Wednesday, April 07, 2021

No Breakfast, No Water, No Fun

      I've got to go do some medical imaging this morning and it's been "NPO"  -- nothing by mouth, only in Latin -- since 4:30 this morning.

      This does nothing for my mood and less than nothing for my headache, so I will spare you my opinions this morning.

      Since my scooter wreck in 2006, I have taken such orders seriously.  I had been returning to work after picking up a nice sandwich -- corned beef on rye -- and I had, for some reason, taken the bag along in the ambulance when I grabbed my purse as they were loading me onto a fancy gurney.  The ER was more than full.  I'd been parked at the big desk in the middle while they waited for X-rays to come back and figured out what to do next.  The sandwich smelled wonderful and when the physician who'd conducted the initial exam stopped by, I asked him if I could eat my lunch.*

      "Oh, I don't know why not.  You can't have more than a bad sprain, or you'd be hurting a lot more."

     Rye bread, corned beef, Swiss cheese, a touch of mustard -- oh, that sandwich was good!  I was just finishing up when a different doctor showed up, carrying X-ray images.

      "Ma'am, looks like you have a spiral fracture of your right femur.  There's an orthopedic surgeon in this evening and we'll--  Say, is that corned beef?"  I nodded and there was a long pause.  He looked at the wall clock.  "Okay, we'll be admitting you and you'll have surgery first thing tomorrow morning."

      I spent the night on pain meds with my leg strapped into an immobilizer.
* The sandwich place was right across the street from the hospital.  So I ended up right back where I'd ridden from, having wrecked my motorscooter right outside the main gate to work.  This worked out well; my co-workers snagged the scooter and left it in our warehouse until I could arrange to have it repaired.


Robert said...

RE the NPO order: in school they told us if our patient arrived in a good mood, it meant they hadn't followed instructions.

Spiral fracture: Wow. Sounds like a corned beef on rye is more effective than pain meds. I'll have to remember that. Crap, now I'm hungry.

Roberta X said...

Oh, the fracture was a doozie -- broke off the knob off the outside of my right knee and twisted its way from there up my thighbone. But you'd be amazed what an impetus to learning that pain can be in teaching you how to lay just exactly right so that thing doesn't send agonizing jabs of oh-this-is-horrible screaming through your body.

Lay there in the middle of a crowded, busy ER struggling with pain and hoping no one jostles your gurney, or sit up a little and enjoy a wonderful sandwich? I know which I chose, and I think I'd do it again.

The sandwich place (Crawford's?) has been gone for years now. They shared the building with a florist, who actually owned it. The florist decided to expand, the bakery/sandwich shop was on second-generation owners who had other jobs, and that was that. I still miss them. You can score good greaseburgers at multiple places downtown; there's no shortage of food-truck fare and fancier, sit-down restaurants there. But for lighter (and, if you wanted it, healthier) lunches, there's nothing as good.

David aka True Blue Sam said...

Back in September 2000 I had just checked in at Barnes in St. Louis for stomach surgery and was waiting to be called when the check-in nurse shouts "What Are You Doing?!!!" A guy was eating a donut and also had a cup of coffee. "What else have you had this morning?!!!" "Coffee." She gave that guy one of the best chewing outs ever, it was like a rocket lighting off. He was scheduled for surgery, too, and had just lied to her when he checked in. He was lucky she caught him, or he might have died in the O.R.