My Project: 365 Creative Writing Prompts
Day 154: My Hospital Experience
When it got worse in the second week I still wasn’t worried, but when it goes worse still in the third week I thought it was time to consult a doctor. However, there was a problem ... my family doctor has her office downtown and I was in no fit state to travel. So, I called ‘Doctors making house calls.’
The doctor who showed up and examined me diagnosed me with pneumonia. She prescribed antibiotics and even though I had mentioned that I am allergic to penicillin, the drugs she prescribed contained penicillin.
To get suitable antibiotics another doctor from ‘Doctors making house calls’ was summoned. He said I didn’t need antibiotics as there was nothing wrong with me, I just had a simple cold. When things got worse still, I made my way to a walk-in clinic where I finally got safe antibiotics and since I was short of breath, a puffer to help me breathe. If I wasn’t feeling any better at the completion of the antibiotics course, I was to make my way to the hospital for tests.
I didn’t get any better, and so last Friday I took a cab to the Scarborough General Hospital. As soon as I mentioned shortness of breath, the nurse let me through and I was taken to an examination room. The attending doctor suspected fluid in the lungs. Since it was late Friday, nothing would be done, but he suggested that I check into the hospital to get immediate service on Monday. Staying at the hospital over the weekend didn’t appeal to me, so I checked out and promised to come back on Monday.
When I came back on Monday, the emergency room was packed with people. When I mentioned to the nurse that I couldn’t breathe, she didn’t seem to care, just told me to take a seat and wait my turn. Two hours passed, 15 patients were still ahead of me ... I decided to call it quits.
The next day things got so bad that I called 911 and was taken to hospital by ambulance. To cut a long story short, an X-ray was taken of my chest, followed by a CT-scan, and it was confirmed that I had indeed fluid in my lungs. Hence the shortness of breath. The fluid would need to be drained.
The preparation for the draining procedure I can describe as nothing less than torture. Even though I received a local anesthetic, I felt everything. The needle that went into the left side of my back, the 1 mm thick tube that followed and everything else that went on back there. I moaned and growled with pain and at one point nearly passed out. By the time the left side was done, I was terrified for the right-hand side. Fortunately, that went a lot better. The anesthetic had more time to work and even though I still felt pain, it wasn’t as excruciating as the left-hand side.
The pain wasn’t over yet though, with two thick tubes in my back, it was nearly impossible to get comfortable.
Within 15 minutes, 500 ml of fluid had gathered in the right-hand side bag, and while there was a good amount of fluid in the left-hand side bag, there was also a lot of air in that bag.
During my four-day hospital stay, an X-ray was taken of my lungs every day to monitor the healing of the lung. By Friday the hole had been reduced from 5 cm to 2 cm. According to the doctor, I should stay one more day in the hospital, but I had enough, I wanted to go home. To the best of my knowledge, people heal better in their own environment.
Before leaving the hospital, the doctor removed the tubes in my back and I was quite surprised to see the apparatus. I thought it was just a simple plastic tube, but that was not the case. This is what I saw ...
My hospital stay had some positive aspects too though. Every day my son brought me a cup of Tim Horton's coffee with a few of their delicious cookies and he brought me flowers.