Emergency Room Wisdom (The Saga Continues)

Emergency Room Wisdom (The Saga Continues)

Based on my wildly popular emergency room series, I accompanied a good friend of mine to my favourite place on earth. Not Disney. Emerg! We got there at 745pm and left at 3 something in the morning. I learned plenty and, as always, when I learn something new, I like to share with my peeps. I truly did not know there was any more left to learn or experience in an emergency room, but I was pleasantly surprised.

My friend and I had a fabulous time playing the ‘what’s his ailment’ game. My favourite participant was a gentleman who had injured his hand somehow based on the gauze he had haphazardly wrapped around it and the fact that he kept his hand high above his head the whole time we were there. Every time we asked each other what we thought so-and-so had, we knew he had the answer because he had his hand raised. It made for endless laughs.

We have discovered that the newest form of transportation is not Uber, it is ambulance. The ambulances kept coming and there was nowhere else to walk in the halls. At one point there were 8 ambulance beds and 16 attendants in that hall. Some of the inhabitants of these stretchers were young people texting their friends and flirting with the ambulance attendants. I think a general rule is that if you can chew gum, you should not have called an ambulance. These patients did not seem in pain, distressed or even feverish. Two such women had rolled their ankle and called 911 instead of grabbing a cab or calling a friend. Guess the $75 ambulance fee is cheaper than Uber and they got seen sooner than we did. Maybe I will keep that in mind.

If you listen to what some of the people say it can be down-right hilarious. “Where’s the probe?” “I want to check your backside with a finger.” (did he really mean want?) “Are you wearing pants right now?” “I have a thing about keeping my socks on.” “Are you wearing a bra?” “He was planning on kidnapping me which is why I left.”

That brings me to my favourite patient of the night. She was writhing and squirming and the staff knew her by name when she arrived (always a good sign). She was in her 20s and clearly coming down from some high. She arrived just after we had, checked in and sat for approximately 3 minutes before disappearing for, what I thought, was a smoke. Half an hour later she came in by ambulance, because Uber was going to be 35 minutes, and they had her strapped in. She proceeded to be the first of the screamers for the night and talked about the kidnapping and murdering and running. If you had not seen who the noise was coming from, you would be nervous that you were in the states in some school.

This brings me to the second screamer. She was a teen who had been brought in by ambulance and she was distraught, mostly because I think she was going to be in trouble. She was screaming ‘what’s going on’ and some 80+ lady who was there with her friend (also 80+ and apparently wearing a bra according to the previous question), held her hand and comforted her.

My number one takeaway is that Metamucil is not doing a good enough job of promoting themselves and keeping our emergency rooms clear of poop shoot x-rays. Really, people were going to emergency for constipation at 2am. You know what they are going to do to you in emergency right? They are going to jam a digit up your butt hole. Never mind, I might have just figured out why people are going to emerg in the middle of the night. Ick.

By the way, my friend had a very scary night, but it turned out to be just what the doctor ordered and there were no probes or digits that entered any orifice, so I’d say she won emergency.

I hope everyone had a happy holiday. We only had one other trip to emergency besides this one but that is for another day…


  1. You can do a whole book on emergency room visits! Something to think about! So, you can tell me…….the other emergency room visit, was it for you? Have a HEALTHY and happy New Year, and leave the emergency rooms alone for a while.

  2. That sounds totally nightmarish! I just hope those doctors wash their hands afterwards.

  3. When I saw that this was another Emergency Room post, my first thought was, “Oh good Lord, what has she done now?”. I”m glad that you weren’t the victim this time. Emphasis on “this time”. It is a brand new year! Kidding. I hope your ER punch card gets no more punches in 2016, but then again, you’re probably eligible for a free visit after your next card punch. It’s kind of a dilemma, isn’t it? 😉

  4. After all that I’m glad you made it out of the emergency room alive. I’ll have to remember that ambulances are faster than Uber, although I’d like to know how the rates compare.
    Christopher recently posted…Well-Seasoned.My Profile

  5. […] I alluded to being in emergency again just before Christmas… Here’s the story and why I gave up Diet Coke for a New […]

  6. Visiting the ER when you don’t have a real emergency is a pet peeve of mine. I work in the medical field and see this kind of thing all the time. Not only does it back up care for patients who really DO have an emergency, but it is expensive for everyone involved. Emergency rooms cannot refuse care to a patient – whether or not the patient has the ability to pay or not. I heartily support this – IF a patient has a real emergency. But coming to the ER because you have a cold and couldn’t be see that day with your primary doc (that is what urgent care centers are for, folks!) or taking an ambulance to the ER for cough because you don’t have insurance and have no intention of ever paying your bill (and you know that the ER won’t charge you up front) is just ludicrous. If the ER could triage these types of patients to make sure they don’t have a real medical issue and then tell them they need to be seen at an urgent care or with their primary doc, it would make things so much easier for everyone involved. And then there are the addicted patients who use the ER to get their narcotics – that’s a whole ‘nother issue.

    Also, I’m outraged that your ER would see someone first just because they arrived via ambulance. They should have been triaged and then made to wait for care as appropriate (which is how it is done in most ERs). Obviously, if you have someone come in who is having a stroke, heart attack, or is bleeding like crazy, then those people need to move to the head of the line – but if someone is using an ambulance to get more speedy care when they are not having an emergency, then they should wait their turn. But glad you were able to get some entertainment value out of the whole ordeal while you waited!
    Jana recently posted…The Dream JobMy Profile

    • In Canada (at least in Ontario), the ambulance attendants can’t leave the side of their patient until they are properly transferred to a doctor. Same if they come in by police or fire. That is why they get priority–so the attendants can get out and get on with real emergencies.
      I once was the person calling 911 for a kid who needed, as it turned out, 11 exterior stitches in his leg 1mm from the artery and they had to poke some of him back in the hole. He was going into shock and clearly in pain and unable to walk. We waited for 40 minutes on that cold sidewalk while I held his wound with one hand and got updates from the 911 operator on my phone with the other. All ambulances assigned to the area were stuck at the hospital and unable to respond. I contemplated putting a stranger’s kid in my car and taking him in myself but thought that would be bad all around and hard to explain. As it is, the kid was on crutches for 3 weeks and his bike was in my garage for 3 months. That’s another story.
      My brother has thousands of stories as a firefighter where people are really just wanting a transfer to hospital for a runny nose and they don’t call a cab, they call 911. He’s become even more jaded over the years as a result.

  7. […] chose the following because they made me laugh. Lots made me laugh including the Dead Series and my Emergency Room shenanigans but these posts were my […]

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