Serving time in hospital.
Last week my heart rate elevated to 150 bpm. So I went to the emergency room which then led to a stay in the hospital. Like most people, I really did not expect to end up in a hospital bed. I thought the people at the emergency room would give me some more medication and I would be sent home.
To begin with, going to the emergency room is always an interesting event. Especially, during the pandemic of Covid 19. I thought that I would have to sit in a lobby and wait for a long time before my name would be called and I would be taken behind the front doors of the emergency room, back to a waiting room where I would spend another large amount of time waiting for a doctor to see me. Well, I found out that if you’re an old man with a heart condition you get quickly taken back to a room and seen by doctor. I was impressed with the amount of nurses that quickly attended to me. In short order a doctor showed up and after evaluating my situation, the decision was made by the doctor that I should go to the hospital. Up to that point, things happen very quickly. But after that decision was made, I spent a lot of time waiting for a bed to open in the hospital. I felt bad that I was taking up space in an emergency room. But, available hospital beds are hard to find due to the Covid 19 pandemic.
Once I was transferred to the hospital, I was greeted by some nurses and technicians as they took my vital signs. By the way, if you are headed to the emergency room or a hospital be sure to take all the medications that you have to take with you. It seems like every new step in getting into the hospital require somebody going over your medical history again and again. Since I’ve been to this hospital recently before I thought all they would have to do was check their records and ask if if there were any update. But it seems that there is no one central computer program that every stage of the event can access.
After the initial arrival at the hospital room, the wait begins for a doctor to come in and see me. This is the beginning of a normal routine. The nurses and technicians are in and out of your room on a regular basis. This makes it hard for you to get any sleep, but, I really appreciate the attention.
So after all the medical staff leaves a case manager arrives to make sure you have insurance and inform you of what is covered by the insurance. I it made me nervous while talking to the case manager as I wondered about the cost of it all.
This brings me to the thought of this blog. After several days of testing and waiting for the doctor to look at the test and then more testing and waiting for the doctor to look at the test, I was told that I was able to go home. This happened at about 10:00 AM. After which, I began my long wait before I could leave. If you been in this position, you know that they you will be waiting on the paperwork and the doctors final written order for you to go home. In my mind, I thought it would just take a couple of hours. But, my wife who has been with me through all of my hospital visit told me it would be a lot longer. And so the wait started. Every hour or so I would check with my nurse to see where I was in the process of being released. After about 4 hours I began to become pretty grumpy about the situation. As I told the nurse, I felt bad that I was taking up a hospital room just waiting for paperwork. As it turned out, the doctor, who was a training doctor at the hospital, had yet to look at the last test results taken at 7am that day. And so, neither the nurse or the technicians had any idea of when the Doctor would actually write the order that would allow me to leave the hospital.
At about the 6 hour mark, I felt like I should just get up, walk out and go home. But then I was reminded leaving the hospital without the doctor’s approval, that my insurance would not pay the hospital bill. So, there I stayed in the bed just waiting for the doctor’s orders to go home. For short time in my mind it was like serving time. The wait grew and grew , it even started getting to my wife patience. At one point I started walking to the door of the hospital room and looking out into the nurses’ station just to see if there was any action going on. In reality, it was my way of showing the nurse that my patience was growing thin. Somehow in my mind that I thought if they saw me standing at the door it would help them get the doctor to write the order. Of course, my actions had no effect whatsoever. As the clock started to reach 5:00 PM I finally got some indication from a nurse that the doctor was close to writing the order. My anticipation was very intense as I listened for any kind of footsteps near my door in hope that the order had come through. I even started staring at the bottom of the door to see if there’s in the shadows near it.
At about 5:30 PM the nurse indicated that the orders had been signed and now we started the process of taking all the needles and wiring off of my body. After which the nurse disappeared again for about 45 minutes before bringing all the paperwork for me to sign so I could go home.
After which, my nurse showed up in the room with a wheelchair with the offer of my sitting in that chair and her takings me to the exit of the hospital. I have done this before and quite honestly I would rather walk out. So, I asked the nurse if I could just walk out with my wife. She looked at my wife to get her approval and then gave me the okay.
I’m sure that many of you have shared this experience in the hospital. The positive part of all the medical care and the medicine that help to survive. The negative part of waiting for the doctors to look at the test and then finally getting an order that releases you back to your home.
Bring a lot of patience.
Serving time in hospital.