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Of hospitals and such…

Well, had some excitement last night…

At about 4pm I started to get a ‘pins and needles’ feeling on my right side – specifically in my scalp and right arm – and got dizzy. So I went over to my boss who was in a meeting with our CFO and said, “I don’t want you guys to panic, but I think I need a ride to the hospital” and gave them a rundown of my symptoms. Which, to be perfectly honest, seemed like a stroke.

They panicked.

So by 4:15 I was sitting in the urgent care office here in Aurora. They charged me $90 to tell me that they couldn’t do anything for me and to go down the street to the ER.

By 4:30 I was sitting in the waiting room at the ER. They checked my temperature, blood pressure, and a few quick cognitive tests to ensure I wasn’t going to die on the spot, and then I commenced to wait three hours to see a doctor.

At 7:45 I was called back and temporarily put on a bed at the end of the hall and next to a nurse’s station where I got to watch the comings and goings of gunshot victims, suicide watches, security guards on hour 10 of 16, drug overdoses, and a large assortment of other amazing things. As every room in the place was taken up by one of these sorts of people, my room became that bed at the end of the hallway.

About 30 minutes go by before a lady comes up and asks for my ID, which I have, and my insurance card, which I don’t have as I was overlooked in October’s insurance enrolment at work, and she has me fill out all sort of forms regarding the fact that this was going to be ridiculously expensive and I would be obligated to pay for services I didn’t receive. Meanwhile the lady in the room next to my bed is screaming to be un-strapped from the bed and telling the security guard that she’s going to sue him into oblivion…

Another half an hour passes and Doctor Savage shows up to check me out… Doc Savage! How cool is that?

He runs my blood pressure on both arms, hooks me up to an EKG machine, listens to my internals for a bit, pokes and prods me, the decides to run a full blood work and send me over for a CT scan. He then tells me that my heart is fine – heart rate normal, blood pressure normal, breathing is fine – in fact if he wasn’t standing there looking at me with my ‘professional programmer’s physique’ he’d figure I was a marathon runner or something. Oh, as I am a programmer for a living my dress code at work is pretty lax, so yesterday I had my “I’m out of my mind, please leave a message” t-shirt on which won me a chuckle or a “that’s so appropriate for tonight” from all of the staff that walked by.

Shortly thereafter a nurse shows up to draw blood – six vials of the stuff – and she just happens to have a pagan-esque tattoo on one arm of a Celtic looking ‘goddess moons’ design on one arm, so I strike up a conversation with her regarding it and we wind up talking religion for about fifteen minutes while she works. I lead off with a comment that the needles sure have become sharper these days and she agrees, then I mention that when I was a kid they would just shove a straw into your arm and hope which gets some laughter from the other RNs around. Then I mention on vial five that it’s amazing I have that much in me being this close to tax season as the IRS already bleeding me dry, which elicits another round of laughter from the nurse’s station.

So eventually I’m wheeled down to radiology where I start cutting up with the radiologist about all things nuclear and glowing as they put me into the CT. While I’m laying there having a revolving beam of neutrons stream through my grey-matter (which I actually felt and could tell the radiologist where the beam was at any particular moment though he tells me that’s not possible) I was cracking Incredible Hulk jokes and actually got the poor guy laughing so hard he messed something up and had to rescan me…

I’m then wheeled back to my bed and another half hour goes by as the radiologist reads my CT and forwards the info on to Doc Savage who tells me I have a beautiful brain, pronounces my noggin safe, and decides to have my upper back and neck x-rayed. While I’m there he also shows me the results of my blood work: my cholesterol is perfect, my electrolyte levels are perfect, my kidneys are like new, etc, etc…

So off I go, back to radiology where they put the lead bib over my lower half and shoot more radiation through me from four different angles, then roll me back to my station at the end of the hallway. Another half an hour goes by and Doc Savage shows back up to tell me I’ve slipped a disk in my neck which is pinching a nerve that goes over the top of my head to my right eyebrow and down my right arm.

I’m told to relax, take 600mg of Ibuprophin every 6 hours for ten days, and he makes an appointment for me Monday with a neck and back specialist down the street.

After all of this I’m released at about midnight and Jae comes and picks me up.

So, all in all I spent about $5000 (which they’ll give me 50% off if I pay it off in 30 days) to have a full battery of tests and find out that I’m actually in amazingly good shape for 37 and sitting hunched over a computer all day… Let’s hear it for those German Super Soldier genetics! (Chuckle)

And now I have to get back to work…

Have a great day out there folks.