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Old 09-18-2011, 10:46 AM
 
Location: N of citrus, S of decent corn
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We lived in a rural area with a satelite hospital of a major hospital in the big city nearby. We always called it our private ER, because there was never anyone else there. I went there 4 times. Once when bleeding profusely from a cat scratch, once for a DVT, once for appendicitis, and once after a bad fall. I was seen immediately, and in and out in an hour (except for the appendix).
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Old 09-18-2011, 11:31 AM
 
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For all that I posted a bad experience on here, I still believe that the ER personel perform a vital function and in general are very caring people doing a very difficult job. Think of the majority of people they have to deal with. Who here is cheerful when they are not feeling well or are worried about what is wrong with them? Yes it IS frustrating to sit there, lay there and sometimes feel like you are being completely ignored. I also know the other side of it from being an EMT many years ago when I was in college.

There are different levels of emergencies. First is life threatening, these are the ones that they take care of first. Closed head injuries, gaping wounds with severe bleeding, chest pains, severe breathing problems, severe burns are all examples of true emergencies, issues that could quickly lead to death. Second is urgent care. These are the cases that include obvious broken bones, smaller wounds that need stitches and burns of a lesser degree. These are usually serious enough to justify a visit to the ER but the patient isn't in imminent danger of death so they are going to wait. Third are the most common and for the ER staff the most frustrating. Non-emergent care. The most common adult symptoms reported - weak and dizzy, second most common, cough and congestion, third most common every kind of joint injury and sprain you can think of. None of these are in any way LIFE THREATENING injuries or illnesses and could have either waited till morning to see their regular DR or gone to an all night clinic.

I've only been taken to the ER once in my 50-something years where it WAS a true life threatening emergency for me. I'm allergic to bee stings and was stung with no epi-pen available. I was blue and almost unresponsive when we got to the ER. I'm told by my DH that they actually ran to get me to a room were 5 nurses and 3 doctors working on me at once to save my life. Obviously they were successful

Trust me - if its taking a long time to be seen in the ER - that usually means one good thing. YOU ARE NOT IN DANGER OF DYING. At least be thankful for that! Give the staff a break too. They are only human like the rest of us and a smile goes a long way in any setting!
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Old 09-18-2011, 01:43 PM
 
Location: Mostly in my head
19,645 posts, read 53,581,730 times
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Va-Cat, so true! When my children insisted I was short of breath they took me to the ER. The personnel didn't even know who I was, they hooked me up to an EKG so fast! And this was Thanksgiving night at a Level I trauma center. Since it wasn't a heart attack, the next suspect was a pulmonary embolism, so I was fast-tracked through tests. It probably had been a small clot (due to chest wall trauma from an accident 5 days before) as there were blood product markers for that, but by the time they took the scan, it had dissolved on its own. I am allergic to iodine and they had to wait until a steroid injection could take effect.

I have indeed waited hours when I was in pain but in no serious situation other than that. Most recently, I had severe shaking trmors out of nowhere (rigor). Turns out I had pneumonia and didn't know it. Even at that, I was in and out in about 3-4 hours.
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Old 09-21-2011, 09:29 AM
 
10,452 posts, read 10,241,052 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Va-Cat View Post
For all that I posted a bad experience on here, I still believe that the ER personel perform a vital function and in general are very caring people doing a very difficult job. Think of the majority of people they have to deal with. Who here is cheerful when they are not feeling well or are worried about what is wrong with them? Yes it IS frustrating to sit there, lay there and sometimes feel like you are being completely ignored. I also know the other side of it from being an EMT many years ago when I was in college.

There are different levels of emergencies. First is life threatening, these are the ones that they take care of first. Closed head injuries, gaping wounds with severe bleeding, chest pains, severe breathing problems, severe burns are all examples of true emergencies, issues that could quickly lead to death. Second is urgent care. These are the cases that include obvious broken bones, smaller wounds that need stitches and burns of a lesser degree. These are usually serious enough to justify a visit to the ER but the patient isn't in imminent danger of death so they are going to wait. Third are the most common and for the ER staff the most frustrating. Non-emergent care. The most common adult symptoms reported - weak and dizzy, second most common, cough and congestion, third most common every kind of joint injury and sprain you can think of. None of these are in any way LIFE THREATENING injuries or illnesses and could have either waited till morning to see their regular DR or gone to an all night clinic.

I've only been taken to the ER once in my 50-something years where it WAS a true life threatening emergency for me. I'm allergic to bee stings and was stung with no epi-pen available. I was blue and almost unresponsive when we got to the ER. I'm told by my DH that they actually ran to get me to a room were 5 nurses and 3 doctors working on me at once to save my life. Obviously they were successful

Trust me - if its taking a long time to be seen in the ER - that usually means one good thing. YOU ARE NOT IN DANGER OF DYING. At least be thankful for that! Give the staff a break too. They are only human like the rest of us and a smile goes a long way in any setting!
That's funny. When my pinky was detached from my hand and my hand was bleeding profusely (my other fingers got smashed up as well), that didn't seem to encourage the EMT team to make me wait less than 3 hours. I had to ask them for a cup of ice "to drink" so I could put my own hand on ice. My wife asked them if they had other more urgent emergencies and they admitted themselves that "apart from one guy who was in a motorcycle accident, they weren't really that busy." On another occasion, they also thought I had a blood clot in my brain and still that didn't make them wait less than a few hours before giving me an MRI. Even though it didn't turn out to be a blood clot, they didn't act urgently based on what they thought at the time. At least in the second case they were busy, but still, I disagree that you will necessarily get treated right away if your condition includes profuse bleeding or a closed-head injury.

On another occasion, my grandfather had symptoms of a stroke and the EMT stood around for an hour debating whether they should even bring him to the hospital at all. My grandmother ended up taking him herself. When we got there they told us if we had waited any longer, he could have become paralyzed on his whole left side and lost the ability to speak.

Of course I don't think all ER staff are heartless. I'm sure a lot of them are caring. But I do think some of them really just don't care or don't know what they're doing. I think some of them freeze in the moment and in that case emergency medicine is not what they should be doing.

Last edited by nimchimpsky; 09-21-2011 at 09:41 AM..
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Old 09-21-2011, 10:44 AM
 
4,948 posts, read 6,889,653 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by gentlearts View Post
We lived in a rural area with a satelite hospital of a major hospital in the big city nearby. We always called it our private ER, because there was never anyone else there. I went there 4 times. Once when bleeding profusely from a cat scratch, once for a DVT, once for appendicitis, and once after a bad fall. I was seen immediately, and in and out in an hour (except for the appendix).
u went to the emergency room cuz of a cat scratch? LOL!!!
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Old 09-21-2011, 09:05 PM
 
Location: earth?
7,288 posts, read 10,385,789 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Va-Cat View Post
For all that I posted a bad experience on here, I still believe that the ER personel perform a vital function and in general are very caring people doing a very difficult job. Think of the majority of people they have to deal with. Who here is cheerful when they are not feeling well or are worried about what is wrong with them? Yes it IS frustrating to sit there, lay there and sometimes feel like you are being completely ignored. I also know the other side of it from being an EMT many years ago when I was in college.

There are different levels of emergencies. First is life threatening, these are the ones that they take care of first. Closed head injuries, gaping wounds with severe bleeding, chest pains, severe breathing problems, severe burns are all examples of true emergencies, issues that could quickly lead to death. Second is urgent care. These are the cases that include obvious broken bones, smaller wounds that need stitches and burns of a lesser degree. These are usually serious enough to justify a visit to the ER but the patient isn't in imminent danger of death so they are going to wait. Third are the most common and for the ER staff the most frustrating. Non-emergent care. The most common adult symptoms reported - weak and dizzy, second most common, cough and congestion, third most common every kind of joint injury and sprain you can think of. None of these are in any way LIFE THREATENING injuries or illnesses and could have either waited till morning to see their regular DR or gone to an all night clinic.

I've only been taken to the ER once in my 50-something years where it WAS a true life threatening emergency for me. I'm allergic to bee stings and was stung with no epi-pen available. I was blue and almost unresponsive when we got to the ER. I'm told by my DH that they actually ran to get me to a room were 5 nurses and 3 doctors working on me at once to save my life. Obviously they were successful

Trust me - if its taking a long time to be seen in the ER - that usually means one good thing. YOU ARE NOT IN DANGER OF DYING. At least be thankful for that! Give the staff a break too. They are only human like the rest of us and a smile goes a long way in any setting!
What is interesting to me is that there obviously have been studies on the different types of cases that present at ER's . . . but evidently NOTHING has been done with this information. They should do a comprehensive systems review, specify the types of injuries that present, and have DIFFERENT protocols for the injuries.

Those with severe traumas should be taken to the severe trauma area . . .those with "doc in the box" types of issues - (slivers, coughs, non-traumatic injuries) should be taken to more of an "urgent care" type of environment ("urgent" being less severe than "emergency") . . .this would not necessarily take more personnel, but it WOULD take more efficiency - and hospitals are notorious for being inefficent . . .

It's like the model was put together around the turn of the century and not much has changed, when really, we have so much more knowledge and technology, there is no excuse for the inefficiencies . . .

And how about some "compassion" training for the staff? All of them?

Another thing: Now that I think about it, when nurses and doctors come in, I don't think they wash their hands!!!! This is the first rule of sanitation and is just basic . . .but no, they don't do this! It's an outrage. If people weren't so adverse to hospitals (no one wants to deal with them) then there would be huge 60 Minutes types of expose's . . .
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Old 09-21-2011, 09:46 PM
 
Location: Eastern PA
1,263 posts, read 4,290,005 times
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Originally Posted by imcurious View Post
What is interesting to me is that there obviously have been studies on the different types of cases that present at ER's . . . but evidently NOTHING has been done with this information. They should do a comprehensive systems review, specify the types of injuries that present, and have DIFFERENT protocols for the injuries.

Those with severe traumas should be taken to the severe trauma area . . .those with "doc in the box" types of issues - (slivers, coughs, non-traumatic injuries) should be taken to more of an "urgent care" type of environment ("urgent" being less severe than "emergency") . . .this would not necessarily take more personnel, but it WOULD take more efficiency - and hospitals are notorious for being inefficent . . .

It's like the model was put together around the turn of the century and not much has changed, when really, we have so much more knowledge and technology, there is no excuse for the inefficiencies . . .

And how about some "compassion" training for the staff? All of them?

Another thing: Now that I think about it, when nurses and doctors come in, I don't think they wash their hands!!!! This is the first rule of sanitation and is just basic . . .but no, they don't do this! It's an outrage. If people weren't so adverse to hospitals (no one wants to deal with them) then there would be huge 60 Minutes types of expose's . . .
I work for a very small community hospital, but we are actively trying to do many of the things you suggest, and the patients are generally very happy about it. I do agree that hospitals have indeed been notoriously inefficient over the years. In this area, Urgent Care does not have good hours, so even things like stitches after 7 or 8 p.m. need to go to the ER.

Our hospital now does have mandatory "customer service" training about how to speak with patients and how to behave (I do the training too and I don't even work in a clinical setting with patients). They cover compassion and empathy, and all kinds of scenarios to practice communication. We also have a policy where people who are lost in the hospital are personally escorted to where they are going, instead of being given potentially confusing directions. Hospitals are generally upsetting enough WITHOUT getting lost!

Upon hiring, there is a separate hand-washing class that all staff must attend. We are tested on hand-washing, HIPAA, and communication each and every year, and your yearly evaluation is contingent upon "passing" everything.
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Old 09-22-2011, 10:38 PM
 
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You can be seen faster in some hospitals if you go to their website and make an appointment to come to the ER, but then it really isn't an emergency now is it?

Yes, the ER is absolutely clogged with people going in for the flu, a cold, sore throat, arthritis, strep throat, tonsillitis, ear infections and routine things you can handle at a regular doctor. This is true. People do not understand what the word "emergency" means.

I have been in more ERs than I can count. I was brought to one ER by my doctor's nurse. They put me in a wheelchair so I would not fall down from more seizures, convulsions and when I lost consciousness. I died in the ER. My heart stopped. My lungs stopped and I flat lined because a doctor misdiagnosed me and put me on medication I never should have been on. When a drug warning label says, "May cause seizures, convulsions and loss of consciousness." take it seriously. The nurse was trying to get me admitted to the ER and they kept screaming at her, "We are busy. Not now." I have no recollection of being admitted to the ER. I woke up in the ER and continued to be in and out of consciousness. I had multiple out of body experiences where I watched them work on me and knew I was dying. You know when you are dying because the machines go quiet and you hear nothing. I went to another place where the beings told me, "It is not your time. There was a mistake. You are not supposed to be here yet. You must go back." I felt happiness and pure bliss like I have not felt in this life. I begged to stay, but they told me, "No. You must go back." The one being pointed at my abdomen and quite suddenly, instantly, I was back in my body. I took a deep, gasping breath and knew I would live. As soon as I breathed the doctors walked away from me and moved to the next patient. I was thrown into a hospital room and left there. I was not tested or looked over until the following day.

In another hospital 5 different patents came in within 1 hour of each other for suicide attempt. 2 overdosed and had their stomachs pumped. 2 slashed their wrists and got stitched. One shot themselves. All 5 had to be taken care of and then admitted to a psychiatric hospital on a 5150. This points out the need for better mental health care to prevent people from getting to that point. I could hear the doctors and nurses talking the suicide attempt patients and they were not very nice to them at all. The doctors and nurses were a bit callous and cruel. Talk about making a desperate person's like better! The mentally ill end up in jail, the ER or the morgue and no one seems to care. We are supposed to have social workers on call 24/7 to come out and evaluate a person the cops stop and divert the mentally ill from the jails to the psych ward, but this is not happening. There should be some of emergency response team available for a mental health issue separate from a regular ambulance to take you to the ER.

As a walk-in to the ER your wait is longer than if you are transport by ambulance. Not all ambulance people are nice. Some are downright mean and nasty. It costs $1,000 - $1,200 to get picked up by an ambulance and that is after insurance pays their portion. An ambulance is not cheap! Not everyone can afford the cost of the ambulance. The ER trip is expensive enough as it is...not everyone can afford the ER trip, the doctor bill, the prescriptions you get AND the ambulance trip. I had to pay $1,200 for the ambulance to transport me from across the street where I collapsed in the MRI machine to across the street to the hospital. They did not even travel 1 block! They picked me up from across the street and returned to the ER with me in tow. They went across 8 lanes of traffic and back again for a grand total of $1,200. I asked why it was so much and they said they charge a flat rate just to pull out of the driveway and the rates goes up the further they go because they also charge for mileage. I was lucky I did not have to pay mileage.

My insurance charges me $200 every time I access the ER, but this is waived when I am admitted to the hospital. It costs less money to see a general practitioner doctor than it does to go to the ER, so I make it a practice to only go the the ER when someone calls an ambulance for me because I am unconscious. I have never called an ambulance for myself. I only go to the ER because I am on the verge of dying or because the ambulance took me there and I woke up in the ER.

My ex-husband was carjacked, pistol whipped and left for dead in the street. People called 911 to say he needed help. He had obvious amnesia for several months. His brain was bleeding out of his eye sockets. They took him for brains scans, but never read the scans and discharged him to me 9 hours later. I took him home and could tell he had a concussion and terrible brain trauma. I was trying to keep him awake so he would not slip into a coma when the hospital called to say, "We made a mistake. Bring him back right away. The scans have been read and he needs to be admitted." I brought him back and they refused to see him in admitting. I threw chairs at the wall to the ER to make a noise and screamed, "He has to be admitted." I had been told he would go in front of everyone else and that did not happen so I came unhinged. The nurse who called me came out and said, "She is right. We did call her. He does need to go in front of everyone else." Long story, short I was told, "You have 5 minutes to make up my mind what medical procedure he will get or he will die." I was rushed for time because of the hospital's mistake. I should have sued, but after his discharge a month later I was busy caring for him like a small infant. I had no time to contact a lawyer.

Just because the ER is busy and they discharge you does not mean you should be out of the hospital. They do make mistakes in their rush to see everyone and make room for the next person.

Every time I have been admitted to the ER the people in the lobby look pretty healthy to me. Because it is curtains between the rooms you can hear conversations and you can tell people are not that ill that they should be in the ER. Mild food poisoning is not a case for ER. Make a doctor appointment! A bad case of the flu is not a case for the ER. Make a doctor appointment.

When I had to have an emergency appendectomy I did not go to the ER. I went to my regular general practitioner (GP) doctor complaining of stomach pains from a bad case of the flu that would not go away. He told me, "That is not the flu. You can not feel pain properly. That is your appendix about to rupture. You need to go to the hospital. It has to come out." I was shocked. I thought I had the flu. My doctor sent me directly to the surgeon in the hospital and I never even stepped foot inside the ER. I skipped the ER and went right to the OR. Going to my doctor was faster than using the ER because he called the hospital and told the surgeon I was on my way. I got to the hospital and was taken right in for testing to determine it really was my appendix and then I was rushed into emergency surgery to save my life. I woke up the next day in my hospital room not sure how I got there. Everything happened so fast. Using my GP doctor saved me time. It would taken me much longer had I walked into the ER.

Everything goes faster if your doctor diagnoses you ahead of time, sends you to the hospital with a department name and room number to see, calls them to say you are your way, gives them your diagnosis and then everything is sped up. Going to the ER as a walk in is slow and plodding. Coming in by ambulance because of a car accident, skiing accident, boating accident, hit and run of a pedestrian, broken bones, gunshot wound, stabbing victim, stroke, heart attack, drowning victim, loss of consciousness, seizures, edema, etc. all go first. I was taken in front of everyone else in one ER because I had an allergic reaction to a medication that put me into edema. That can kill you. They thought I had DVT and also that my skin might split open from the swelling in reaction to the medication and the doctor booked an OR in case my skin ripped open and I needed to be stitched up. In that particular hospital they took all precautions and scanned my legs to see if I had a blood clot. Because a blood clot can travel from your legs to your head or brain and kill you they took me before everyone else. They take people in order of how great the emergency is. If your situation is not as severe as another person....you wait. They select people in order of how severe they are and not in order of when you walk through the door. What time you walk in has nothing to do with when you will be seen. People who complain about the long wait are not as severe as the people taken in front of them.

Hospitals vary. Some ERs are good. Some ERs are terrible. Some have a high death rate and others a low death rate. Some ERs have cool doctors and nurses. Other ERs the staff is not nice at all and will make you grind your teeth in anger and frustration. You have to be very Zen when dealing with ER doctors, ER nurses, ER admitting and the whole process or it can drive you nuts. You will not find the most compassionate, empathetic, sympathetic, kind people in ER. They don't have time for any of that. They are all business and believe in churn 'em and burn 'em. Move 'em in and move 'em out. There is no time to get your medical history, chat with you or be nice to you. Moving on! Next! You get in and you get out. You are not welcome to stand around and ask any questions about your diagnosis or medications that were prescribed for you. Get out! This is a totally different experience from seeing a GP doctor in their office. An office appointment you have time to ask questions. You do not have that luxury in the ER. Get out! 20 people are waiting for your gurney. Sometimes the lack of clear instructions on how to take a medication results in the person coming back to the ER a second time because they did not take the medication correctly and had a bad reaction to it. I have heard people in the ER questioning doctors on how to take their medication because they took it wrong and ended up in the ER. Maybe they didn't take their heart medication every day or took too much of it, etc.

Is the ER misused? Yes, it is. It is misused by everyone, not just illegals. People do not understand what constitutes an emergency. Do illegals use the ER? Yes, they do. They do not pay and because of this multiple hospitals in my area have shut down the ER because they could afford to keep going when the illegals and indigent people would not pay for services. Illegal aliens use the hospital to have their babies and then the taxpayers pay for the birth of that baby, that hospital room, the doctors, the nurses, the medications for the mother, the immunizations for the newborn baby, formula for the baby, meals for the mother, the birthing room, etc. The birth of a baby often funnels through the ER so it is an event that further clogs the ER.

Because people do not have health insurance they do not get preventative care, medications, know they have a vitamin deficiency, know they are in adrenal failure, know they thyroid gland is dying and any number of health problems they need to be screened for, prevent and treat. That minor problem turns into a big, big deal because it is allowed to grow and then they seek help in the ER when it all could have been prevented in the first place by preventative treatments. Poor diet is causing more people to clog the ER. Scurvy, an illness we have not seen in a long time, is back because people eat too much fast food, junk food, drink soda and don't consume fruits, vegetables and water. Scurvy is due to a lack of Vitamin C and used to be in sailors hundreds of years ago, but not modernly until we began to consume so much fast food and junk food. Trips to the ER related to poor nutrition, obesity, lack of vitamins, lack of minerals and dehydration are increasing. I heard many a parent get a lecture on proper nutrition, but I am sure they left the ER and went to McDonald's.

If people would eat right, take vitamins and minerals daily, exercise, watch their weight and make lifestyle changes to keep themselves healthy a TON of ER visits would be cut by those actions alone. Go look at the ER lobby sometime and see how many of those illnesses are related to obesity, terrible diet, poor nutrition, drinking too much soda (you get kidney stones from caffeine and you can't absorb Calcium when you have caffeine which causes bad teeth and soft bones that break easily, not to mention the calories in soda make you fat) and a sedentary life style. I heard multiple conversations where people were told they lacked a certain vitamin in their body and needed to eat green leafy veggies or whatever they needed. It was shocking how many illnesses had to do with life style choices people were making, but I could hear the heart attack patient didn't want to change. The fat people didn't want to change. No one wanted to do anything any differently. They wanted a pill to make them better and then they wanted to go home. There is a lack of personal responsibility for your own care because people think, "I can just get a pill for that. Let me pop over to the ER and get a prescription." People are unwilling to change their lifestyle because they are lazy and don't want to try that hard.

My sister is a prime example of a person who accesses the ER due to lifestyle decisions. She is a smoker and has asthma attacks so severe they cannot be controlled with a prescription asthma inhaler. Due to the severity and life threatening nature of the asthma attack she goes to the ER. She refuses to quit smoking to make the asthma attacks go away even though she is a single mother of a minor child. She is a nurse and she knows better, but she smokes anyway. 2010 she went to the ER for smoking related asthma attacks FIVE TIMES! That is ridiculous! She is an addict and will not stop smoking, so she has health problems and uses the ER to get access to quick help. If less people smoked there would be less asthma attacks, emphysema and other lung related illnesses in the ER, the OR, the hospital beds and the morgue. Lung cancer would be cut way, way down. Life style choices clog the hospital beds, operating rooms and emergency rooms. Would we need gastric bypass surgery and lipo if people ate right and exercised?

Last edited by Anja T; 09-22-2011 at 10:59 PM.. Reason: spelling
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Old 09-22-2011, 10:49 PM
 
Location: In the clouds
861 posts, read 855,597 times
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Originally Posted by Refugee56 View Post
The news media is full of stories about Hospital Emergency Rooms and the incredible waits very sick and injured people have in these facilities. It seems like a large number of people using the Emergency Rooms are illegal aliens and others without insurance for routine care.

What has been your experience visiting Hospital Emergency Rooms? was the wait and chaos as advertised?
Nope it was like 2 in the morning I got in and got out
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Old 01-17-2018, 11:38 PM
 
1 posts, read 324 times
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I am 72 years young. In October, 2017 I had just rebuilt my 12' X 14' shed, after about 2 months work. I was putting the
final touches on it---with paint---when I started feeling very light headed and hard to breathe. Ironically, or maybe not so,
my son who works at a local university about 1/2 mile away from where I live called to see how I was. Apparently, I was
not very coherent---as my son told me later. He left work and came to me, out of concern. He took one look at me and
said: " Dad, I'm taking you to the hospital, NOW! " I don't remember much of the 20 minute ride, but when we got to the
hospital E.R. my son ran in and told them to come get me, right away. I still don't remember much, but as my son relayed to
me later, the E.R. people responded immediately. They got me out of the car and into a wheel-chair and then rushed me to
a E.R. room where they put oxygen on me and began tests to see why I couldn't breathe very wheel. About all I remember
is when one of the nurses said: " Mr. Sxxxx, we're going to undress you. " All I remember is saying was: " Okay. " Next thing
I remember is being in a hospital room. It turned out that the doctors said I had Congestive Heart Failure. I spent a week in
the hospital which, among other tests, etc., I had to have my lungs drained twice and the fluid around my heart was starting
to recede---with the proper Rxs. If I hadn't had such great care in the E.R. I could, and probably would, have died!
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