Good ED experience

  1. Back in May 2003, my aspirin abuse (5-6 a day) for headache control caught up with me, and I experienced a bad GI bleed (about 4 units). The volunteer squad promptly responded with 3 Paramedics and 1 EMT. They started an NS IV and transported me to the hospital.

    1 second after the squad dropped me off, 3 nurses (I think) and the ED doctor filed into the room. They uncovered me (I was naked under the blanket since I had been unable to clean myself up), and then introduced themselves. My initial BP had dropped to 78 /45, and my oral temp was about 93 F, but I was completely awake, alert and oriented.

    They started a second IV with an antinausea drug, dropped an NG tube, and did an ECG, a chest x-ray, and a DRE. The internist and general surgeon both stopped by. When I was diagnosed with an ulcer, I immediately told them about my aspirin abuse habit.

    As soon as the procedures were finished, one of the nurses (?) present did the registration. I had brought my wallet, so I had my insurance card. They called my parents and my boss to inform them.

    As soon as the registration process was done, I was covered back up and transported to the ICU, where I immediately got a private room. After being given time to warm up (I started to shiver when I was uncovered in order to slide onto the ICU bed), I was given a sponge bath. It took the nurse awhile to scrub the dried blood and fecal matter off of my body, especially my buttocks (When I had regained consciousness at home, I was still in a knee-chest position leaning against the bathroom wall, but now surrounded by a large puddle of blood and fecal matter).

    I had an EGD that morning, and IV Protonix and a 2 unit blood transfusion that night. Since the hospital was full, I ended up spending the entire 2.5 day stay in the ICU, although only the first day was at ICU rates.

    I gave the hospital the highest ratings on the survey, sent a $50 check and a thank you note to the squad (no charge for squad runs here), and wrote a thank you note to the hospital. In 2004, I sent follow-up notes to the ED, ICU, and the doctor who provided the after-hospital care. I had made a more than full recovery; no loss of cognitive function, and the knee pain I had experienced for years (which I had assumed was from age and wear) had gone away.

    I took an Intro to Addiction course at college during Fall 2004. We had to give up something to help us understand addiction. Since I was taking 2 Tylenols more days than not for headaches, I gave that up. It is still rough at times, but I have remained painkiller free since then.

    I decided I needed to post this story since most of the ED experiences here have been complaints. The hospital I was at is not a trauma center; they ship out the traumas, MIs, and CVAs. They certainly are good at GI bleeds, however.
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    About mshultz

    Joined: Jan '04; Posts: 370; Likes: 158
    Water & Wastewater Lab Tech

    5 Comments

  3. by   nj1grlcrus
    glad you had such a great experience in the ER, but that Intro to Addiction class sound shady to me, like you should be in pain because some people abuse drugs???? And now you don't take medication for pain? I don't get it
  4. by   mshaxy
    horrified experience in the ED department. Nobody bothers a patient's privacy when they are in the ED. This is a big mistake that all the health care workers are doing.
  5. by   tiredfeetED
    Thanks for sharing that story. Believe it or not, majority of ED visits are positive but we rarely get to hear them. Glad your doing OK.
  6. by   mshultz
    Quote from nj1grlcrus
    glad you had such a great experience in the ER, but that Intro to Addiction class sound shady to me, like you should be in pain because some people abuse drugs???? And now you don't take medication for pain? I don't get it
    Other people in class gave up chocolate, or caffeine; that sort of thing.

    The trouble with using analgesics for chronic headache pain is the rebound effect. The escalating doses to control the pain eventually get you into serious trouble, like they did to me. I have had to accept that sometimes I have to go and lie down until I feel better.
  7. by   Genkitty
    Quote from tiredfeetED
    Thanks for sharing that story. Believe it or not, majority of ED visits are positive but we rarely get to hear them. Glad your doing OK.
    Last week I had a good ER experience. Signed in @ 1:25p, due to having had a confusion spell at work, combined with lightheadedness, paranoia, muscle trembling/weakness, cold sweats, and a moderate headache (3/10). BP was 152/101 in triage (I have hypertension, but that's high for me), though my temp was dead-on normal. Waited quietly for awhile, then saw the doc who was wonderful (I'll be sending in a card soon); she took my complaints seriously, gave me a good checkover, and when she discovered I had endometriosis pain (6/10) on top of everything else, she was the one who offered the Dilaudid -- which I gratefully accepted -- and showed me where to turn off the lights for my nook. I spent the next four hours sweating but woozily comfortable while waiting for all the labs to come back, finally getting a UTI diagnosis. BP was 145/110 when I was discharged, for all that the dilaudid made me mellow.

    I've had some bad ER experiences, which I won't post here, but this experience made up for them in spades, due to being taken seriously and not being blown off. I deeply appreciate all the stress and effort y'all go through for us.

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