If there's one thing I'm sure of, it's that the people who work at the ER are burnt out, especially during the holidays. I'm one that has frequented that place more than enough times this year due to my back pain. They were amazed that I didn't want anything "heavy" to sooth the excruciating pain other than Advil, but they refused my ibuprofen due to my stomach bleeding. Here's the thing I've learned: if you come in with back pain, it's a red flag that you're a drug seeker. They judge you by the way you look, the way you talk and the time you walk in those doors. If it's on a Saturday or Sunday and you say, "My doctor isn't in till Monday --- bam --- you're an automatic drug seeker. And don't get me wrong, there are plenty of them out there, but when the genuine pain victim comes in needing the necessary pain relievers, they may get shot down due to lack of trust. Most people in the ER have the thousand yard stare. They've seen it all and they don't trust anyone as far as they can throw them. A few months back I had to go in for appendicitis. As the triage nurse was escorting me to my room, she said to the security guard on the side, "Can you just keep an eye out for whoever comes in for a 'fake heart attack'?" If you're in this profession, you know that there are tons of people coming in hyped up over a pectoral muscle that's been strained, perhaps a good ol' anxiety attack or maybe just a bit of acid reflux --- but when someone hears you downgrade their complaint into a "fake heart attack" --- as if they're intentionally wasting your time, then maybe the job isn't for you.
As I was about to write my next post, I looked out my window to see two rescue trucks and one ambulance take one of my neighbors away. A few of my friends were in the ER, another admitted for chest pain and another one in there for nerve damage due to back pain. This time of the year is insane. It may not "seem" like it, but we all seem to be busting at the seams and popping our corks. It doesn't make it any easier knowing how uncaring the ER can be, but it's the only place where you can get help for what's needed at whatever particular odd time you go. What else are you going to do while an elephant seems to be sitting on top of your chest? You literally have minutes to get this resolved. So if you're feeling the stress just like me, please put some earbuds in and listen to this entire video till it ends. Go into a dark room, light a candle and close your eyes and begin to feel yourself calm down. It took my heart rate of 155 down to 70.
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Rest. Breathe. Focus.
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