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Well...THAT went well (NOT)


Previous Entry Well...THAT went well (NOT) Dec. 3rd, 2008 @ 04:53 am Next Entry
Went to the ER last night for my wrist. It went about as I had predicted.

So. Got there at 5 PM. Wrist was noticably swollen (my rings were cutting into my finger, and had raised a blister), I couldn't feel my pinky or ring fingers, and my left hand is colder than the right hand. (This isn't new - the neurologist first noticed that in late 2004/early 2005..but still). Filled out the admin forms.....and called Sweet Geek (my darling husband was at a Camera Club meeting). I hadn't told him I was going - why worry him? - but I told him, over the phone, and in public, that it wouldn't go well. (See...I *knew* what was gonna happen)

After 45 minutes, I was called in to Triage. The nurse noticed the swelling, asked about it, and asked about known allergies. I informed her that I was allergic to ALL KNOWN painkillers, so, y'know, don't bother. She noted it on my chart (Let's see..I remember telling her about: Percocet, Hydrocodone, Vicodin, Talwin, Naprosyn, Elavil...and a few others), told me ice wouldn't do much good (as it's been 48 hours since the injury occured), and told me to go wait and they'd call me back.

About an hour later, they did (let me note that I'm not upset about the wait times - I understand ERs are busy places.) They plunked me on a gurney, told me the doctor "will be right in!",and left me. Until almost 7:20. (OK, I lied - this one I'm a little pissed about). The doc breezed in and - well, here's our ENTIRE conversation:

D: I'm Dr. So-and-So. Have you seen a Radiologist yet?
Me: uh-No.
D: I'll order X-rays. You won't see me again if I don't see anything there - I'll send a nurse with your instructions.
Me: uh-OK


May I please point out the total LACK OF EXAM performed by the doctor? And the total lack of TIME SPENT by this doctor?

Sweet Geek called to check on me (again) and I told him what was(n't) going on. I also predicted the outcome "Look, don't worry. They're going to tell me it's a sprain, wrap it, and send me home - probably with a prescription of something I'm allergic to." (The lady in the bay next to me cracked up at this. What? I was only telling the truth!)

So...about 30 minutes later the radiologist came. He took 3 x-rays.....and he spent a good 5 minutes looking at my wrist, then back at the film. When questioned, he told me that "Oh, I don't read 'em. Which side of your wrist hurts the most? Huh.." Now, either my left wrist is the most beautiful specimen he's seen in his entire career, and he wanted to lock that vision in his mind so he could compose sonnets to it later - or there was something strange on the film he couldn't quite figure out.

Anyway...back to the room I was wheeled, where I waited for the nurse to return. It went as I predicted - he forced 800 mg of Ibuprofen on me, wrapped an Ace bandage on my wrist (too tight - I barely made it to the car before I had to remove it - I LIKE the circulation in my hand, for some strange reason), and told me to go to the discharge nurse.

At this point, I'm tired. I'm a little irritated at the lack of care, but hey - I'm going home! The discharge nurse handed me my packet...and right on top was a prescription for Naprosyn. The nurse then asked for my co-pay - $100. I'm afraid I lost it...I asked her if I would get it refunded when the Ortho I was sure they referred found a break AGAIN. She tried the "Oh, well....sometimes breaks don't show up for 24 or 48 -""Yeah, only" I interrupted "that's why I WAITED 48 HOURS TO COME IN THIS TIME. Because ya'll told me that LAST TIME, and it was an icky break." She then tried to cover it up by asking about Finn - supposedly I'll be getting a call from her friends who need another horse. I'm not holding my breath here. I had her shred the prescription - why take something that I won't get filled, because I AM ALLERGIC to the drug?- and we left. At 8:05-ish. Oh, and did I mention that the sheet tells me to "Return promptly or contact your doctor if any of the following occur: Pain or swelling increases, Redness, warmth or drainage, hand or fingers becomes cold, blue, numb or tingly"....umm, did they NOT SEE where my wrist was alredy swollen, cold, and I had numb fingers?????????

I spent the night itching - I KNEW the Ibuprofen would cause a reaction. Benedryl would have wired me up...so not only would I itch, I'd be suffering from a drug hangover this AM (instead of just being tired from a lack of sleep). I'll be calling the referred Ortho today (I've seen him before.....he doesn't seem to have much faith in the ER either) AND the ER director. This is ridiculous - they are now 3 for 3 in the Bad Service arena. NOT a record a hospital should strive for......

And Mrs.boss is back today. Yippee. At least I have a lunch date with my hubby to look forward to!

Current Location: table
Current Mood: crankycranky
spin a yarn
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Date:December 3rd, 2008 02:52 pm (UTC)
The person who takes the X-rays is a Radiographer. The doctor who interprets them it a Radiologist. (I know this cos I was a radiographer in a previous life.)

Radiographers are not legally allowed to interpret X-rays, however they have a damned good idea of what's what because they have to know what it should look like in order to know if they've got the view right. There are standard view which are supposed to ensure that what the Radiologist sees is what he expects to see while still showing all the necessary details in as few views as possible.

He might have been seeing leftovers from the previous break. He might have been seeing what he thought might be a new one. Or the old damage might be making it difficult to tell exactly what's going on.

Still, the ER doc was seriously negligent if he didn't do a clinical examination of your wrist instead of just relying on X-rays.
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Date:December 3rd, 2008 02:57 pm (UTC)
This is why I love my FL - I didn't realize there was a difference!

I did get an appt. with *my* orthoped (the one that did all the surgeries :sigh:) on Friday. His nurse told me that she hears a LOT of complaints about my local hospital.....and was shocked that the ER doc didn't do anything. I think that's why Dr. S got me in so quick - he usually has a waiting list of 2 - 4 weeks. (Ask me how I know. :lol:)

I need to calm down again before calling the ER director.......must be nice and polite and sweet. :snort:
(spin a yarn)
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