Last Friday I spent the evening in the emergency room. Always a pleasant experience.
As many of you already know, I recently had my 6th hip surgery. They removed all of my hardware (except that stray screw if you recall) and I’ve been off of crutches for about 3 weeks. Well last Friday I woke up and started walking around–just like any other day–when suddenly I found myself doubled over in pain. Every step that I took literally took my breath away.
The first thought that came to mind was: “I have never felt anything like this before.”
One problem: I have. Twice actually. Both times the pain was determined to be the result of a stress fracture. Both times the result was life-changing. Needless to say, this kind of pain stirs a fear within me. Apparently it also stirred a fear in my physical therapist, my physical therapist assistant, and my orthopedic surgeon. By the end of the day, all 3 sent me straight to the ER for testing.
The ER is not a happy place to be. No one wants to be there and anyone who is there is either sick or injured. Basically, everyone in the ER usually has an excellent reason to be miserable, so they are. Plus–even though I know it’s not true–it usually feels like the ER staff does everything they can to extend the length of your misery.
We left the house at 5:00 pm and got home around 1:30 Saturday morning. By the time I got discharged, I had come up with a new list of the…
5 Things You Never Want to Hear From Your ER Staff
- “Just Google it.” Seriously. The PA told me that she can never remember where potassium comes from; she usually has to Google it. From that moment forward I had complete confidence in her medical competence.
- “I’m here to take you for your CT scan.” This one might seem innocent at first, except…I’d already been taken for a CT scan. And the fact that this happened twice? Totally reassuring.
- “You should have just called you doctor.” I did. He sent me to you. I know, what was he thinking?!?!
- “Remember to hop when you use your crutches.” This goes against EVERY lesson on using crutches known to man. You NEVER hop. Even when you’re non-weightbearing, you are still supposed to go through the stepping motion. Hopping while using crutches is a beginner’s error and can further complicate any injury. This is the worst advice ever.
- “Just try not to fall.” Oh. My. Gosh. First of all, I can’t even begin to count the number of time I’ve been told this one. Second of all…really, who actually TRIES to fall. The statement “try not to fall” implies that, for some reason, I was previously trying TO fall. What a pointless, insulting statement that makes me want to trip you with my crutch so that, when you get up, I can tell you, “Oh, please, just try not to fall again, ok?”
I’m not a heartless person. I know that pain and illness makes people irritable and impatient. My mom was an ER nurse for years, so I appreciate the drama that the ER staff endures on a nightly basis. My CT scan and ultrasound came back clean; no stress fracture and no blood clot. I’m really no worse for the wear. But seriously…”just Google it”?!?!
What is the strangest thing that has ever been said to you by a medical professional?
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