Editor, The News:
On Friday, June 14, around 6 a.m., I was woken up by pain in my lower abdomen.
My first thought was appendicitis. My clinic didn’t open until 9 a.m., so I decided to see what the emergency room at Ridge Meadows Hospital could do.
I drove to the hospital and paid $6.50 for parking, then went to the emergency ward. I was in pain, not thinking clearly and feeling weak and sweaty.
The admissions clerk asked how she could help me. I asked to see a doctor as I was in pain and thought it might be appendicitis.
She quickly took down my information, then had me sit in the waiting room. Shortly after, another employee called me into the assessment room. She took basic vital signs and more details of my situation, asked for a urine sample and had me wait fora doctor.
Dr. Kelly arrived in about five minutes and further consultation took place. She, too, asked me to describe my condition while performing an examination with a cool portable ultra-sound machine and palpitated my abdomen (appendix or other problem).
She ordered a peripheral vascular catheter installed in preparation for additional procedures. One nurse drew blood while the other inserted the PVC.
The PVC didn’t work in my left hand and the nurse explained why. She then inserted it into my right hand while explaining that, while in distress, it can be a little harder to insert the PVC.
In a matter of minutes, she had it inserted and taped in place. A bit uncomfortable, but the entire time, the staff continued to explain what and why.
I received medication through the catheter, as well as one tablet. In about 15 minutes, the pain began to abate.
Within 30 minutes, I felt completely fine and a bit of a fool. It couldn’t be that serious if one pill fixed everything and I was wasting their valuable time.
Dr. Kelly returned and went over the results. Her conclusion was a kidney stone. She stated there were micro-blood components in my urine and that indicated it might be kidney stones.
She clearly and concisely explained the medication was to dilate the ureters (not a narcotic of any sort) and facilitate passing the stone. She felt it had moved into my bladder and that was why the pain ceased and I would now pass the stone.
She gave me a filter to capture the stone when I next urinated, but I forgot.
She also had the nurses redo my blood pressure and pulse rate, as when I came into the ward they were far outside the ‘normal’ parameters. Everything came back fine this time.
At this point, I had all the attached equipment removed (the tape pulling hair hurt more than the original insertion of the PVC), was released from ER and Dr. Kelly advised me if the pain came back within 24 hours to return the ER for more work.
The point of this dissertation?
Negative: the ridiculous parking fees.
Positive: all staff members were polite, courteous and informative, and at no time did I feel ignored or unimportant.
Each member that interacted with me communicated what they were doing, why and what to expect. Aside from the pain that sent me there, it was a comforting experience – treated as a person with a problem, and not a problem with a human attached.
Thank you to Dr. Kelly and all the support staff.