Have you missed me? Did you wonder where I was?
Well, Mark had a little problem with a pressure sore. It is an unfortunate fact of life that folks who suffer from spinal cord injuries, or are otherwise laid up for a time without moving about, often find themselves in the grips of these insidious monsters. What starts as a seemingly tiny problem can magnify itself in a matter of hours.
Such was the case yesterday. Mark has a sore that we were “doctoring” for the past couple of weeks. I used an antibiotic ointment on it from the doctor, and for all intents and purposes, it looked as though we had the thing beaten. Until yesterday afternoon…
That blasphemous sore suddenly grew and looked so irritated, I felt alarmed, and even threatened! We called the doctor late in the afternoon. Mark spoke to her, and she said she could see him this morning. When I got on the phone, I explained how this sore had increased both in size and intensity. The doctor advised us to go to the emergency room.
The last time Mark was in the ER was about seven years ago. We were certainly impressed by the new addition to the hospital….it is big and beautiful and well, very impressive.
We went inside and were met by a staff overworked and lacking facilities! We were told the wait to be seen would be “several hours”. Mark was concerned about sitting on the sore after about an hour. A nurse he spoke to went out and came back with a gurney so he could lie on his stomach. He was placed in a corner out of the way, and we sat and waited.
So many people came through the doors! There were people with all sorts of ailments and complaints. An elderly man arrived with relatives who were disturbed that the man had to sit and wait for hours. A child was brought in by a concerned mother when the child had blood in her urine. Another child complained of a sore throat and headache. Another man was wheeled in by a friend….he had trouble speaking, but told the nurse his body was falling apart on him. The list went on and on….and it became clear to me that I certainly could never exist in the world of nursing!!!!
Mark saw me getting restless and told me perhaps I should grab a bite to eat. The kids had already eaten in the hospital cafeteria, so I decided to take a short trip to Wendy’s for a hamburger. The moon….the stars….the fresh air were all so welcome and revitalizing!
Shortly after I got back to Mark, he was wheeled into an examination room. He was seen by a Physician’s Assistant who was sharp, authoritative, and very reassuring. After she said the wound was superficial, I expressed that I felt foolish for insisting he be seen. She quickly responded it was good he was seen as he needed an antibiotic to begin the healing from the inside out. She also said that skin can break down very quickly and it is better safe than sorry.
The entire exam lasted only about fifteen minutes, then we were off to be discharged. As soon as Mark gave his name to the girl, she told him he was set to go! It was nearly instantaneous! It was about eight at that time and we went and picked up Mark’s prescription at Wal Mart. Mark stopped and got some dinner, then we headed home.
Mark and I found the whole thing rather ironic….We had planned to spend the evening watching the Buffalo Sabres play hockey. The Sabres team is owned by Rochester billionaire, Tom Golisano. Little did we expect to spend several hours in the emergency room bearing Mr. Golisano’s name!