A few years ago, I woke up in the middle of the night, shaking and unable to stay warm, no matter what I did.
The first thought – check my blood sugar. You know you’re a diabetic when…
So, I did that. And it was extremely low. Like 2.0 low (for Americans…multiply by 18). Anyways, I guzzled juice and hoped for the best. No such luck. After a little bit, I tested again…and my sugar was dropping. Thea’s not good. AT this point, I also decided it might be a good idea to vomit. So, seeing as I couldn’t keep anything down, off to the emergency room we went. Luckily, I got in right away. They tested my sugar, gave me some glucagon (I don’t like the stuff…but it does work) and took me into a room almost right away. That’s almost unheard of in the emergency rooms here. Maybe it was because it was 2:00 am. I don’t know.
When they got me into the room, the nurses noticed on the monitor that my pulse rate was through the room, so they did an EKG. That came back normal…except for the faster than normal pulse, which we accounted to the insanity that was going on. My oxygen levels were good (which is a bonus…I’ve been on a nasal canula before and it isn’t much fun…though helpful when you need it). Eventually, after I had been poked and prodded and had an IV lock put in, the ER doctor came in. She was wearing a tiara. And no, it wasn’t a hallucination…my parents saw it too. I guess he had worked a long shift. She ordered some blood work and had a specialist come see me. I thought he was an endocrinologist…but he was actually an internist. Weird. So, he ordered more tests and told me I would probably be admitted…if they could find me a bed. What fun! After that, the nurses tried to get me to eat but I was still too sick and managed to yet again vomit…on myself. We did try to get an emisis basin…but that was a loosing cause. So, they got to change my hospital shirt. At least it wasn’t my clothing…I guess.
After a while, they came and said I had to be moved, because they needed the room. But I couldn’t be admitted yet, because they didn’t have a room. And in fact, I may not be admitted at all, and would instead spend my time in the ER. Joy. So, off I went to what they called the waiting ward. It was basically an area of the ER where you just…waited. They did eventually bring me lunch, and I was able to eat it. Victory.
After I had been in the emergency room from about 2 am – 2 pm, they eventually came and said there was a room for me. But instead of letting me walk up to the ward (I had walked from the room in the ER to the waiting ward), they said I had to travel by gurney. I was okay with that. It just meant a free ride. So, off we went to the ward. One of the LPN’s came, told me I was on a ward (which I thought was an odd thing to say) and gave me a brochure to read about my rights. I was in a private room, which was nice. And unexpected.
As the shifts came and went, I started to see the same people. There was a board up in the room that had a bunch of information on it, and one was “What you can expect”. I really wanted to put “Bad Food and Boredom”. I told one of my nurses that and she suggested I add “Beautiful Nurses” to my list of B’s I was to expect. I ended up staying in that room for a couple days, and then getting moved to another room because they needed the one I was in for someone else. I don’t actually know why I was on that ward…I think it was just somewhere they could find to put me.
I had a few friends come up and see me (and more sent texts because they had to work). I had a few books to read (and got through them way too fast). I actually had to ask to have my IV taken out, seeing as they had taken away the saline they were giving me and again, all I had in was the IV lock. By the time I got it taken out, I became an exam for an LPN student…so not only did I have the student taking out the IV, but her instructor was there as well. That was fun. I’d told one of my nurses (and the doctor) that I was going to take it out myself if they didn’t, so that may have sped thing up a bit.
When I finally got home, I was just glad to not be in a hospital anymore. A few days later I got a letter from the health region asking me to grade them. More or less, they did fine, However, I kind of wish I had thought to say that the doctor kept me in for extra days just because he was waiting for some test results that I didn’t need to be there for. He could have called me back had there been any problems. And by keeping me in, it was using up healthcare dollars. Yes, in Canada, we have “free” healthcare…but it still gets paid for somehow.