Saturday, December 19, 2009

Want to get seen IMMEDIATELY in an ER?

When you go up to the triage window, just casually mention that you are having an arrhythmia.

I was having an arrhythmia last night that didn't go away (I have had it before but after a bit it disappears and I go back to whatever offending behavior caused it:) so I had to head to the ER.

I know just enough to be dangerous, so I knew that it could either be completely benign or something that could cause me to drop on the spot. There is no way to tell just by "feeling", because you can't "feel" which heart chamber is goofy. Atrium...not too bad, ventricle....pretty darn bad.

I am fine. It turned out that for some reason my potassium was quite low (eat your bananas people) and it caused the electrical disruption. Unfortunately, the ER doc, who is yet ANOTHER friend (I know more medical people than one human should be allowed to associate with) insisted that I follow up with a cardiologist this coming week.

It's only Christmas week and I have to finish shopping, start and finish baking, wrap, and oh, yeah..work too. Not a problem doc...I can slip on that monitor and run like the wind.

So folks, if you have a hangnail and head to the ER, just casually mention the word arrhythmia and you will be in a bed faster than you can say cardiac arrest.

(Big D told me that the person they shuttled to the waiting area to triage me, was PISSED and bitched about having to wait the couple minutes it took to process my immediate need......the kicker, she was there for a pain in her foot that she has had for the last 3 weeks, that she was very loud and vocal about (no privacy laws broken here folks)......health care in reform phfft. )

Oh, and as promised the story of S2's crazy stalkers is in the works....just been a little busy.

6 comments:

My Aimless Infatuation said...

Hope you stay well,I know that can be very scary. I think all the drug addicts out there have really figured out the secret to getting seen immediately.........be brought in by ambulance,they want their fix fast.

Comedy Writer Jerry Perisho said...

OHN... Glad you are OK. Stop worrying about that other stuff and take care of yourself. Take care of your heart now, and you can do all those Christmas activities next year.

Frau said...

You need to slow down and relax! I'm glad you are okay but seriously take it easy! Have a wonderful weekend.

*mary* said...

I hate the ER! Glad you are okay. I still have EVERYTHING left to do before Christmas.

Jen Anderson said...

I'm so glad you're OK. But PLEASE don't encourage people to say they have trouble breathing or chest pains when they don't. Not even in jest. Yes, they're seen quickly, but then they have loads of expensive tests done which costs them money, as well as their insurance company.

I was a volunteer EMT and when I was doing ER time during my training, I helped with triage. A guy with an injured foot hopped back up to the window and asked why people who arrived after him were being seen first. I explained that we had to take the people who were in danger of dying first, so he should be glad that he wasn't in such bad shape that we took him right away. He totally got it after that and went back to his seat.

Would you want to have treatment for your heart problem delayed because the doctors and nurses are busy verifying that a person who just wanted attention isn't actually having a heart attack?

Oh, and taking an ambulance doesn't get you seen any faster. It just has you waiting on a stretcher instead of in the waiting room.

OHN said...

Jen..yes, I was kidding. I have taken my kids to the ER for stitches etc, and waited for hours and hours, patiently, FULLY understanding that cardiac etc patients must be taken care of first.
This just happened to be the first time I have had an issue leading me to the ER and I was fast-tracked so quickly it made my head spin.
I would never seriously tell anyone to fake an illness to be seen sooner.....though I know many people do. (I also worked in the cardiology dept of the ER, so I totally understand the expense etc.)