Tuesday, March 21, 2006

When anyone in a hospital uses the words/phrases 'now', 'right away', and/or, 'in just a second' what they are really saying is, "Certainly not within the next 30 minutes, and if there's a commercial on TV, we might do it within the hour."

Saturday Night: "Sammie, I'm really sick. My stomach is killing me. I want to die."

Sunday Morning: "Sammie, I'm still really sick. Instead of it being all over my abdomen, it's all in the lower right side."

Off to the ER we went. Not too many people there at 9am. Not too much to do in the waiting room. So we waited. I think they make you do this to prepare you for all of the waiting you'll be doing for the rest of the day. I watched a 4-year-old plug his mom's nose and laugh himself silly everytime she talked in her nasally voice. (I could tell she was doing it intentionally just to make him laugh. What a good mom.)

We get into the ER and Melba got an IV and some drugs to stop the pain. The nurse was having a hard time finding a vein. "If none of her veins will work, you can use one of mine." The nurse scowled at me. "Hey, when we were married we became one." The nurse finally laughed. (I had been trying to make her laugh for a while.)

Then we waited for an hour for the PA to come and look at her. Appendicitis or an ovarian cyst. Melba looked at me and said "My appendix is broken." If you've seen American Idol this season, you'll find that hilarious. I went outside to make the 'update calls'. ER waiting room was PACKED (it would stay that way for the rest of the day).

I got back and helped Melba drink a 'disgusting' cherry flavored drink so when they do the CT scan they can see herinsides. She finishes at 12:15pm. Now we must wait for 2 hours and they will do the CT. In the meantime, they are going to do a sonogram to check the ovaries. Almost an hour later they decide to hurry and do the sonogram, because Melba needs to go to the bathroom and the sonogram requires a full bladder. SURPRISE - they waited so long, Melba goes to the bathroom anyways. They still do the sonogram. Why does it work? By the time they got to doing the sonogram, enough time had passed for her bladder to refill.

Sonogram finishes at 1:50pm. "Someone will by by right away to take you back to the ER." I foolishly believe them, thinking with the CT Scan scheduled for 2:15pm, they've had 2 hours to get ready - what could go wrong? At 2:40pm, we are still waiting to go back to the ER. I conclude that INOVA Fairfax Hospital is really one big waiting room. I'd been looking for someone to complain to for a while, but no one is to be found. I finally find someone watching basketball on TV and ask for help. We get back to the ER, I throw a stink and they take her to do the CT Scan.

Melba returns at 3pm, we should have the results 'shortly'. (Yeah, right.) 3:30pm I start bugging people about when we will know the results. "Oh, we already know them."

"When do we get to learn?"

"I'll get the Dr. right now and she'll tell you." 3:50 pm we learn Melba is going to say good-bye to her appendix until her body is resurrected.

5:30 pm Melba is wheeled off to the surgery room shortly after the hometeacher arrived. Her departing words to me were, "I'm glad I only have one appendix, because I never want to go through this again."

7pm Dr. comes to the 'designated' Waiting Room (not to be confused with every other room in the hospital) and tells me the surgery went fine. Had we waited an extra day, there would have been real problems. I go to the recovery room and see Melba. "Hey" was all she said before faling back asleep. I left to have dinner with the Kidd's (hometeacher).

9pm I get back to the hospital and wait for Melba to get to her room.

9:15pm - She is fine. She could make complete phrases, but not complete sentences. I told her I would come back to pick her up when they release her tomorrow.

Monday 10:45am - I leave work to go pick up Melba who will be released 'shortly'. (Don't worry, I had called her 3 times already to make sure she was OK.) I have time to go fill the Rx, buy flowers, stop by the condo to get her jacket - I get to the hospital at noon and she still hasn't been released.

12:15pm The nurse comes, releases her and tells us a wheelchair is on it's way.

12:45pm we leave without the wheelchair. The nurse sees us and apologizes -- there were 3 people ahead of us waiting for a wheelchair. (Think about that -- it's one of the largest hospitals in the Greater DC Area...)

It's now Tuesday early afternoon. Melba is doing fine. Thanks you RS for the dinners :)

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