Emergency Room Logic

This past week I had the unfortunate event of being bitten by a dog. 7 punctures, 3 of them fairly deep. I was required to return to the emergency room for an IV for 2 days after the bite. In which of course I did. They wanted me to return for another bandage change, but I could not justify the visit knowing I could just as easily change the bandage myself. I purchased the items needed and tended to the wounds myself.

On the 4th day after the bite, I woke up to redness and puss coming from two of my wounds. Not only that, I feel terrible.

Antibiotics and I are not friends, they do what they have to do but my body does not respond well. Nausea, loss of appetite, muscle aches, headache, fatigue, need for naps, just an overall feeling of not being well. I am also sure the pain killers I am taking are not helping the situation either. Anyhow, point is I promised if I saw any sign of infection I would return to ER.

I arrived at 9:50am, registered and took my seat. 10:30 my vitals are read and I tell the nurse I see there are a lot of people here, can I leave and come back. I had an 11:30 appointment that had been moved from 9:30. She said no, I will have to discharge you. I then asked if I could go to a clinic closer to my home, once again, advised no. I take my seat and wait.

The waiting room is not very inviting. Childrens programing on the TV, which for me is annoying as hell. How any parent could allow their child to watch some of this crap is beyond me. My stress level rises the more I sit and listen. Most of the people waiting are adults, with the exception of two children who could care less; one is watching something on Mommies phone: the other too busy screaming, running around and crying. He was rude too, not repect for me, kept telling me to move and wanted to pass. There are other kids but too old to want to watch what is on the TV.

Two hours pass. I am freezing and pain is begining to return in my leg as the meds wear off. Frustration over the situation is rising, doing my best to practice patience. One ambulence arrives, then a burn patient and soon another ambulence. An hour passes only one person from the waiting room is called in to be seen. I am getting more uncomfortable as the time passes, 3 hours I have been waiting. Another woman who arrived after me inquires how long till she is seen… she is told 1 person in front of her. So I decide to go ahead and ask, I am told 2 people in front of me. More frustration as the nurse seems to have no compassion. I even get yelled at for putting my injured leg on a chair in order to get more comfortable.

What do you do at this point? For me, I could not help but to feel the best decision for me was to walk out. Sitting in the ER waiting for hours was not helping me. I felt the best decision was to go home to my bed and food so I could take more meds to relieve the swelling and pain. Once home I slept for an hour, though in my bed for 2. No energy to go back to ER, I decide to wait till morning and find myself in bed sleeping by 6:30. I slept 10 hours.

Wounds seem better this morning. I am on antibiotics already, they took a culture on Tues when they noticed infection starting. I don’t have a high fever so I think I will survive.

What would you have done?

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