Monday, September 1, 2008

Park Nicollet Methodist Hospital ER - St. Louis Park, MN

Chao and I spent a few hours of our Labor Day weekend in the Emergency Room at Methodist Hospital. I couldn't breathe without a sharp pain in my chest and if I laughed or coughed or inhaled deeply I yelled involuntarily like someone with Tourette's. I finally figured out after awhile that I could pull off a small laugh,which Chao pointed out sounded like Peter Griffin. Of course this made me laugh harder and then yell again. I had been to the convenient care doctor earlier and after a negative chest x-ray and a normal EKG, they sent me home to await blood test results. The doctor called later and told me I should go to the Emergency Room because the test for blood clots came back abnormal.

We headed to the ER and they took me behind the curtain to triage me. Apparently breathing problems are serious so othey took me back right away and I didn't have time to tell Chao I was headed back. They asked me some questions, took vitals, and I asked them if Chao could come back with me and they said they would go get him. Meanwhile they were going to put an IV in because they were planning to do a chest CT scan and they needed the IV to inject the contrast dye. I have been told that being somewhat of a redhead sometimes involves having small veins that are hard to find. Lately, when I have had blood drawn, they have had to use my hand veins because they are superior to my arm veins. However, for a chest CT they have to use an arm vein. The ER nurse tried twice to get a vein and couldn't. She packed my arms with warm packs to aid the process and this was about the time Chao showed up. He sat with me for a few minutes until the IV specialist arrived to give my veins a go. Chao opted to sit in the hallway as he doesn't appreciate needles. The IV specialist tried several times to get a vein, even making use of a sonogram to try and find one. Other ER staff would poke their heads in to see if I had been IVed yet. I was becoming quite the celebrity. I never knew that sticking me with a needle could be a spectator sport. This specialist eventually gave up and called another IV specialist to try. The third person was eventually the charm as she did end up threading a vein but at this point I can't tell you how many stabs I suffered but I can show you how my arm looks now (keep in mind this is only one arm - the other is not as impressive):
At this point, after over an hour of being stabbed with a needle, I was wheeled up to have the CT scan. They told me I would feel warm, have a metallic taste in my mouth and would feel like I have to pee. This was 100% true. It was kind of cool. After that test I was wheeled back downstairs. My nurse was going to take the IV out but I stopped her. I asked if there was absolutely any way I was going to possibly need another IV later if we could just leave that one in. She hesitiated and then agreed to leave it for awhile. I bet people don't normally request to have IV's left in longer than necessary but I knew there was no way I could go through that ordeal again. Chao and I were then left to wait for the results and were checked in on by a hot hospitality dwarf. Seriously though, we both agreed that Alyssa was the hottest dwarf we have ever seen. Then, maybe 15 minutes later, the doctor came back in and told me that I did not have a blood clot, but instead had pneumonia. Way more favorable.

Top 5:
1. Super nice hospital staff.
2. Hot dwarf.
3. They didn't kill me despite their best efforts.
4. I didn't have to wait on them (other than the IV thing) and they had estimated wait times posted.
5. They provided Chao with a chair and water.

Bottom 5:
1. I was their pin cushion for over an hour.
2. I saw lots of my own blood which shouldn't have been the case as I was there for lung problems.
3. There were lots of police escorting people around for whatever reason.
4. No TV's in the rooms.
5. The ventilation system kept running randomly and was loud.

1 comment:

Matt said...

i thought this was heading towards a collapsed lung, and we would forever be linked in awful pain.