Monday, January 11, 2010

How to Get Helped in the ER (without having to wait).

Maybe it was the tight grimace on my pale face. Maybe it was my hunched over, 95-year-old lady stance. Maybe it was just the pajama pants with mismatched gym shoes look I was sporting. Or maybe it was the constant whimpering that emitted from somewhere deep inside me every 30 seconds.

Whatever it was, when I walked into the ER on Friday night, there was no hesitation on the part of the staff. They had me checked in, registered and into a room (with an actual door) before I could say, "somebody hand me one of those pink buckets. I'm going to puke again."

By the time I got there, it had already been a long day. A day that had started seven hours before when I walked into an urgent care center, thinking I had some sort of weird bladder infection and could get myself some antibiotics and back to work before the clock ran out on my lunch hour.

Yeah. Not so much.

Truth is, no one there could figure out what  was wrong with me. Everything checked out fine. Meanwhile the stabbing pain that had driven me there on a day full of deadlines grew worse...and worse...and worse...until it was all I could think about.

Finally, they sent me home with some painkillers, shrugging their shoulders and wishing me good luck.

I would have thanked them, except I was too busy vomiting on the bushes outside.

Home we went, where I alternated between laying on the couch, pacing the floor while foaming at the mouth and rocking myself like a crazy person, completely consumed by the searing pain that wrapped around my middle.

I was certain my appendix was rupturing. Either that, or I was dying. And at that point? Anything that would have ended the pain would have been welcome.

So off to the ER we went, hoping to find better answers. I didn't get any of those, at least not right away. But you know what I did get? An IV full of beautiful, merciful drugs. The dry heaving stopped. I could open my eyes. Granted, I didn't want to, as I was floating on a pink fluffy cloud of narcotics, but I could.

Later, they did a bunch of tests and determined that no, actually my appendix wasn't about to burst. They sent me home with some more drugs, instructions to "wait and see," and an appointment scheduled at some far off date in the future. And in the meantime? My insides continue to torment me, with no clear end in sight.

But that's okay, because I've discovered the secret to good service at the ER. It's not about the amount of blood. It's about how crazy you look (and sound). And I? Am very good at acting crazy.


  1. Oh my gosh... are you okay now? Are you going to see a gastro? Did you eat anything weird that day? It sounds like food poisoning. What about the gall bladder?

    Wow... I hope you are taking it easy and Tori is spending a lot of quality time with Daddy!

  2. Hope you find the reason for it and it doesn't get bad again!!

  3. This all sounds terrible. I hope the mystery is solved soon.

  4. i think vomiting a lot also helps get there attention. I really hope you feel better -- that sounds like a really crappy night.

  5. Yikes sounds scary and infuriating! I hope everything turns out okay.

  6. i hope that you're feeling better -- i had a similar experience in the ER. after a series of tests (including the longest, most involved pelvic exam of my life -- cute doctor, so i'm not complaining) they diagnosed me with "gastroenteritis." fuckheads.

    let us know how you're doing ;)

  7. My wife used to have all the crime shows on, so I have to ask. Arsenic?
    Hope not.
    Get better.

  8. Well that sounds terrible.

    Perhaps you could drop a few F bombs in the meantime. Might make you feel better. (I read your post about things you love and that one was my fav.)

    Get better.

  9. Oh that's awful! I hope everything is okay and that the pain stops soon!

  10. Oh that sounds awful!
    I really hope U feel better. It really SUCKS to throw up--but on a related note, it's much better than that nagging, nauseous feeling that just won't go away. UGH!
    feel better soon. I hope they can figure out what is wrong.

  11. Hope that you are feeling better by now! ER trips are no fun!! I was in with food poisoning once and they didn't have a room for me. They stuck me on a gurney in the hall and every time a nurse went past she pointed at me and asked, "Are you the one with diarrhea?" Nice.

  12. I hope you figure out what's wrong soon!

  13. The secret is out!

    I hope you feel better, and quickly!

  14. I hope you figure out what's wrong so you can get better!

  15. This sounds strangely similar to what a coworker of mine went through a few months back. Turns out, it was his gall bladder.

    Good luck, girly! Hope you are feeling back to your normal self soon!


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