My ER Experience

I was transported by ambulance from the WRTA station in downtown Youngstown to the ER at St. E’s yesterday afternoon because I blew out my knee trying to step off a bus.

The driver was kind enough to offer the ramp. It took all my might just to inch my way down and then I was stuck standing right there, clutching my cane and enduring the pain. I could not take another step. What’s a girl to do? I could not walk, so I dialed 911.

I was wheeled into the hospital on a gurney, then dumped (assisted) into a chair. They asked questions, took my vitals (pulse and blood pressure), had me sign registration papers, and gave me a “pain pill” that was white, oval, and imprinted “202” on the visible side. She said it was a Norco, but for all I know it was a placebo as it did not ease my pain.

Awhile later, a “transport” girl came to take me down to X-ray. She parked a wheelchair in front of me and left the room. Time passed… I was in tears, crying from both pain and frustration. How the hell was I supposed to walk over, pivot around, and sit down in that wheelchair when I couldn’t even stand up?

More time passed… then I overheard another patient ask whoever was attending her if they could please send someone in to assist me. Two men came in, lifted me up, and someone else moved the wheelchair behind me so I could sit down. Then the transport girl came in and wheeled me down to X-ray.

After the X-rays, I was wheeled into what looked like an empty waiting room outside the ER. Someone who noticed that I was in pain asked if I was okay, then brought me an ice pack.

Then the attending doctor came in to discharge me… she said I probably have torn ligaments, but they don’t “do” that, it’s “not an emergency” condition… so what if I cannot walk… my bones are not broken so go home and call my primary care doctor for a referral to an orthopedic specialist.

I was like what do you mean you don’t do that… what am I supposed to do? I came to the ER because I cannot walk, I’m in pain, I can’t even stand on this leg… she gets a little belligerent with me, tells me she’s not prescribing me pain pills (oh, so I’m faking to get pills?) and I need to listen while she explains this to me… they could treat me if I had broken bones, torn ligaments is an out-patient, not an emergency condition, yadda yadda. Go home, use my walker, call my doctor… she did prescribed muscle relaxers (same type and dose I already take for my back, so she can keep that script) and a steroid pack, but the bizarre thing… I was NOT examined… NO ONE EVEN LOOKED AT MY LEG. No one checked for range of motion or anything. The ONLY person who saw my knee or touched my leg in any way was the X-ray tech.

And so, I was discharged… IDK what to do. Guess it will have to mend on it’s own as until it mends enough to be able to walk on it, there is no way I can walk into a doctor’s office.

So much for that… and what’s wrong with our health system?

Before y’all scream Obamacare, this crap has been going on for years… back in the day, say 50 to 70 years ago, when you went to a doc or an ER, they treated you for whatever ails you… now it is all specialists, they only do this or only do that… come in with an ailment not on their list and oh well… can’t even call one in… go see your doc to get referred to another doc, and rack bills up along the way.

 

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