Monday, September 28, 2009

Did you know tetanus is spelled with an "a"?

Before I was married I had never been to the ER. In my imagination it was an experience that would be full of medics bringing in "a white male with a GSW to the left cerebral artery" or "an black female ejected from vehicle going 80 mph". Morbid? I guess. In high school I was an avid viewer of the early ER years and I love those paramedic shows that are on Discovery Health right before dinner. I have even gone to the extent of trying to convince Coby I should quit my job and become a paramedic.
My dream was finally realized when, during the first week of our marriage, Coby broke out into a major case of the hives. They spread from a small patch on his back to all over his body in ~1/2 hour. Given my medical knowledge, thanks to Discovery Health and a few years working in the hospital, my mind bee lined to worst case scenario. Swelling in the mouth and throat causing suffocation or anaphylactic shock and me without an EpiPen! So to the ER we went. After 2 hours, 3 benadryl by mouth, one benadryl shot, one steroid shot, and a steroid pack the adventure was over. No GSW, no car ejection.
Sunday when Coby's "scratch" (as he called it to begin with) turned into a small puncture wound by a old rusty wire fence it was off the the ER again. Coby was cleaning the easement behind the fence in the backyard. You see, the residents on either side of the easement are responsible for keeping the area clear. Since the neighbor behind us seems to think his only contribution to "the village" should be letting his 4 dogs out to bark at 5:30 on Saturday mornings, Coby spent the afternoon clearing small trees. He came in around 3:00 saying he scratched himself and I didn't bother to task any questions. At 7:30 when he call to say that his arm was swelling, and red, and it hurt to move the real story came out. Of course my thoughts went to the worst. When was his last tetanus shot? What if he nicked a nerve or tendon? What if some insane bacteria is infecting his "money makin" arm? If he can't hold a knife, then what?
Once in the ER it became apparent that we were in real danger of contracting H1N1. Sickly looking people. One lady was taken back, asked the standard medical questions, and returned to the waiting room (to wait on a vacant bed) with a mask. She then proceeded to use the mask as a BOOK MARK!!! I just don't even know what to say or think about this.
Meanwhile, we hear the automatic doors open and then smell an overwhelming stench of gasoline. It is the smell that makes your nostrils and the back of your throat burn. A woman comes racing in with a girl (~10 years old) in her arms. The girl is screaming and shirtless, with a cloth over her eyes. Apparently the mom was dealing with the debit card in the gas pump while the girl pulled the still pumping nozzle out of the car and poured it all over her face and body. Terrible! I pray that she is okay. I know she probably is but what an accident! Something I'm sure happens more often than we think.
Presently, Coby's arm is still swollen and a little more red than yesterday. He has had a tetanus shot, an antibiotic shot, and is on oral antibiotics. Hopefully the swelling and redness will be gone by tomorrow.


Elizabeth Spann said...

Way to go, Dr. Liza. Hope the hubs starts feeling better!

PS, I think that maybe it's time for us to have a happy hour, dinner, or something soon, yes?

katandkarl said...

yikes! that is too much excitement!! ERs scare me!

Post a Comment