Wednesday, March 2, 2011

Defining An Emergency

Have you ever been to an emergency room? Not have you seen the tv show ER, not did you watch Chicago Hope, Greys Anatomy, or any other show related to the medical profession. Have you actually been to one? I spent the evening there recently after slicing a bit of the tip of my finger off while attempting to prepare dinner. The ER? Is full of sick people and some of your garden variety crazies. There I said it. It's out there for the entirety of cyber space to read.

I think to fully understand we should define the word emergency. Merriam Webster defines an emergency as a. an unforeseen combination of circumstances or the resulting state that calls for immediate action or b. an urgent need for assistance or relief. I think we can define it as a. you are oozing blood from a body part that isn't supposed to do that. b. you have been in an accident and need to be checked by emergency personnel for broken body parts or concussion. c. you may be having a heart attack as you have a shooting pain down your left arm and your chest feels tight. d. any other blood related, can't breathe, vital organ malfunctioning, life flashing before your eyes kind of circumstance.

What an emergency is not a. you have flu like symptoms and are too lazy to call the doctor to make an appointment. b. you have a splinter you cannot get out. c. you are coughing and you are not coughing up blood but are just really annoying. d. you vomited once and have flu like symptoms and no blood is involved.

I think we can safely say that if there is blood, a lack of air coming into your body, a broken something, a hole somewhere there shouldn't be one or something protruding from somewhere it should not, heart issues, or any other vital organ issue THAT is an emergency. Flu or coughing cold is NOT an emergency and is better left to a family practioner.

When I was in the ER it was the coughing cold/flu brigade. Thank the Lord that the tetanus shot they gave me also included the stuff for whooping cough or we could probably just throw the towel in right now. It was crazy! All these people with face masks to cover the cough they have probably had for weeks and only now decided they had nothing better to do than go to the ER. Joy that it is! I however, had other things to do and spent over two hours out of my life there that I'll never get back. I was certain that the hotty hubby could just bandage me up and I would be fine, he on the other hand felt differently about it so to the ER we went.

To the average outsider I probably do not look like I do much. I assure you that I have many irons in the fire. Juggling them all at the same time apparently didn't work out so well recently, obviously. A short list of irons: 1. three kids, 2. hotty hubby, 3. house upkeep, 4. caring and helping out friends and family, 5. two MOPS groups, 6. this week helping with a school book fair. 7. Also this week includes two funerals. So as you see while I do not have curing cancer or any other life changing items on the list I do not have time for a messed up rotator cuff, a sore throat/cold, or cutting off pieces of flesh. So after I went to the ER I went to the doctor to verify that I did not have strep that the shoulder was not going to need surgery (Imagine!), and that the finger would heal. I called at 8 a.m. and was in at 9:45 a.m. barely read a page out of the book I had brought, when they called me back. Where I informed the doctor and nurse that they needed to fix me up, stitch me up, or give me a shot of something because while they were very nice people I did not have time for this! They laughed and said they would do their best.

It was not a complicated thing to call and get into the doctor. So consider this a public service message to all those who have nothing better to do that spend an evening watching free tv and sitting around coughing in an ER waiting room, then complaining the entire time they are back there about how slow the service is. YOU are the problem! For the love of Pete pick up a phone and call the doctor and make an appointment. That way the people who have an actual emergency can get the help they need in a timely manner and as an added bonus you don't suck the life out of those who have dedicated their lives to helping others. Thank you!

No comments: