You’re a good patient

November 17, 2008

Just another night in the E.R.  Sigh.  Apparently it was just a muscle spasm (why make you wait for the diagnosis?), but the pain was unbelievable on Sunday, and it was difficult to get a full breath.  Something was really hurting my back ribs, and, as the day went on, I got really worried.  My primary care physician couldn’t help me on Thursday (see last post), the PT couldn’t help, and I just saw my lymphedema therapist.  Where to turn?  Out of answers and in pain, I went to the ER for a quick x-ray to check if my rib had broken with the latest manipulations.

It was easily the quickest ER experience I’ve ever had (with the exception of going with my friend L on vacation).  At check-in, I was triaged to Express Care, a new setup in the hospital for lesser problems and those needing quick radiology.  In great pain and bent over a bit, I was seen quickly; a doctor even walked up to me while I was checking in, asked me what I needed, and got me in line for an x-ray before I even got settled in an exam room.  The x-ray tech came soon, and she and a colleague even fought over me briefly in the hall.  The second tech won, and I was hustled inside for a spinal x-ray.

The second x-ray tech cracked me up.  There was a lot of “Hey, I need the practice!” and “Oops, I’ll buy you dinner later,” and “Sorry for feeling you up again!” which just made me laugh because I just totally didn’t even blink when she moved me into position and out of the various x-ray postures.  We chatted and laughed and she reassured me that it was just a little radiation, nothing like what I got last spring.  At the end, I thanked her, and she said, “Oh, sure, you’re a good patient.”

You’re a good patient.

Hmmmm.  I suppose so … but I’d rather not be a patient at all.