Saturday, July 29, 2006

What I should have told my sister

I have inherited the title of "Family Nurse". My mother had it before me. When my grandfather would have chest pain or shortness of breath, instead of calling 911, he'd call my mother. Now, the next generation looks to me, apparently, for such sage advice as, "Don't call me, call an ambulance!"

Seriously, my sister calls me up the other night, she thinks she has a broken toe. She really banged it and now it's all black and blue. Now, for you gentle readers who have never worked in and emergency room, don't fear: I gave sound advice. Put ice on it, elevate your foot and buddy tape it to the next toe. And wear shoes with a firm sole for a couple of days. Take motrin or tylenol for the pain. All good. Good for her, she's doesn't have to wait for hours in the ER, no bill and the local ER has one less body in the waiting room.

Now, for you not-so-gentle readers who have worked in the ER, I realize I should have given her some different advice. Something like this: wait til 2 or 3 am, when the wait is shorter. Tell the staff that you banged your toe 2 or 3 days ago, but have been toughing it out and you thought 2am was a good time to come in. This will impress them and get you seen right away. For pain, have a couple of stiff drinks. Right before you show up, so if they start moving your toe around it won't hurt so much. And don't forget, keep asking repeatedly, "Is this going to take long?"

I know, I'm evil.

1 comment:

Mama Mia said...

OMG - You must be really telling that to people where I live because that is what they are telling us in my Emerg! It usually takes me exactly 4 seconds after that story for me to regain control of my blood pressure and to suppress the urge to take out some wet cast material and slap them silly!