Thursday, February 16, 2012

I'm Back!

I just spent two days in the ER of our local hospital.  They were super busy so it took forever to get all of the tests done that the doctors ordered (and also because my insurance only covers office visits in Seattle, which I didn't know, so my doctor said I should go to the ER here in Las Vegas ASAP which my insurance would cover). 
Anyway, after much testing they came to the stunning conclusion that...they didn't know what was wrong with me.  They ruled out of the usual ER stuff like stroke and heart attack, and one of the ER doctors even said she had seen cases similar to mine and probably wouldn't be able to give me a diagnosis (something about there is a specific diagnosis if an arm or leg is kind of numb but not if it includes the torso) so I am back to square one and this.
On the bright side, at least I had insurance.  I am guessing that my stay would have cost more than $10,000(!) and I am envying our Canadian friends who have way better health insurance than the average American.
The hospital's supposedly free wi-fi wasn't working so I had only my cell phone (which I have never used for blogging) and a couple of books with me (which I finished the morning of day two so was bored for the entire day while I waited and waited) to keep me occupied.  I also realized that when I am ill, I would prefer to hole up in a cave until I am better rather than tell anyone about it (I though, briefly, about Tweeting about my situation but was kind of horrified that people would then start calling).  So I guess I will continue to live with my weird-feeling right side and hope it goes away.  Also, here are somethings I learned:
  • If you don't have health insurance in America, a simple visit to the ER can bankrupt you!
  • Note to self, change insurance plans so I have regular medical coverage in Las Vegas.
  • Bring your own food to the hospital.  I was kind of spoiled when I was working at some hospitals in the Seattle area that had amazing food.  The food at this hospital was atrocious.
  • Bring something to entertain yourself (although I am guessing that most ER patients are too busy concentrating on living to worry about being entertained).
  • Get to the hospital early.  I came in at 6am and ended up with my own room.  People who arrived mid day got the ER hallway.  Those who arrived later got the ambulance bay. Eekkk.
  • Even if you Google your symptoms and kind of know what is wrong with you, you really should go to the hospital if you have a sudden onset of any sort of serious medical symptoms.  I ended up with an extremely thorough set of medical test and a very good bill of health (crappy diet and all...I was surprised), but it could have just as easily turned out that I had a mild stroke or something so it is a good idea to make certain instead of guess.
And thanks for the well wishes!


  1. good news there is nothing deathly wrong with you, bad news they don't know what is wrong with you, and yes you're right don't get in the States unless you have great insurance.

    By the way it's as expensive here in Canada, it's just that we have better coverage.

    Gill in Canada

  2. Brutal!! :( I'm thankful that you are ok though, I hope it all good health from here on in! ((hugs!!))

  3. Thank goodness you are okay! Hopefully those strange sensations will eventually disappear. I admit that when I'm driving or doing the dishes, I get the feeling that a spider is crawling up my leg. It freaks me out, but it usually goes away.
    Take it easy and try not to stress out too much. :)

  4. Oh, wow, that's kind of frustrating! I hope it resolves itself soon.

  5. I hope you feel better.
    My daughter's visit to the ER cost $17,000. Her surgery was IN the ER! They turned her to the street 6 hours after removing her appendic! They did not know she did have insurance- and normally keep people for 48 hours after the surgery. She was delirious when her roommate took her in.
    To your readers- please don't use the ER as your doctor's office. Those people in the ambulance bay may actually be on their death bed!
    We need to reform our health care system.

  6. I just spent 6.5 hours in ER with lots of tests, a tv remote control and a phone in the ER room so I could make phone calls. I was ecstatic having a tv since I don't pay for tv reception.