Monday, August 1, 2011

Lessons Learned at the ER

My town is killing my friends. I feel like the last two times they've come they've had to deal with heat-related maladies and exhaustion in various stages. This time it was both. A group of us went out camping at Blue Mounds State Park (Excellent spot for the beginner camper as it has showers, a pool, and flush toilets. Yeah, we spoiled ourselves this weekend.). We came back from a short hike Saturday morning to take naps, and only to wake up and find that our friend, Lindsey, was sweating profusely and puking up everything that had been or would be in her stomach. We all jumped in the cars and headed for my apartment - a quick drive back into town - to cool her off. When we all realized that Lindsey couldn't keep down liquids, her husband and I made the trip with her to the ER.

I think that if I ever decide I'd like to change career paths, I'm going to see what it takes to become a receptionist/nurse in the ER. I had opted to give Lindsey and her husband a bit of space before I went barging into the room, so I sat in the waiting room watching the comings and goings. Most of it was fairly normal: a guy with a swollen leg, a man suffering an allergic reaction, and several new moms with their newborns panicking over their baby coughing once. But the best by far, was the GIANT man to emerge from the treatment rooms. No hair. No clothes. Very large toga.

Apparently, there was an outdoor rock festival going on just down the road and the ER had been getting people in from their all day suffering from heat exhaustion, way too much alcohol, and/or broken/twisted limbs. It looked like toga man was a victim of the first two because when his friends came in to pick him up he was saying, "It was the heat man! And probably those six beers I drank... I don't even remember how I got over here!" He was the only patient left and there was no TV on, so my eyes kept gravitating back to the construction of the toga and down his side where I don't remember seeing any pants. I decided it was a good time to go visit Lindsey - before my eyes traveled too far.

Lindsey ended up being fine. The doctor had her hooked up to an IV with fluid getting into her system, and she got medication for her nausea and headaches. It was nice of them to give her meds for that, but it's amazing that a trip to McDonald's and plenty of sleep works just as well. Go holistic medicine! So what did we learn from this?

Lesson learned by me: ER waiting rooms are boring and yet highly entertaining - figure out how to work in one.
Lesson learned by Lindsey: On a hot day drink water even when you're not thirsty.
Lesson learned by toga man: Beer does not substitute for water, and you better be fine with the outfit you're wearing because while they'll provide medication, CAT scans and ice packs, the ER will not provide clothes.



Celia said...

I'm so glad your friend is ok! I have sent you an are one of my blog giveaway winners!

Anonymous said...

The ER is always an interesting place, especially in the Summertime at the Jersey Shore. Ahhhhhhhhh, the stories I could tell.