, if only he were allowed.

And home I finally went. Exhausted and hungry and frustrated and near tears. This 4 hour odyssey took the good out of me. I drowned my sorrow in McDonalds. Because they have a drive-through and were on my way. (Yes, I drove myself - I'm a mom aren't I? Right foot was fine.)

I encountered a lot of different folks on this odyssey.

A lovely mother of 6 who was there with a middle child with a broken finger. They were still waiting for a doctor to see him when I was leaving. Her mom was coming to relieve her so she could pick up her other kids from school. She was bringing lunch too, thank goodness.

The young 20-something girl with the head wound, who was still in waiting area 3, but bandaged, when I got called for the doctor.

The non-English speaking woman, there alone, who kept trying to get up and walk around. And kept fainting. And wouldn't let them take blood. Don't know how they ever resolved that one.

The worst was the 20-something chatty guy with the pilonoidal cyst that he kept wanting to talk to me about. I won't get into details; you can follow the link if you want to know what it is. Suffice to say, it's painful and nasty and in an area of his anatomy I did not wish to discuss. He got called in before me, and life got better then. I could read my book and tweet in peace. But then he found me in my pseudo exam room and invited himself in to sit down. WTH?!

But now it's all over and the boys are trying their best to help me out. They were actually pretty non-demanding tonight, which was a good thing. Little Boo even carried and fetched some things for me. And I had lots of virtual support from good friends on Twitter and Facebook and texts. That made my heart all warm and fuzzy. Thanks to you all!

I really hope my next all about me day involves a spa and cocktails. That would be much better :-)

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