Wednesday, November 2, 2011

Call 911, EMT Response, and ER Etiquette

The Accident
     Tuesday morning did not start out well at all.  Our alarm went off, and a few minutes later Kevin tried to walk down the hall.  He was feeling dizzy so he leaned against the doorframe.  The next thing he knew he was falling.  I heard a terrible thud in the hallway and came running.  He’d fallen face down on the hardwood floor and was bleeding from his head.  Fortunately, my husband was still conscious.  Unfortunately that meant he heard me yell when I saw him as I ran for something to press on the bleeding cut.  There was blood running down his face and splattered on the floor. I couldn’t tell how deep the cut was, but it looked deep enough that I needed to call 911, so I did.  First time the call wouldn’t go through. Second time it worked.  Apparently this was a foreshadowing of the slow progress to come.    

EMT Response Part I
     I’m not sure how long it took the ambulance to make it to our building, but I know it took the two EMTs a long time to make up to our place.  They were still out in the street messing with different gear when I came down the first time to see if they’d arrived and needed help getting in.  I thought another EMT with a greater sense of urgency may have come in another entrance, but one hadn’t. 
     I motioned for them to come in, but they took their time.  I still don’t understand why they didn’t come up with minimal gear at first and check to see how bad the bleeding was.  Instead they were out in the hallway, asking me if the elevator in front of them is the only one the building has.  I answered their questions and had to listen to the male medic say a number of times that he couldn’t figure out how we’d moved into our place.  The elevator is small and can’t fit much in it.  So what, my husband’s upstairs with low blood sugar and his head’s bleeding.  This is not the time to discuss minor modern marvels. 

EMT Response Part II

     I had to keep running back and forth to check on Kevin to make sure he hadn’t tried to get up or stop applying pressure to the cut.  His sugar was low, but I didn’t know how low, and therefore needed to keep an eye on him for that reason as well. 
    Eventually after checking his vitals, blood pressure, and his sugar, the man looked at the cut on his forehead and determined it was definitely deep enough to warrant stitches.  He wouldn’t let Kevin eat or drink anything, so I was hoping they’d start moving a bit faster, so they could get him on an IV before dangerously low blood sugar became a pressing problem. 

EMT Response Part III
     They strapped him onto the stretcher and wheeled him out to the ambulance, telling me it would be a few more minutes before they left because they wanted to get the IV started.  I had time to call my mom and let her know what was going on and text our best friend to ask for prayers then I still had to wait a few more minutes before they opened the doors.  I’m not sure what possessed the man to ask me if I was planning on meeting them at the hospital, but I didn’t stick around to find out.  I shouted, “Of course!” on the way to my car.

Bring in the Mom Squad
     I parked and was told I couldn’t go back with him.  Fortunately, one of my primary moral support in a crisis providers had already arrived.  My mom and I sat in the waiting room as they got Kevin situated.  Well-versed in crisis management, hospital waiting rooms, and being present as moral support, I was so very, very grateful to have her there.    
     Later, she went to our apartment to get Kevin shoes and a coat, then she stopped and got us breakfast from Einstein’s.  When she walked in with everything, I told her I don’t know what I’d do without her, and under the circumstances, I didn’t even want to think about the prospect. 

Who Let the Dog Out?
     A woman came in holding a little dog, might have been a Yorkshire Terrier or some other small, cutesy, lapdog who was dressed and under a blanket.  The receptionist informed her that the dog isn’t allowed in the hospital.  The woman insisted it was a service dog that she’d been allowed to keep with her at the rehabilitation center from which she and her mom had just come. 
     There are few dogs I’ve seen that look less like they could provide any service than this one did.  The woman had a seat in the waiting room and put the dog on her lap.  Momentarily two other attendants came out and told her the dog couldn’t be there.  Again given the “service dog” story, the gentleman asked what sort of condition she needed a service dog for.  “The dog keeps me calm,” she said in a very agitated voice, followed by some comment about how they weren’t supposed to be asking her all these questions.  Apparently, yippy skippy wasn’t very efficient, because the lady had already lost any semblance of calm.   
     Eventually the woman took her dog outside saying that she’d call her doctor to have the papers sent over, but that their office wasn’t open yet.  A few minutes later, I approached the desk and asked if I could go back and see Kevin, yet.  The receptionist called back, and they said it would be about ten more minutes.  I nodded and went to go sit down, then turned on my heel and asked the receptionist if I should go and get my dog while I waited.  She made some sort of “don’t even” comment, but I did get her to smile at least. 

     After Kevin had gotten stitches, Mom had gone to our place to get Kevin shoes and a coat, and to Einstein’s to get us breakfast, he was ready to be discharged.  On the way out to the car, I made a comment on how the bandaged head look would have been more appropriate yesterday on Halloween. 
     “Look, a Buffalo Bills sticker,” Kevin said, pointing to the car next to us. 
     “Another Buffalo Bills fan in Virginia?” I said.  “It must be a figment of your imagination.  You hit your head and now you’re seeing things.” 

Shall We Dance?
     Upon waking from his first nap of the day, Kevin asked me if I knew the Peanut Butter Jelly Time Dance.  He said one of his coworkers had played it on his computer the other day and it was hilarious.  I asked him if he was referring to the Peanut Butter and Jelly song, as in “first you take the peanuts and you crush’em…,” but he said that wasn’t it.  Thank goodness for Youtube.  I located the version he meant, played it, and we both laughed.  
     “I’m wiggling my eyebrows at you,” Kevin informed me.
     “I think you should limit your eyebrow activity at this point,” I replied.
Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...