Emergency Room Blues

My 89 year-old Babcia (Polish grandmother-in-law) spent nearly 11 hours in the Crouse Hospital emergency room today due to the ill-effects from a case of shingles she has been fighting for the past couple of weeks. She spent 7 and 1/2 hours lying on a rolling bed in a hallway, where she had blood samples taken and once was wheeled away for about five minutes to receive a CAT scan. She then spent another 3 hours in a treatment room where she was finally examined by a doctor and admitted to the hospital.

My mother-in-law was with Babcia for the entire ordeal, the rest of the family was there for 6 hours. One of my New Year’s resolutions is to more frequently ask myself the question: What did I take away from this experience?

1) Health care professionals work their asses off. Whirring around in constant motion; nurses, doctors, orderlies and medical technicians deal with scared and emotional people in a professional and caring manner.

2) Why does it take almost half a day to perform a CAT scan, a spinal tap and draw blood? The time to actually perform all the procedures didn’t exceed 20 minutes.

3) If Syracuse is actually faced with a real emergency situation (heaven forbid a plane crash at Hancock, an accident at the nuke plants or some natural disaster) the capacity of our medical facilities will be snapped like a twig.

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