We had to go to the ER yesterday, and it was bustling! Since this is our second visit in a month, I can tell you that unfortunately, yesterday’s busyness was not any different from the norm. Seeing as how we’re talking about a hospital as a business that’s doing well in this awful economy, that is not a good thing.
Here’s what happened, and it’s not a matter of life or death (at least for us), so don’t be alarmed about the ER visit. My husband had been having severe stomach pain since Sunday afternoon that was getting worse, so that’s why we went to the ER. Turns out to be a virus, so that’s great of course! We were thinking kidney stone or something worse, so we’re very thankful. While we were in the ER, some interesting events unfolded regarding some of the other patients. First, there was the girl who left her contacts in for 2 weeks out of “laziness”. She finally took them out, and the next morning, her eyes hurt, they were all swollen, and she couldn’t see. The doctor speculated that the contacts had become fused to her eyeball and actually tore the top layer off when she removed them. They sent her to an eye specialist.
Next was the couple who came in with the woman (girl actually – they were probably in their late teens or early twenties) complaining of burning during urination. My husband overheard the doctor ask the girl how many sexual partners she’s had in the last 60 days. She answered, “just my boyfriend.” Then they asked the boyfriend the same question, but they did it while the girlfriend was in the bathroom, and he said he didn’t know – yikes. More than 10, they asked, and he said, “yeah.” I wonder if they waited to ask the boyfriend until the girlfriend was out of the room on purpose. I wonder if they’re going to tell the girlfriend. Makes an interesting moral argument… there’s something someone should know, yet there’s doctor-patient confidentiality… but then again, the boyfriend wasn’t a patient, his girlfriend was the patient. Maybe the doctor’s job dictates whether or not he would have to tell the girlfriend. What if her symptoms are indicitive of an STD, then the doctor would have to tell her that of course… wonder if he’d mention her boyfriend’s infidelity as well. Well, that’s enough time on that story – onto the third ER story, which is sad…
The doctors and nurses started rushing around even more than they were before, and they all kept talking about how they were about to get much busier. “Something’s coming in…” they were saying. I started overhearing snippets of conversation including something about calling the state fire marshall and an autopsy… Turns out someone had been found dead in their basement after their house was on fire. That is not a usual occurance around here; this was a big deal at the ER. There was a sheriff walking around, and a body bag was wheeled down the hall. A sad event, no doubt, but something that would seem like just another day at work to doctors and nurses working at an urban hospital. I wonder what the circumstances of the fire are; I read in the newspaper that when firefighters arrived, there was only a little smoke showing on the roof. The man was found dead in the basement, so that seems a little suspicious. The state fire marshall is conducting a joint investigation with the sheriff’s office, so maybe when they’re done the story will be back in the newspaper. Well, anyway, I’m just relieved that all is well with my husband. I hope not to have to see if the ER remains busy any time soon!