This poor woman looks about like I feel right now.
We are starting out 2012 with some memorable experiences:
A few evenings ago we took a wild ride in a Volunteer Rescue truck-ambulance. Jim was strapped to a stretcher and the stretcher was locked onto the floor of the truck. Me - I was strapped into an upright seat riding backwards as the ambulance bumped and lurched up and down metro Washington streets toward Sibley Hospital making me slightly nauseous. It felt like riding a worn out carnival attraction. Except - - there were four really capable folks in charge taking care of the situation. And, I was glad to be with them.
Why did I call an ambulance instead of driving him myself? Well, not because I wanted this excitement or a scene outside our front door when the ambulance - with red lights flashing - drove up and spilled out the stretcher and the four EMT folks. I called them because Jim was in pain - severe pain - that was new - in his abdomen - we had no idea what it was - and I was afraid to take him in case something untoward would happen that I could not handle while I was driving. All the medical folks I have talked to have assured me I made the right decision. SO - - I am passing this along. Maybe our experience will serve you well some day.
Here are other bits of advice.
Take food when you go to an Emergency Room - because you are going to be there for a L O N G time - and by the time you think about your being hungry - all cafeterias will be closed and your only choices will be stale in a tall class snack machine. Oh, yes, hopefully you have change or you will be locked out of that food. I wish I had packed some sandwiches while we were waiting for the Rescue truck to arrive.
Take your toothbrush - you'll feel better eventually because you have it with you.
Take a computer - or iPad or anything else that will connect to the internet - so you can do work, read your email and Facebook or, hey, watch movies streaming on Netflix. Most hospitals have Wi Fi.
Take any medicines you take regularly in the evening if you are not the patient.
If you can, take a notebook and pen or pencil so you can catch the stories all around you.
In other words, remember the Scout Motto - BE PREPARED.
Posted by ELLOUISESTORY