Tuesday, February 24, 2009

A day at the ER

Yesterday was a fun day spent at the ER. Rebecca called me at work at 10:30 saying she was in intense pain and thought she needed to go to the hospital. I left work and quickly came home. She was having intense pain (she said it was worse than labor) in her back and abdomen.

So, we ended up going to the hospital. Seven hours later, we got the diagnosis we were expecting...kidney stones. She's not the type that does anything easy, however. She has them on both sides, and one of them is larger than normal...so it might not pass. I took today off from work to make sure the oldest got to school, and to keep an eye on the youngest, while I keep Rebecca doped up on pain killers.

Seven hours seems a bit ridiculous for a Monday afternoon at the ER. I know they have a triage system set up, but I don't think it works. There were a lot of people that got in before us who didn't even look like they were in pain...whereas she doubled up several times while we were waiting. If she'd had a severe kidney infection, those extra hours of waiting might have made a big difference in the final outcome.

After she was discharged, we went to get her prescriptions filled...that was the next part of the ridiculous day. Her anti-nausea prescription was $110 for 15 pills...and that was with insurance!!! Something tells me socialized medicine might not necessarily be a bad thing. The funniest thing about it was that her highly addictive narcotic pain killer was only $5. Yeah, the American health care system really works. I hate to imagine how much all of this would have cost us if it had been me...I don't have insurance. Even with her insurance, I'm sure this is going to set us back quite a bit.

The one sad part of the night was while she was in her room waiting, I saw the police bring a girl in who was probably 13 or 14. She was cuffed, and because they didn't have any empty beds, they were questioning her and giving her a breathalyzer in the hallway. I think she'd attempted suicide. In the two plus hours we were in the room, I never saw her parents show up...that's the biggest tragedy of all...

1 comment:

Jim Shannon said...

Glad to her Rebecca is feeling better J.

As for socialized medicine there's the good the bad and the ugly. The good is that we don't in most cases pay for a lot of things but we still have to pay for an ambulance ride out of pocket. The bad, long waiting lists. If you need an MRI for example it's a good 6 weeks. The ugly, here in Alberta we have to pay. In most provinces the province pays.