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Monday, October 26, 2009

The Pig Label

So, we all know that the H1N1 (swine flu, pig flu, deadly flu) is pretty serious, right? Absolutely. Especially if you are elderly and frail, a young child, a person with underlying medical conditions, or pregnant. What I don't understand is that if it is such a serious thing going on, a flu pandemic is what they are calling it, why on earth are the ER's taking it so nonchalantly and diagnosing everyone that has a stuffy nose with it?? Why, when I go in the ER today and just start talking about symptoms do they slap a mask on my face??

Seriously, if they could be a little quicker with their assessments, I wouldn't have to sit with other people potentially contaminating them. You'd think by now they would have come up with a "room" or "pig sty" for those having certain symptoms to wait in. This way the pigs can be separated from those with sprained ankles or hip dislocations....I'm just saying....

According to the ER, I am just another "pig in a blanket". No, I am not a croissant-wrapped mini hotdog you'd find at a cocktail party, but I have been labeled as having the H1N1/SWINE FLU. I realize we need to trust in our doctors, but come on folks....yes, I had the symptoms of the swine flu that started last Friday, but today I went in the ER because I was having trouble breathing. You know, the big SOB....No, no, no, nobody called me or you a SOB, and I certainly did NOT call the ER doc a Sonofa-Beeotch....although I would have liked to. SOB stands for Shortness Of Breath...and I was having it, of THAT I can be certain. Apparantly this ER doesn't treat that sort of thing when it's in conjunction with swine flu symptoms even if you had said flu symptoms 4-5 days ago and are not having any of those symptoms at the moment. I would NOT have gone to the ER for flu symptoms, and I didn't. I went because my doc was not available, another doc I called could not fit me in until the next day in which case I might not be writing this blog, and I could not breathe!! My head was ready to explode, my eye sockets hurt, my nose is so stuffed I couldn't even smell the Vicks Vapor Rub I rubbed on my chest the night before. To me, all those things indicate sinus infection or maybe some serious chest congestion.....of course, how would I know? It's only MY body which happens to have a BRAIN...one that has 20 years nursing experience and the initials RN, BSN after my name....Do you THINK I know when I need an antibiotic? And does this ER doc THINK I was asking for an antibiotic for the flu which is viral and won't respond to an antibiotic?? Oh come on...let's be serious....

This ER doc stood at least 5 feet away from me because I was wearing the dreaded PIG paraphenalia....you got it...the "PIG MASK".

The conversation went like this:


ER Doc: And what brings you in today? (All I heard was, "Pig, how are you feeling?")

Me: Shortness of breath, bronchospasms. Was sick last Friday, better with all that. Just thinking I have a sinus infection/need my lungs checked. A little dizzy. My ears are blocked. My head hurts. My eye sockets HURT! I can't smell Vicks VapoRub!!! (what I really wanted to say was, "Like Bacon, doc, fried...")

ER Doc: Probably H1N1, you need rest, fluids, tylenol.

He then very carefully reaches out with his stethescope and with his 4 foot rubber arm he listened to my lungs. I inhaled deeply...well, as deeply as I could before hacking my left lung out, and he said, "your lungs are good". Really? Seriously?? Can you just hand me my lung that's laying on the floor, please??

ER Doc: No need for a chest xray. You need to follow up with your doctor or return here if you have trouble breathing or any dizziness.

Me: Ummm....that's why I'm here today.....cough cough HACK (Oink, oink, oink....)

ER Doc: (after a pause) So, Nursey Nurse will be in with your discharge instructions. You get your rest, kiddo.

You've gotta be shittin me!! Ok...So Nursey Nurse comes in with my discharge instructions and a script from the doc that says "no work today or tomorrow". Is this what they go to medical school for now-a-days?? Un-freakin-believable!!! Now, I leave the ER hacking my lungs out, no antibiotic, pay a $75 deductible with nothing to show for it other than a note from the doc saying to not work this day and the next....I speak with my work supervisor and mention the craziness of the ER doc and how could he label me as having H1N1 when no testing was done!!??? Guess what she says?? Just guess...come on, you can do it.....

......waiting.......

OK. I'll tell you. She says, "Since you have H1N1, you need to bring a note from your doctor releasing you back to work." WTF?? Did she not hear me say that doc was a whack-job?? And I need a note!??? I have a note saying when NOT to work...isn't that enough? Do I have to see MY doc and then pay another $25 for him to say I DON'T have the PIG FLU now even if I did before???? At this point I am really a little embarrassed to be a part of our medical profession. This is NOT how I was taught in school...actually, I think what was lacking here was just plain old common sense.......

So, yes, having the pig flu is quite devastating. Not only do I get the "PIG LABEL", I lose income because my supervisor has lost her freaking common sense! I already feel like crap being sick, and now I feel even worse. I can't even cough in public, even if I use the "sleeze" protocol (you know, when you don't have a tissue and you cough in your sleeve?) It doesn't matter because I've been told I have the H1N1, so now I think everyone knows!! I think people are afraid of me!! I might as well have the plague....

And if this isn't enough, not only has the PIG come and stolen my dignity, the PIG has stolen my maid! Since I've been sick, she has not done shit around here!! Now that I'm feeling better, I think I will get on that issue......

Take care everyone, and beware, the PIG is NOT YOUR FRIEND! I do not care how cute they may appear......















3 comments:

WeaselMomma said...

Oh, you poor thing! Don't you hate when doctors hear what they want, instead of what you are saying? On a good note, you can get in with your own doc and maybe he will show some common sense and get a better listen to your lungs. I hope you feel better soon.

andrea said...

awww sorry you had to go through that! feel better soon! :)

Terry said...

Finally got a hold of my own doc who precribed an antibiotic and I am feeling soooo much better! Thanks!