Welcome to my blog, or should I say to the ramblings of an old man. I doubt that my ramblings are of much value, but at least I have an opportunity to share them.  So, please be kind and humor me. If nothing else of value stands out in these thoughts, I hope that you at least sense the value I place on a daily walk with the Lord.  That walk is what has provided me with motivation and a sense of purpose throughout my lifetime.  My prayer is that you, too, are experiencing this direction and joy in daily living which is available to everyone who puts his trust in Christ.  So, thanks again for joining me.  Please don't go without leaving some comments here so I can get to know you better as our paths intersect today in this blog.

Saturday, March 11, 2017

To Go Or Not To Go?

          There are some difficult decisions that we must suddenly make during our lives.  One that I have had to make several times is should I go to the emergency room for a health concern.  I faced this again a few days ago when a new physical problem was creating pain. I considered going to our family practice where I would be seen in a very short time.  But I knew that with the problem I had that they would no doubt send me some place for additional tests.  Then I would need to wait a day or two for the diagnosis and any needed treatment.
         On the other hand, while it would take much more time, going to the ER would provide the needed tests and diagnosis and, if even needed, admittance to the hospital.  So, very reluctantly we headed to the hospital's ER.
          Well the first problem developed when there were no parking spaces left for ER patients - all were taken.  So we were sent to the main parking garage where we had to wind our way to the roof - level 5 - to find one of the few remaining open spaces.  That parking was on the opposite side of the hospital from where the ER was located.  So we had to go down to the basement and walk through the entire hospital to get to the ER.  Parking and walking time - 30 minutes.  I'm glad I wasn't having a heart problem.  Oh yes, three other groups of patients that were headed to the ER parked with us, but they were able to walk faster and checked in minutes before us.  That meant we were now four slots behind the others who were waiting to be seen.
          We checked in and were surprised and encouraged at how empty the waiting room was at that time.  Then we sat and waited for another 20 minutes until we were called to have my blood pressure checked and my medicine list updated.  Then back to the waiting room, this time to sit for 25 more minutes before having some blood and urine tests done.  Then back again for another 50 minute wait until they came to take me back to wait for a doctor.
          As they pushed me back to a room, we were shocked at how full they really were. People were not only in the rooms but in the hallways.  I guess this is why we had to wait so long.  Fortunately, I was at least given a room where we had some privacy.  There a nurse helped me settle in and hooked me up to monitors.  We waited awhile for a doctor to appear and when he did, he reviewed what  my tests had showed, asked a number of questions, shared what he thought they would do (much of which for some reason didn't happen), and then he left.  I would see him briefly one more time before we were discharged.
          As a diabetic who hadn't eaten since breakfast, I asked three different folks to check on my sugar, but to the best of my knowledge none of them did.  One nurse said she could get something for me to eat or drink, but she never did.  When I finally got home I found that my count was very low and I needed something immediately to eat.
          I was expecting, and maybe even hoping for, more tests.  But based on what they saw on my blood and urine tests, they diagnosed a very severe urinary tract infection and gave me an IV of an antibiotic.  Ironically, seven days earlier I had a urine test to check for an infection at my family doctor's practice, and they saw no signs of an infection.  However, the ER also did find some signs of other potentially serious problems and asked that my family doctor follow up on these. 
          So about six hours after leaving our house, we arrived back home - still with pain and discomfort - but with some meds to try and deal with the infection while they waited for the results of a culture which had to be sent away to be examined.  Incidentally, the ER called me Saturday evening to tell me that the culture indicated that I was given the wrong medicine.  I was able to find a pharmacy Sunday morning where I could obtain and begin a different med.
          Now I never know when to go to the ER with a problem.  You need to expect spending a big portion of your time there just waiting and today they were apparently very busy.  Normally parking isn't such a horrendous problem.  Most of the people there were kind and caring. However, the girl who took my blood did a very poor job and I don't usually mind having that done. Now would I have gotten the same diagnosis and meds if I had saved five hours by going to my family doctor?  Probably, except for the IV.  Oh well, I didn't have any serious plans for the day and it gave me another memory as well as something to write about.
          The way these past two years have gone for me physically, I am beginning to realize that the Lord must have many more lessons for me to learn before He calls me home.  So I guess I need to be more patient and be a better student in His schoolhouse.

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