If the “ER” in this post title has set your alarm bells off, I’m impressed by your keen powers of observation. Yes, because I felt I had gained sufficient experience at Calgary ERs of late, I decided to share my medical-crisis wealth farther afield. Why travel if not to assess the medical care at my destination?
My first morning away started innocently enough. I dragged myself out of bed and shuffled to the shower, only to discover that the non-slip mat in the tub was anything but. The mat fled when I stepped on it, causing too close an encounter of my shin with the outside edge of the tub. Yes, it hurt, but I was still unwashed, so I repositioned the mat and tried again. Tragically, since the height of the tub and the slipperiness of the mat hadn’t changed in the interim, I hit a double. By the time I got out of the shower, the swelling was the shape of a hefty piece of kielbasa. Yes, folks, I had an unsightly and painful sausage-like protrusion on my leg that grew to epic proportions despite my R.I.C.E.ing it.
During a quick long-distance telephone consultation, my crisis manager told me to head directly to the ER. Off I trotted, ugly swelling in tow, moving my visit with relatives to the hospital waiting room. I needed to ensure my platelets were high enough to stop another hematoma from taking up permanent residence (been there, done that), and to find out how to travel home safely.
Who was assigned to my case but Dr. Brian Goldman, of the intriguing CBC radio show, White Coat, Black Art. Funny, I had listened to a few of his podcasts on my flight in. On his show, Dr. Goldman is smart and articulate and insightful and he often tackles challenging topics frankly and thoughtfully. And I guess he’s not only a compelling radio personality but also an ER physician. Now that I have first hand experience of his patient care, I’d add that he practices what he preaches. I wonder if others, like me, foolishly tell him that they are his fans.
Although I know Dr. Goldman didn’t need my help, I could have easily directed his assessment and treatment plan because this wasn’t my first rodeo. I needed a CBC from Dr. CBC to ensure my platelets were still high enough to stop the bleeding. If they weren’t, a platelet transfusion would be in order. When the results came back with no concerns, I was let loose.
First, though, I declined the kind doctor’s offer of potent painkillers because they would inevitably have changed my ratings on the now familiar Bristol Stool Chart. If you’ve committed my posts to memory, you already know how complicated the consequences of constipation can be. I didn’t want the solution to one medical problem to create another.
I did, however, gratefully accept the esteemed doctor’s note requesting I be given a seat that would allow me to elevate my leg on the flight. I wondered how the airline would handle this recommendation. I’d love to tell you how things turned out, but I’m going to leave you on tenterhooks. (What an odd phrase, “leaving someone on tenterhooks”. What the heck are tenterhooks anyhow? I looked up the definition but I didn’t understand that either.) Stay tuned, and let’s just say I’ll quell your curiosity next post.