Well we’re 15 days into the New Year and I feel like I’m knocking on death’s door. Unfortunately, I got struck down by this years flu and am just now starting to see some improvement after yesterdays venture to the ER. I am going to share with you a story about my ER experience, since it has really been my only experience of the New Year, besides being stuck in the house going through a box of tissue and a bottle of NyQuil a day.
Here was my experience:
We had seen this hospital several times in passing, as we live nearby. After being sick for 11 days, and with fever and the inability to breath, I decided it was time for the ER. I drove myself and Platinum, who was also ill, to the hospital. As we were on the freeway near the hospital we saw a billboard that said FAST ER waiting time 19 mins. We thought “Awesome” and figured we would be seen quickly. Needless to say, that billboard was GROSSLY inaccurate. We checked in at approx 1:30pm and was not called to triage until about 2:40pm. Out entire ER experience lasted about 6 hours and I did have a 1 hour breathing treatment.
While waiting in the ER I had the most heartbreaking and disturbing experience. A little old lady, 96 to be exact, was asked to go into the public women’s restroom alone to pee in a cup. I followed the lady in, after I was given some meds myself for fever. God only knows how she filled her cup, but she was crying, trying to get up from the toilet and pull up her pants. I offered her my help right away. I had her hold onto my shoulders and hoisted her up, pulled up her depends and pants, put the lid on her urine, put it in the bag and literally put my hands under her arms and carried her out to her wheelchair where her son was waiting. She had told me that she had fallen and she was afraid that she had injured her back… I cannot believe the hospital staff asked her to go in there alone. Afterwards when I brought it to the attention of the nurses they apologized to ME and told me I shouldn’t have helped her because I was already sick and could’ve hurt myself. They should’ve been apologizing to her and not made her gone alone! I was furious and disgusted how things were handled. I wasn’t trying to be a hero, I just did what I thought was right and was saddened at the fact that no one else even acknowledged the inhumanity of it all.
I understand that hospitals get busy. I also understand that this was a new area, that they were under staffed and having technical issues with the computer system. I also understand there is absolutely NO excuse that makes this situation okay. The thing is people are so wrapped up in their own shit that they don’t even realize that could’ve easily been them, their mother, grandmother or loved one. We have got to do better people.
Moving forward this year, I am going to remember this experience and make sure I always do my part. I figure the best way to strike a change is to lead by example.