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I had been sick for about a week. My heart rate was high, my fever was up. I wasn't happy. So about 9 pm I called Phil and asked him to take me to the hospital. On the way over to our regular haunt, I asked him to redirect to the local "rich person hospital" because the line's always so long where we're regulars.

So glad we changed directions! It was amazing. I got there and Phil took me in. By the time he parked the car I had a bed in the ER. Within 20 minutes I had had my blood work, chest xray, head CT, and was waiting for results. I was in a room instead of a hallway. I had TV. Phil and I were watching football (figured the guy deserved it).

Eventually they came back and said nothing was wrong with me and I could go, Phil pushed back and the Dr. said she'd admit me. It took about two hours to get admitted, much shorter than any other admitting process I've ever been through.

A doctor came and took some stats and I got an Rx for what amounted to Nyquil and water. Eventually I got upstairs. During transport I got to see some pretty cool glittery tiles they have on their hallway ceilings.

Once I was on the floor I had a chance to sleep. I woke up at about 4am because I couldn't breathe. They gave me some drugs and back to sleep I went. At about 6 I woke up again because my arm hurt. It was huge, obviously my vein had blown and the fluid was filling up my arm. I hit the call button but no one came to fix it so I stopped the flow and tried to go back to sleep (but didn't). An hour or so later a nurse said she'd pull it out, but forgot. Wasn't too worried, now that the flow was off, it didn't matter too too much and eventually the fluid would disperse.

Eventually the doctor came to see me - he noticed my labs showed I had an infection (for me that could trigger this kind of episode) and pulled out the IV. Couple of days on antibiotics later, I was ok and on my way to CA.

I find it a bit ridiculous that my "best" hospital experience was one where it took them 3 hours to pull out a busted IV. What I find even more ridiculous was I had been in a primary care clinic three days before (I'll forgive the ER oversight since they eventually figured it out...). All they had to do was run a simple test and it would have saved me three days of being totally floored and a trip to the ER. A simple oversight cost the health system thousands of dollars. But that's a rant for another day.

But like seriously, my arm...

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So it finally happened. I passed out at work. On my way back from a seminar in the Switzer building I passed out. When I came to, Farzad Mostashari was checking my pulse. I remember looking up at his bow tie and kinda freaking out (It's an awesome bow tie and all, but he's kinda a big deal...). Then he was yelling my medical history across the parking lot at HHS. To I guess, the rest of his people, I think they're pretty much all doctors. Such a dignified moment for me.

Anyways, as this was the first time this happened at work, people pretty much insisted that I go to the hospital. Considering there were at least 10 doctors standing around, I figured they must be right (and if not, best to peace out ASAP!). ]I got a room in the ER where they did a standard workup. It checked out (as always). After about 4 hours I got moved to the hall. Sat there for a few hours. All of the sudden I get told that I have a visitor. I was expecting my "multiple delegates" from school, but not Wil and Sachin. For all their suits and hard work, those ONC guys are good people.

At this point I had been admitted and was waiting for a room. Just after Wil and Sachin left, some guy called me a "cracker ass ho" and let me know there was no possible way I could actually have health problems. He was laying on a gurney not even a foot from me and making my head hurt like hell since I had smacked it a few times since getting to the ER. It was at this point, Phil, Karen, and Matt came to visit and brought me a Happy Meal (best friends ever!). I remember hugging Matt and not wanting to let go. I wanted someone, anyone to hold on to.

Eventually my head hurt so bad that I left a note on my bed and found an empty waiting room and just sat for a minute. Unfortunately a resident found me. Apparently I wasn't supposed to be out of bed or off the monitor. But my head hurt so much and the guy yelling was just making it worse. Plus, the monitor was out of batteries and wasn't recording anything anyways.

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Upon making it back to the ER (we're at hour 12 here...), the resident put me in another room. Finally quiet. Five minutes later my bed was ready. Guess that just goes to show that when you give up, you get what you were waiting for.

Anyways, got my telemetry bed at 2Am. Finally got to sleep. Then rounding at 6. At 10 we had the cardiology teaching contingent. All 5,000 of them. So stressful to have all of these people in my room. The head pontificated saying there was nothing he could do.

I immediately lost it. I could have gone home the day before. Hours and hours of my life were wasted. I was yelled at. My head hurt. My friends could have taken me home hours before. I could have been home, asleep. But instead I had been convinced that someone was going to help me.

So I left. Unfortunately I didn't make it far. I made it to the exit and ended up half conscious on the stairs exiting the hospital. They called rapid response and took me back to my room. I remember the cleaning lady saying my bed wasn't clean, but they told her it was mine. I definitely wasn't being logical. It's weird that whole occurrence seems like a dream, as if I were under water for the whole thing.

An hour later I called Phil. I was so broken down I was crying, begging him to come get me. I didn't want to be there. Two hours later the neurology guys came to see me and seemed to have a remedy for what ailed me (had I known they were coming I wouldn't have checked myself out -- communication FAIL!).

Karen and Phil came to get me about 2PM. I wanted to go to school. They vetoed that idea (mom and dad are smart!). I had energy for about five minutes while Phil made sure that I got paper copies of my neurology session. Once I was back in my bed I started to crash. Transport got me to the lobby and had to leave before Phil got his car around. By the time they got me in the backseat, I was half conscious again.

I remember Phil and Karen getting Chinese food. They tried to feed me but I wasn't hungry. Then they took me home. My body wouldn't keep a temperature. First I was hot. then I was cold. They were worried. For the life of me, can't figure out why I got discharged. Phil wanted to check me back in, but eventually it was all good again.

No solutions, just a wasted night. But, hey, at least I had my people.

calstanford

As always, I never cease to freak doctors out. When I was at Stanfurd this past week, I had the misfortune of passing out as I left cardiology. After passing out I, of course, tried to escape and consequently hit my head on a tree. Then THIRTY doctors RAN at me. With a crash cart. In the rain. It was ridiculous—I think all the interns wanted me to die. You should have seen how crestfallen they were when I didn’t have to be shocked. (more…)