Cat scan fever

Somewhere between starting to write yesterday’s post about getting beaned in the head with a block of ice and hitting publish, I realized that things weren’t exactly as they were supposed to be. I was a little dizzy, a little disoriented, I was finding concentration was a little…um…hey, look at that thing over there!

So I picked myself up and took a 10 block walk to the nearest Brooklyn ER.

And oh, what an ER it was.

While I was happy to get into see a doctor after a three hour wait, I literally recoiled at some of the filth in the room. It doesn’t exactly inspire confidence when they point me towards a bed and I feel the need to I set my coat down on it first.

My stepmother is gagging right now

What’s in the draw? I don’t no.

I also had to call an orderly to clean the bathroom. It is no small feat to try and squat over a toilet bowl to pee in a cup, let alone doing it while dizzy with a possible concussion. So yes, the bathroom was fairly nasty when I entered, but me dripping pee up my arms and onto my jeans didn’t exactly help me feel fresh as a daisy in there, especially with no paper towels in the room.

(Shut up – I had an excuse.)

In any case, I was fully clothed so I decided not to be too grossed out by any of it.

Going in for my first ever CAT scan was a trip. I look up at the ceiling and there are all these bad stencils painted on the tiles, presumably to give the impression of leaves falling from the sky. And then I thought you know, the last thing some people getting CAT scans of the head (um, like me) want to think about are OBJECTS FALLING FROM THE SKY.

I lay down on the little stretcher thing not exactly knowing what I was supposed to do – stay perfectly still? Close my eyes so the alien gamma rays can’t penetrate my eyeballs? The technician, who looked uncannily like Arthur Ashe, never gave me any instructions. I kept finding myself holding my breath, like it would keep me from breathing in radiation or something.

Again, not thinking too straight.

Arthur headed back into his little darkened chamber of doom behind some plexiglass and just then the phone rang. I could hear him talking in a Charlie Brown voice Wahwah wah wahwah wahhhhhh.

Suddenly I was stricken with giggles: He actually the banker on Deal or No Deal. He was in there bargaining for my diagnosis.

Do you want to take the traumatic concussion? You might want to because while we have Clean Bill of Health on the board, we also have Inter-cranial Hemmorrhage and Squished and Entirely Useless Cerebellum.

No Deal!

In the end I took the Mild Concussion which came with a consolation prize, a stack of discharge papers. I was pretty happy on that front. It was presented to me in a sealed case held by one of fifty hot guys in Speedos. Which kind of made up for that ER room.


45 thoughts on “Cat scan fever”

  1. I’m so glad that you’re okay. I can’t believe how dirty that ER was. No wonder people contract MRSA in the hospital. GACK!!! Are you still dizzy? I had a concussion and the vertigo was so crippling I had to miss my Grandma’s memorial service. That said, take it easy and rest if you feel the need.

  2. oh wow, good for you for going to the hospital! glad all is well. (i have heard so many awful/gross hospital er stories, they are too horrible to recount here.)

  3. Geez, Liz. You will do ANYTHING not to have a drink with us after work. Next time, skip the mild concussion and just say your puppy died or something. Glad your brain is in tact. Kim

  4. Oh, than anon was me. I hate anon posts. Damn ice. Another reason to hate friggin’ winter. Be well.

  5. So glad you’re okay. What a freak thing to happen. And those pictures will haunt me for the remainder of the day!

  6. Holy lord, woman. Glad to hear you are OK. I’d milk that one. cleaning the cat box = dizzy. this mess = faint. rinse. repeat.And. Um. What the HELL is all over that sink?? Vomit? Plaster? Amniotic fluid? I’m a germaphobe, so I’m pretty sure I would have passed out. But then that would require hitting the floor, which I can only imagine…. Bluuuurgh. I would be boiling my clothes and bathing in purell. Stay well.

  7. Liz,When you have time and after you are feeling better, you could consider a complaint to the Joint Commission, the organization which provides hospitals with their accreditation. Had the JC been at the hospital and seen what you have seen, I assure you heads would have rolled. When I worked in hospitals, administrators ran scared when the Joint Commission came ’round. I’d sic em on the hospital in Brooklyn!

  8. OMG, can you imagine bringing a toddler into that ER exam room? I mean, D, tries to play with his car on the floor of the doctor’s office and I have to hoist him up onto the (hopefully) clean paper-covered table. You need to contact John Stossel to do an undercover assignment. Blech!But, first and foremost, SO GLAD you got checked out and are ok!

  9. Woah. First, I’m so glad you are okay. Second, shouldn’t the ER be clean considering how much you pay for those visits? At least Canada can blame it on people not paying their taxes.I really hope your concussion heals quickly and you don’t resort to wearing a construction hat every day because THAT, that is a hard look to pull off – tho’ if anyone is going to pull it off, it will be you.

  10. I’ve examined your cat scan and the prescription is MORE TEQUILA!Just kidding. Glad to hear you’re alright. Mild concussion sounds like a good excuse for lying in bed all weekend watching television while being served delicious meals.

  11. I second the JCAHO complaint.The hospitals my husband works at have really clean ERs, rooms, labs, bathrooms etc and still have a few minor JCAHO Violations (they are NOT Cleanliness related, however.) that need to be resolved every year.

  12. I saw the ER picture before I read your post and thought, “Ha-ha! That crazy Liz and her Photoshop skillz! She really went overboard this time!” Then I read your post.Oh. So glad you’re OK and the next time we plan to meet, I’ll make sure the ice has melted.

  13. I’m relieved that you’re okay. Good job going to the hospital; if I’d been disoriented, I don’t know if I’d have thought about that.I can’t believe how gross that hospital ER was. You should send pictures to the medical board. That’s revolting!

  14. I’m so glad you’re ok. That was a frightening story (the ice hitting you, but the ER sounds pretty scary too).

  15. So if you weren’t in shock from the blow to the head, the state of that hospital sure might do it. I hope you’ll follow Devra’s suggestion when you have the time. There are stories I could tell, but suffice it to say it makes me really nervous when hospitals don’t get the little things right.I hope you are feeling better.

  16. I am similarly surprised and grossed out by the state of the room but I ADORE your CAT Scan Tech Ordeal/ Deal or No Deal comparison. Fabulous.

  17. That hospital is another sad symbol of our broken U.S. healthcare system. Happy you are okay.

  18. “What’s in the draw? I don’t no.”You cracked me up. Thanks for the laugh. And I’m glad you’re okay.

  19. What a crazy couple of days you’ve had! That hospital was atrocious!!! I third the suggestion to report it. Glad you have a diagnosis and hope you get to feeling as oriented as you felt before. 🙂

  20. Sometime let me tell you about the “ER” in Aswan, Egypt where I had to take one of my high school students during a school trip. *Shudder*

  21. ummmm ok *that* was disgusting! I’m impressed you stuck around for the diagnosis!! kudos to you (and thank goodness it’s just a mild concussion!! hope you feel better soon!)

  22. Oh heavens no Sue Bob. My brain is far brainier. But sadly, those are photos of my actual ER room.

  23. Please do take it easy — it’s a fine multi-week excuse for not doing much. My friend’s high school age kid had effects (sort of like what you mention — just sort of out of it, memory not what it was, not taking in what’s being said really well) for MONTHS after a mild concussion. And then after she was pretty fully recovered…she went on some high-school age kids trip, fell off a bed laughing so hard…and yes, you guessed it, concussion #2. After which her parents placed her in bubble wrap which they haven’t removed yet. You’d get too many adoring fans bothering you if you were wrapped in bubble wrap on the streets of the city, so please, take care!

  24. Glad to know you’re well. Sometimes it’s hard to figure out when to go or not go, but with head injuries…My husband almost died of a a burst appendix and I have to tell you the military hospital we were in was so gross….Happy to hear you’re fine!

  25. Only you could make an ER visit and mild concussion story humorous.Still glad that’s all it was. And glad you finally went to the ER.

  26. Ugh, sorry. That sucks. My husband was hit in the head with the sharp end of an iron once (it fell, I didn’t throw it!). Felt ok, next day, felt queasy and ill. Went to the doctor. Sigh. It was cleaner in Philly than NYC, it seems.Hope you’re OK. That sounds painful.

  27. I hope you’re feeling better and getting the crap pampered out of you. BTW- I gave birth at Maimonides (another Brooklyn hospital) and the room was so dusty and dirty my visitors commented on it. Yuck!

  28. You walked 10 blocks? I’m still not quite over that one.And they wonder about the rates of staph infection. If you feel the world suddenly tilt to the right next week, it’s okay. I had a mild concussion and the world just kept slanting for no apparent reason for about a month.

  29. Oh, good, because even I, as a professional writer and not a healthcare provider, know that brain looks weird.

  30. Coming in a few days late on all the excitement (bad, as it was) and hoping that you’re feeling even better, than yesterday! If you had trouble understanding that last sentence, don’t worry, it’s not you, I’m just a dork and most people would have stopped reading by now. Short version: feel better, soon!

  31. Hi. Sorry to hear you had to go to get a CAT scan. That’s scary and I’m glad things are okay. The photo of the word “Draw” was beyond funny to me but not for the same reason it probably was to others.You see my mom is from Brooklyn and with her NY accent (that she of course denies having) she has always pronounced “drawer” as “draw”. In fact, up until I was about 10 I always thought it was a “draw” until I saw the word written out. Just curious. Have you ever seen the word “apartment” spelled “aparctment” there in Brooklyn? Would not surprise me one bit! -Monica

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