[Caution: this post may not be for the faint of heart – like me.]
It all started Sunday night, just before 8pm. I was in the other room when R came rushing in with blood all over his hand. He had sliced his index finger open on a glass.
Now, I do not do well with all things medical. Like, at all. I started to feel lightheaded right away, but I sucked it up and helped him as best as I could. We got him cleaned up and covered the cut with band-aids before returning to watching tv. My stomach started to settle, but R was still bleeding a lot. After a quick consultation with Google, we decided it might be best to go to the Emergency Room.
After we drove to the hospital and found parking (because the free ER parking lot was of course full) it had been about 45 minutes. We told this to the check-in desk person, who gave us a bit of attitude for waiting so long. (Funny, she didn’t seem all that concerned while she took her sweet-ass time checking in the person before us.) The attitude continued as we moved to the triage nurse. She gave R a hard time for not knowing my phone number or what our current marital status would be classified as – despite the fact he was bleeding and was probably in a bit of shock. (Seriously?)
We sat in the waiting room for a few minutes before R was called to yet another nurse who took his temperature and blood pressure, before sending us back to the waiting room. By this point, we had been in the ER for well over 10 minutes and not a single person had even looked at his cut.
Thankfully the ER was very quiet and we didn’t wait long before being called in. I was hesitant to go in with him, but I went. A nurse came in almost immediately and finally looked at his injury. She said it doesn’t look that bad and that the doctor would probably give him one stitch because we were already there. I felt extra queasy by this point because hospitals… and because there were blood-soaked balls of gauze all over the floor around the garbage can. (Seriously?)
I felt the light-headedness beginning and decided that I better get out of there before I became a patient myself. I grabbed myself a juice from the waiting room vending machine to help keep my blood-sugar in check and tried to distract myself from the people walking around with IV carts by playing on my phone.
It turns out it was a good thing I left because the cut ended up being worse then we all thought. I’ll spare you the details, but they had to freeze R’s finger and gave him 4 stitches.
Thankfully we live in the land of free Health-Care (a.k.a. Canada) and even though we do not have health insurance, the whole trip to the ER cost us a whopping $5:
- $3 for 1 hour parking
- $2 for a juice
But – it would have been FREE if the ER parking lot wasn’t full and if I wasn’t so squeamish.
If we lived in the U.S., we’d probably be looking at a medical bill of at least $2000. Even with my Emergency Fund, this would have left us in a bad financial situation. (I guess that makes dealing with a bit of attitude and questionable cleaning practises worth it?)
R is still in a lot of pain and cannot straighten out his finger because of how the stitches were put in. Thankfully, it shouldn’t interfere with his work at all and as long as it it heals properly, he should be back to normal within the week.
Have you ever had a medical emergency? If so, what did it end up costing you?
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