Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Evening at the Emergency

A couple of afternoons last week I had a problem with chills followed by fever. It didn't concern me...the entire event lasted only a couple of hours. It's the season when people get the flu, so I figured something was coming on. I never developed a head ache and wasn't sick. On Thursday I woke up to a chill, followed by fever. There was no way I could work and I called in sick to corporate HQ. I felt better after a couple of hours and talked with my sister who is visiting from Edmonton.

By mid-afternoon the chills returned and I lay on the sofa, covered by a blanket, shivering for a couple of hours. V came home from work and stuffed a thermometer in me (my mouth). I had a temp of 103 F. She called our Dr.'s office but he was just closing up for the day and suggested she take me to the emergency department of the hospital. She drove and I sat with a plastic container in my lap (just in case...we didn't want a repeat of the 'vomit volcano' in the van as happened with the boy earlier in the year).

The ER was fairly busy (when is it not?) and we were told it would be a 3-4 hour wait. I was surprised, though, that 5 minutes later I was called to see the triage nurse. I went through the ritual...pulse, blood pressure, temperature, pee in a bottle...I was a bit surprised when she sent me off for a chest X-ray...in a wheel chair! I think the rolling chariot was a response to the 103F I scored on the thermometer. THAT and the rapid heart rate. I guess it's bad for business if one keels over with a heart attack while wandering the crowded corridors of the ER...

When I got back from X-ray I was put in the 'Plaster Room' across the hall from the triage nurse. I think I was kept there, with the crutches and tensor bandages, in case I was carrying some nasty plague. Or perhaps my fez was a distraction to the huddled masses in the waiting room. Anyhow, I was soon put given a 'johnie coat' and told to put it on. "Should I strip right down to my socks and underwear?" I inquired. The nurse looked horrified. "Please...No. Just take off your shirt. That will be fine."

I was then put on a hospital gurney and left in the hall of the ER with a couple of elderly people. Obviously we were going to have to wait a while to reach the promised land behind the sacred double-doors. A girl came along and took another blood sample. This was apparently to make blood cultures. She assured me that the little glass bottles she carried didn't contain alcohol and I shouldn't drink them....Har! Humour, that's the ticket. I passed the time by watching the comings and goings of injured people. That, and the little man that occasionally passed by on some sort of ride-on vaccuum cleaner. Who WOULDN'T want that around the house!

I eventually saw the ER doctor. He poked and prodded my stomach, listened to my chest and generally asked a lot of questions. The bottom line was that I wasn't showing ANY other symptoms besides the chills/fever and rapid heart rate...both of which were now gone as the nurse had given me a couple of ibuprofen earlier in the visit. He could not explain what was causing the fever. He was curious about my previous history with liver function problems (many years ago) and issued me a form to go off for more blood tests. It was a long six hours, yet pockets of time flew by rather quickly.

I'll be off to see my family Dr. again in a few days. It was a strange way to lead into a long week end, but the past four days have past uneventfully. We went for a nice turkey dinner at my parent's house yesterday. It was nice to have the entire family back together again. Many thanks to the stalwart 'V' who hung out with me at the Emerg and asked all of the pertinent questions that I was too stupid to think of. She also took a photo or two on her new phone. I'll inclued one. You won't want to see the other pic as the 'business' end of the johnnie coat may have caught a breeze and blew open...it reminds me of that time with the kilt...

They took my fez...apparently it wasn't sterile...

12 comments:

Cathy Webster (Olliffe) said...

Look at how cute you are on that stretcher. I do think hospital blue is your colour!
So they never really figured out what was wrong with you...well, glad V looked after you and had you looked at. Can't have everyone's favourite fez-wearer wind up with leprosy or impetigo or something.
Get well soon, ok?

Laurita said...

Awwww. You look pretty happy for someone who'd been poked and prodded at the ER. And what a woman that V is.

Feel better, my friend. And stock up on vitimin C, just in case it's scurvy or something like that. I can bring you a cup of grog.

Laura Eno said...

Likely story... Based on the fact that the picture doesn't show your legs, I'm going to guess that you actually fell while playing basketball, were run over by your teammates and landed at the bottom of a pileup, carted off to ER, where you're smiling because the nurse pumped you full of painkillers. (If you read that out loud, I'm sure you ran out of breath)
Hope you're feeling better!

A Daft Scots Lass said...

They took your Fez? WTF?!

I hope you feel better.

Rant-O-Saurus Rex said...

Sounds like a fun evening... hope all is well though and they do manage to find out what the mystery ailment was (not knowing really sucks). It was probably just something you ate not sitting well.

The last I remember being in the ER was many many years ago (I try to avoid Doctors and hospital as much as possible) I was having dizzy spells and light headedness through out the day for about a week... so I was talked into going to get checked out.

6 hours and some blood samples and results later I was told that I need to eat breakfast. Which I could have told them that from the beginning. Fun times in the hospital... lucky me though, I got to forgo the "Johnie Coat". :)

Mark Kerstetter said...

Hopefully it was your strong immune system doing its work fending off a particularly bad bug. Be well, Alan.

Alan W. Davidson said...

Cathy- Leprosy...yikes! Thanks for the compliment, I think the johnnie coat brings out the blue of my eyes...

Laurita- Ummm...grog. That should build up the old immune system. It's been ages since I've had the scurvy.

Laura- Painkillers...if only that were true. I think the fever may have been brought on by an anti-inflammatory I was taking for my ongoing back pain (yep, missing basketball a lot).

Gillian- I know, the wee bastards. They said something about it smelling like a monkey's arse...

Mr. Rex- Your ER experience sounds remarkably similar to mine (aside from the lightheadedness). Yeah, I too try to avoid Dr's in general.

I hope they get to the bottom of it as well (though the urgency is less since the fever is gone).

Mark- I hope so too. I wonder, sometimes, if my travels through so many countries back in the early '90's has played a part in these issues (no one can say for sure). Thanks for the well wishes.

Gigi said...

You are looking pretty pleased for someone who was hanging out at the ER! We were just there recently and I can tell you I wasn't smiling!

Hope whatever it was is now gone.

Michael Solender said...

hey matey glad you are a-o-k. equally glad to know the system seems to work up there..maybe we yanks could learn a thing or two...

Danielle Ferries said...

Hope you're doing better now. That shade of blue is very becoming.

Cathy Olliffe-Webster said...

Two weeks since your last post? Two weeks too long! Quit lying around on that gurney and get writing!

K.C. Shaw said...

This is what happens when I fail to check my friends' blogs often enough. They blow up! I hope you're doing all right now. You look awfully smug lying on that cot.