Sunday, October 02, 2005

Urgent Care

I had to run to Urgent Care yesterday afternoon. While I was helping the hub lower the ramp on the utility trailer, I gashed the side of my finger open. It wasn't serious enough to need stitches, but I haven't had a tetanus shot since I was 13. Safe to say that was much longer than 10 years ago, so I thought it best to go get a tetanus shot.

I'd not been to this Urgent Care, so I had to fill out all the obligatory paperwork. Family medical history, drug allergies, all that stuff. Then I sat in an empty reception area for 15 or 20 minutes. It wasn't too bad, considering they had a TV and there was a game on.

A nurse who sounded like she had a 2-pack-of-Pall-Malls-a-day habit called me back. She weighed me (always my favorite part), took me into a tiny exam room, and asked me all the questions I'd already answered on my paperwork. She then told me, with a smile, that the doctor would be in in just a few minutes.

I waited.

I waited some more.

No TV in this room, so after a while it really started to suck.

I helped myself to the only reading material in the room, and read it twice. I now feel very in the know about middle ear infections. I sang a few songs to myself, in my head. I thought about singing them out loud - really loud - to remind everyone I was still back there.

I studied the floor and wondered idly if the black scuff mark in the center was from my shoe or someone else's. I noticed that the cabinets looked like they were made out of chipboard, which led to another idea. The best way to get someone to appear is to start doing something you shouldn't be doing. So I started peeking in drawers and cabinets. I familiarized myself with the locations of the paper gowns, latex gloves, microscope slides, iodine, and something that looked like miniature jumper cables. I tried to imagine what those were supposed to be for, and then decided I'd rather not know.

Still, no one came.

My back was getting tired from sitting on the exam table so I moved to the chair. There I dozed off.

The doctor came in and woke me up I don't know how long after. He asked me all the questions that the paperwork and the nurse asked me before, and then agreed I needed a tetanus shot. Thank goodness, I never would have thought of that. He told me the nurse would be back in to administer and it was nice to meet me.

More waiting.

Finally the nurse and my shot came. It didn't hurt too badly. She told me she'd be back in just a minute with my discharge paperwork.

More waiting. I finally left the exam room and found them all loitering around a counter, chatting. I said, "I'm sorry, was I supposed to come out here?" The nurse said, "No, honey, I'll bring your paperwork back in a minute."

Back to the exam room. More waiting.

Finally I got my paperwork, which just said I'd been assessed and given a tetanus shot, and I was free to go. I looked at my cell phone clock. It only took two hours of my Saturday and thrity-five bucks out of my checking account. Suh-weet! Better than getting lock-jaw though, I guess.

If you ever need to know anything about middle ear infections, just let me know.

5 comments:

martie said...

OMG...I'm soo sorry. What a way to have to spend part of your Saturday. Too bad it didn't happen on a work day, at least you would have had some extra time off work. Glad to hear it didn't need stitches. Those tetanus shot's don't hurt at first but as time progress your arm gets sorer and sorer! Good luck.

Harry Yak said...

i feel your pain...i have a few hospital stories i could tell. when i say " a few" i mean lots and lots.

i'm glad to hear that you are ok and that your jaw won't be locking up on you!

naive-no-more said...

I'm sorry you had to get a shot and that you had to waste so much time on a precious Sat. No punches in the arm for Clew for a while! :)

McSwain said...

Aren't emergency rooms just a heap of front...

Cat said...

I've had a Tetanus shot. Recently.

I'd rather just have Tetanus.