Thursday, September 06, 2007

Did I say only muscular injuries?

I meant, of course, that I also have compression fractures in my spine.

I went to my chiropractor yesterday to get him to fix my muscles and he looked me over while his assistant called the hospital to get Xrays. He diagnosed me with probable compression fracture and refused to do anything until he saw the Xrays, although he did at least get my neck sorted out. The hospital told his assistant I needed to go back to the Emergency dept for more Xrays, so I went back around 5pm. At 8pm, I finally got called in (first day of school = long waits - apparently by the time I was called in, anyone walked in the door was facing a 9 hour wait). around 9pm I was examined and sent for a CAT scan, then at 10:30 I was checked out by the resident neurologist. He couldn't tell for sure if there were fractures but decided to keep me in overnight for observation just in case, and I finally got shipped up to a ward around 11:30pm. When I got up there I asked the nurse if I could call my wife, and another nurse popped her head round and said, "oh, I just talked to her and told her not to worry, you've got a broken back but we're taking care of you!"; I boggled somewhat at that since I quite definitely didn't have a broken back, and my poor wife spent the night in a state of worry as a result. Unfortunately I couldn't call her as Aliant only set up patient telephone lines during office hours.

The next morning the resident neurologist for the day checked me out and still couldn't find anything definitely wrong (although I did finally manage to convince them to give me Ibuprofen instead of other random drugs that had no effect on my pain). After spending the day lying there getting more and more bored, I was finally seen by the head neurologist around 2pm. He told me I had a crack in my T4, and there wasn't much they could do apart from put me in a full upper body brace. He told me to take it easy and not lift anything heavier than 5lbs, and not to bend forward too far or it'll crack the fracture open - "but you'll probably do it anyway, there's not much we can do about that". He said I could go home and just needed to be signed out and wandered off. Around 3:30 I got bored of waiting and went to the nurse's station and asked if I was supposed to notify them I had been released or if it was in process - it was news to them I was leaving. The nurse looking after me promised to chase up the resident neurologist to see if I was released and to get the papers signed if so. At 5:30pm I was finally released, almost 24 hours after going in - and essentially not much further on than I was when I walked in the door...


Blogger Scoutie said...

Oh. My. Gawd. I hope you don't wake up tomorrow with something even more terrifying. "I'm sorry, sir, but it appears we missed the fact that your brain is poking out of your head...but just the tiniest bit!"

Please take care of yourself, and get well soon. And let your wife lift those bags of milk!

Friday, September 07, 2007 11:29:00 am  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

And my friends here in the States want to move to Canada because of the socialized medicine. It is nice not to have to worry about the cost, but as someone from born and raised in Hfx, I gotta say sometimes it is nice to pay the $100 co-pay and get seen within a short amount of time here in the US. I try to explain the downside of our hurting health system but all they hear is "free" (which we all know comes out of our taxes and often don't know where the money ends up).

Do you have any recourse with the driver as, the way you tell it, you did nothing wrong? Do they have insurance?

Friday, September 07, 2007 2:17:00 pm  
Blogger steve said...

Scoutie, I have pictures of my helmet I will have to post (along with the bruise on my forehead) - if I hadn't been wearing a helmet my brain would indeed be poking out of my head just the teeniest bit. Or possibly a weensy bit more than that.

Anonymous, the situation was a bit beyond normal in emergency as it was the first day of school and they were swamped with injuries from that. As you point out, the system is not by any means free, as the 50-odd percent of my wages that disappear into the ether will confirm. The police officer confirmed it was entirely the other driver's fault, they had insurance, and he gave me a card that unfortunately fell out of the bag he put it in, so I'm waiting for him to reply to my email asking him to dupe the data for me.

Friday, September 07, 2007 2:49:00 pm  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Anonymous here again (yes, I should be working)...

I agree that a 9 hour wait at the QEII (I saw it called the QEH in on the online Herald and to me, that is still my old highschool, not the hospital!) is unusual, but considering that people go to the emergency room for minor stuff because they can't get into see their regular doctor, it doesn't help the overall situation. My friends don't see the lack of rural doctors or the closing of emergency rooms on weekends, or the fact that our coverage doesn't cover everything, and they would be the first to complain about the high taxes in Canada (I live in Florida right now where there is no state income tax so we are even more spoiled).

And in your response to my first comment you once again affirm why I wear a helmet no matter how sweaty I get or how crappy my hair looks when I get to work. Good luck, I hope everything heals quickly and properly and you are back on two wheels soon!

Friday, September 07, 2007 4:08:00 pm  
Blogger cafiend said...

Nice that Anonymous can afford --or receives from an employer-- a health insurance policy with adequate coverage and an affordable co-pay. The policy I just had to drop because it cost a mint and paid for nothing cost a mint and paid for nothing. I had to drop it because I needed money to pay the medical bills it left me responsible for.

In nature, broken creatures die. In a free market economy, broken creatures below a certain income level die, too. If you fall into the gap between affording what's available and receiving public assistance, you deserve to die and decrease the surplus population. At least that's the message I'm getting. All health care systems are flawed. If you're making out under one and not another, that system will look good to you.

Monday, September 17, 2007 4:42:00 pm  

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