On New Year‘s Eve I found myself stuck on an er gurney for about 9 hours waiting on an icu bed. While it wasn’t much fun for me, it did give me insight into the many patients that came and went while I was waiting. It was these people that gave me insight into what Nurse K and ER Doc go through all the time.
I’ll start with the upper 20 something woman that came in at 3am with an ear ache. Really? An ear ache is what brings you to the er at 3am? On New Year’s Eve? Yes, the pain was so bad it woke her out of a sound sleep. How is an ear ache an emergency? Was it falling off? Bleeding? Was there brain matter leaking out of it? No? Then take some motrin, take some tylenol and go back to sleep, and see your doctor on Tuesday. It’s not like I’m trying to eavesdrop but it’s a curtain, not a wall people.
This brings me to my favorite guy of the night. I didn’t catch his birthdate so couldn’t tell you his age, but if I have to guess it’s close to mine. He was right after earache girl and he said that he was there because his wife told him he had not one, but 2 seizures the last one about an hour before he came in. It did leave me to wonder where his wife was that he had to drive himself in. After further questioning his seizure are now more like blackouts and the real reason he came in became quite clear to me. Seems for the first time in 4 years he was out of his oxycontin and xanax prescription and was hoping the doctor would write him enough to “get by” to see his family doctor. If I wasn’t a 7 out of 10 on the pain scale I would have laughed out loud. It was all I could do not to shout out “Let me know how that works out for you buddy.” He didn’t get his script, instead he got the er doc telling him he was going to have to make a report of his seizure to the Bureau of Motor Vehicles and was probably going to lose his driving privileges until if could be medically documented that he was seizure free for six months and no, calling it a “black out” was not going to change that.
Before I could get any more, my icu bed was ready and I was just happy to be getting off that damn gurney. Happy New Year!