How many times have you been admitted to an emergency room? I had a chance to ponder this question about myself, and first I thought three, including today. Yes, I spent a couple of hours in the hospital ER where I get my Vidaza injections. The nurses took one look at me and called a covering oncologist who called off the shot and said I needed to go to the ER downstairs.
They put me in a bed in one of the rooms. A nurse came in and asked me if I'd been beaten by a loved one or anyone else. I said no, but I completely understood what she was trying to ferret out. Back when I was a kid, this would never happen, and I know this from personal experience. I was alone for 15 minutes before the doctor came in. That's when I started thinking about ER visits.
The first time I went to the ER was when I was 10, had fallen off my bike and hit my knee on a curb. It was a Sunday (what a memory), and the ER was packed with people who'd nearly cut off their toes while lawn-mowing and other bloody injuries much more serious than mine. Four stitches and hours later I was discharged.
The second trip was when I was in college and got hit by a car while riding my bike. I remember flying into the intersection and feeling embarrassed by the attention I got. I had a cut on my ear which needed two stitches, and a broken tooth. The driver of the car paid for everything.
The third trip was shortly after my first chemo treatment. I suddenly spiked a fever and was told by my oncologist to go to the hospital right away. This was the worst experience in the ER cannon. I was admitted, put on anti-bacterial intravenous drip and placed on a cooling blanket, plus packed with ice like a fish. My temperature rose to 105.9. It was pure torture, and my husband had to watch the whole thing and worry about whether I'd be brain-damaged or worse.
The fourth trip happened on a cold snowy night after I'd had a catheter inserted in my chest earlier in the day. When I went to bed, all was well. A couple of hours later I woke up in a pool of blood. We took a cab to the hospital where I'd had the catheter put in. Once admitted, I spent hours on a bed next to the nurses' station since all the rooms were filled. My treatment consisted of nurses putting pressure on the wound until the bleeding stopped.
So today was my fifth visit to the ER. I hope to hold it at that.