Monday, August 4, 2008

Not Your TV ER

So, Friday night I had an episode of choking on something and John gave me the Heimlich maneuver. Eventually, I was okay but my ribs were very sore, very very sore. I had a big week-end ahead: a friend's 80th birthday party on Saturday, a Sunday morning breakfast with the Quilting Addict, Nancy and her husband Joe, at their friends the O'Keefe's house, and a Sunday night concert at Blossom Music Center with friends and the Monday morning arrival of my friend Susan, who just got back from an amazing trip to Egypt and Petra.
I made it to the birthday party without too much pain and had a grand time. Sunday morning I woke up in a lot of pain but I was not about to miss seeing old friends, especially the Quilting Addict who lives Near Philadelphia and does not get to Kent very often. I popped a (product placement) Tylenol, which worked well enough to keep me from gasping every time I moved. I decided after a delightful breakfast with delightful people that I would run over to the emergency room at the local hospital to get an Xray to see if anything was broken. When I got there, the waiting room was empty and I got right into the part where they take care of you. A doctor (aged 12) showed up immediately, poked around a bit (to my muffled screams) and ordered an Xray. Right on, I thought, I"ll be out of here in a jiffy. Then I waited and waited to be taken to Xray. Finally I was wheeled through a series of wide corriders and arrived at the icy cold Radiology Department and was given a nice warm blanker. The Xray lady admired my shoes, which were exactly like her (product placement) Easy Spirits, for which she gave a sincere endorsement and let me know that she has 2 pairs of same, which she bought, as did I, at (product placement) Macy's. She took a number of pix of my sore ribs and sent me back to my cubicle, where I did some more waiting.

After a while, the kid doctor returned and said that he wanted an ultra sound to make sure my liver wasn't lacerated. A lacerated liver??!! I don't even like sauteed liver. I hadn't even thought about that possibility. So I waited and waited until the ultra sound lady showed up, which took over an hour. She apologized, saying that she had had an inpatient who had taken a lot of time. ....probably one of the many obese Portage county people I had watched being wheeled past my cubicle. (One of the local fire departments has just purchased a stretcher that can hold 800 pounds. Seriously.) She informed me that my bladder was full, which I already knew. As soon as she left I scooted to a nearby restroom and returned to wait again. And wait. And wait.

Finally the kid doc came back and said the ultrasound was inconclusive and he was ordering a cat scan. He explained that one's liver could be damaged and one would never know until something exploded, or words to that effect. By this time I realized that there was a TV in my cubicle with which I could pass the time. The offerings were: an LPGA tournament, a Tiger-less PGA tournament, a replay of the Football Hall of Fame Parade from Canton, an Indians game, and those awful Law and Order episodes that always seem to be on when you can't sleep at 3 in the morning, the ones with that weird Vincent D'Onofrio, who tilts his heard and bends over suspects and uses psychobabble from an abnormal psych text book. I lucked out around 3 o'clock when (product placement)PBS reran the "La Boheme" I had seen in a theater live last winter. It made the time go a little faster to watch that cute, chubby little Mexican tenor and the beautiful Romanian soprano do that wonderful Puccini music. (Their lovemaking to music was so passionate that I swear I heard Schaunard sing "Get a room" in Italian.)

As soon as Mimi coughed her last, I was taken down for the cat scan, which didn't take too long, but I had already been in the ER for 6 hours. Six hours! So I waited some more. Used the restroom a few more times. Watched other people come in, get treated and leave. Finally, finally the kid doc said everything was okay, gave me a prescription for a pain killer (product placement) Vicodan, which I won't take anyway because it's too strong. Fortunately I had called John to have him call my friend with whom I was supposed to go the Blossom concert, so I did miss one of the planned activities of the weekend. I had spent seven and a half hours in the ER to find out that nothing was seriously wrong and that there's nothing much I can do about the pain but take (product placement) Tylenol until the pain goes away. All because my son tried to save my life. Is there some irony there?

1 comment:

SallyB said...

Well, I'm glad to hear that you're OK. You'll be glad to know that I did check my cell phone voice mail while I was away to make sure that nothing dire had happened while I was on vacation. I'm sure that if it were critical enough, I would have heard about it before now. Makes me glad that I have a cell phone at which I can be reached when I am not at home!