Friday, December 11, 2009

It wouldn't be a vacation without . . .

. . . a trip to the emergency room! All is well, and he's happy and in good spirits. Photos to follow. Oh, and it's Mike, not Landon, who ended up on the narrow bed in the hallway of the Los Robles Medical Center ER. He woke up yesterday morning, and he couldn't get his eyes to stop tracking across the room. He got up to use the bathroom and barely made it before he started dry heaving (ew. . .). Hallie was a trooper (she hates puke) and helped get Mike settled and comfortable.

She asked Elise (our SIL) about what she thought we should do, as Bryce (her husband and Hallie's bro) had had a spell of vertigo, and it looked like this is what Mike was experiencing. All Mike wanted to do was lie down as still as possible with the lights out. With a bile bucket available in the bedroom, he left the bathroom, upchucked a few more times, and lay down for an hour or so while Hallie looked up information on his vertigo symptoms.

Hallie then came into the room and said, "Mike, we're going to the Urgent Care. This is something you can't just sleep off." So, up Mike got up and used that trusty bucket one more time before we headed out to the Urgent Care. We got there and found out they don't take out-of-state insurance, so we then trekked to the Los Robles ER. This was Mike's first trip as an adult and easily his first trip in over 30 years to the ER, so he took it all in with fascinated curiosity. Yes, for the med students we know this is all old hat, but for those of us for whom "ER" means "Doctor TV Show," it was neat to see one in action.

As Mike was being admitted, he recognized one of the staff as someone he had known since elementary school. "Hi, Wayne. (Hallie, he knows me. Keep looking.)" Wayne looks at Mike's wrist band, and his eyes widen. "Hi, Mike!" (Side note: Facebook is good for something, if only to recognize as adults those people we knew as children.) Mike was asked to lie down on a gurney in the hallway (Room 20, apparently), and we were asked a bunch of questions. Mike was given an IV (a first for him), and then we waited for the doctor and the blood work. And we waited.

The doctor came by, asked Mike to not move his head as he tracked the doctor's finger as he passed it from one side of Mike's field of vision to the other, asked a couple of more questions, and gave his diagnosis: seizure disorder. NO, bad joke. It was nothing: benign paroxysmal positional vertigo (BPPV). After the doctor pronounced sentence, we continued to wait for the blood work.

And we waited, and we waited, and we waited some more (We had arrived at about 10, and it was now after 1). Our attending nurse went and came back from lunch. Our doctor went to lunch and was called back when a patient in Room 10 (a real room across the hall from our gurney) lapsed into a non-responsive state. He made some glib remark to the nurse about how the nurse had saved to patient's life by calling him back early from lunch (the patient woke back up. We don't know if she made it through the day, though), then came out, and seeing us there, said, "Oh, hi. The blood work came back fine. Let me write up your prescription, and you're good to go."

We waited some more, then the nurse came back, removed Mike's IV shunt (or whatever you medical people call it), and got us Mike's prescriptions before sending us on our way. Everyone on staff was so nice, and they all had great senses of humor. The doctor was very informative, and it was cute seeing his attending trailing along with tablet PC in hand. All in all, an enlightening visit.

By this time Mike was feeling much better, still dizzy, but no longer intent on heaving his insides out. He went to bed when we got home and didn't come back out until nearly 5 PM. What an unproductive day! Still, like we said above, it wouldn't be a complete vacation without an ER visit. Let's hope Landon does us the favor of avoiding one for himself!

No comments: