Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Thankful Tuesdays!

This tuesday I am thankful for Health Care.  In the past week both Gary and I have been to the ER(me) and Urgent Care(Gary.)

Last wednesday morning I awoke with severe pains in my stomach.  I called in sick to work, and stayed home, in pain resting in bed.  I had acute pain, diarrhea, and felt like I had been hit by a truck.  I was able to keep down some toast, but other than tea or ginger ale, I ate or drank nothing else.  Thursday morning I was feeling better and so I decided I would go to work for my 2:30 to 11 shift.  Following my lunch break, at 7:30pm the pains were so intense.  By my last break at 9pm, I was almost in tears, I had such shooting pains in my stomach.  I spoke with my supervisor, and told them I had asked Gary to come get me and take me to the hospital.  I didn't know if I was having appendicitis, or if I had torn something in my stomach.  Gary arrived and took me to the hospital ER.  We arrived there about 9:45pm.  After checking in with the triage nurse, who took my BP, temp, and basic stats, then sent us to register.  We were then sent to wait in the waiting room.
At about 10:15 a nurse called me and took several vials of blood for blood tests, and asked me for a urine sample.  The nurse said this would speed the diagnosis for the doctor, as the results would be back by the time we saw the doctor.  Then we headed back to the waiting room.
Just after 11:30 we were called into a room, and told the doctor would be in to see me.  I was asked to put on a hospital gown, and wait for the doc.   It was freezing in the cubicle I was placed in.
The doctor arrived spoke with me, examined me, having seen the results of the blood/urine tests, told me he had arrived at a diagnosis: Gastroenteritis!
What is Gastroenteritis?
Gastroenteritis (also known as gastric flu, stomach flu, and stomach virus, although unrelated to influenza) is marked by severe inflammation of the gastrointestinal tract involving both the stomach and small intestine resulting in acute diarrhea and vomiting. It can be transferred by contact with contaminated food and water. The inflammation is caused most often[citation needed] by an infection from certain viruses or less often[citation needed] by bacteria, their toxins (e.g. SEB), parasites, or an adverse reaction to something in the diet or medication.
He immediately put me on an IV as I was dehydrated from the diarrhea, and IV antibiotics to reduce the swelling and another to subside the spasms of the stomach.  After the IV ran through, he released me, with a prescription to take to the pharmacy the next day.  It was 3:30 am.

I went back to work on Suday afternoon for a 4 hour shift.

Sunday evening, Gary had purchased a (used) 5 cd tray player at goodwill, as the one we had previously purchased at a yard sale, had died.  So I set about installing this new player, and Gary helping me, was on his knees and fell backwards, and bent the nail on his big toe right back.  It was almost completely off. It was bleeding quite heavily, so I cleaned and wrapped it in gauze and told Gary we needed to go to urgent care to have it taken care of. 

We arrived just after 7pm and were seen within 20 minutes.  The doctor, suggested strongly to remove the nail completely as it was barely attached and it would be extremely painful if it came off on its own.  So with a huge vial of freezing shot into 4 different areas of his big toe, and the doctor carefully pulling and then using a scapel to disconnect the nail from the skin and nail bed, the toe nail was removed.  They then cleaned the entire toe with antibacterial cleanser, and bandaged it, gave Gary some pain meds, and antibiotics, along with a prescription and sent us on our way.  Entire time: 1 hour 5 minutes. 

So within 3 days, both of us had "minor" emergencies that were taken care of by our wonderful health care system.  I am so thankful for our doctors, and nurses.  God Bless you all!