A Quarter Life Crisis

Rants With Atmosphere!!!

What's An Emergency


Emergency per dictionary.com is



  1. a sudden, urgent, usually unexpected occurrence or occasion requiring immediate action.

  2. a state, esp. of need for help or relief, created by some unexpected event


Interesting I was under the same impression. If for some reason you have an urgent situation that requires immediate action it’s correctly labeled an emergency.

By the end this will make sense just give me a little leeway folks.

MNF (Male Nurse Friend) became unexpectedly ill two weeks ago resulting in an initial hospitalization for five days. Before dragging himself there via cab he had a temperature of 103 with severe abdominal and head pain. After it was all said and done he was diagnosed with some unknown virus causing the fever that agitated a dormant migraine condition. I am no doctor but I guess this sounds reasonable. Of course MNF doesn’t agree. He believes there’s some medical conspiracy and he truly had viral meningitis.

If he did in fact have viral meningitis, I doubt this very seriously, he would probably be in a wooden box instead of stockpiled in his aunt’s attic until he regains his strength. Did I forget to mention he lost 12lbs during the whirl wind sickness? Obviously catching a life draining virus works better than hydroxycut, some non FDA approved pill schleppers might want to consider bottling that contagion and selling it to the fat masses. Of course in the fine print they will mention may cause week long stay in hospital. To some the pro might outweigh the con.

I’ve digressed right off the reservation, ok back to our regularly scheduled programming.

Unfortunately two days after the discharge from the suburban hospital, MNF was having pain fits coupled with severe weakness and light headedness. Since I am a stupenderful friend I carted MNF to the Hospital of the University of Pennsylvania’s ER. I dropped MNF at the door figuring I could zip his little sister home and by the time I rounded back he would be in a room in the ER.

No such luck. When I returned to the hospital, 35-40 mins later (traffic) my friend was just getting triaged. Not to mention the ER was packed like the club. And when I say the club I mean just that no exaggeration. People were falling over each other and there was limited seating.

After MNF was given hazmat gear a face mask he shuffled back into the masses and we took a seat against the wall. Hours went by. Eventually my friend began to shake a bit and seemed close to passing out, which he confirmed after I asked. Being the good friend I am and considering no one had been called back since we arrived, not that you could really decipher who was a patient and who was waiting with a sick friend and/or relative, I decided to take some action.

Honestly 95% of the folks in the ER looked perfectly equipped to run a mini marathon.

Puzzling I thought ERs sole purpose was to prevent sudden and very likely death. Granted I didn’t see any gunshot or stabbing victims saunter through the ER doors so I was at a complete loss as to why this was taking so long especially since most of the folks were obviously there using the ER as a clinic and were not in need of any immediate care (I blame this on the recession). Besides my friend there were two other people there who looked close to keeling over. I kindly walked to the triage desk to get an ETA along with alerting them to MNF’s sudden shakes and concern of passing out. The man at the desk basically said that the normal ER wait is 2-4hrs and that given the additional info I just provided he would send someone over to check my friend’s vitals.

Interesting 2-4hrs debunks the whole concept of emergency but maybe it’s me.

We waited an additional half hour. No one came to check MNF’s vitals. Our total wait time before I rushed my friend to another ER, three hours and forty five minutes. I bolted to Jefferson Hospital’s ER. By the time we got there he could barely walk. After checking his vitals, pulse of 38 MNF was dispatched to a room, placed on an IV and pumped full of morphine, hmmmm I guess he truly had an emergency.

I guess we should have waited those 15 minutes, what do you think?

5 Pardon My French:

DC DIVA DATING ADVENTURES said...

Maybe you should write a little lovely letter to the Pres. of the Hospital...or maybe Pres. Obama, re the suck-tacular hospitial care we receive & have to pay for...

It's great you were there, cause MNF could have passed out.

Hope he's better

Jen said...

At least he got the morphine, did they give you any?

Last time I went to the ER I had to wait over four hours. In fact I went home to sleep and then returned the next morning. They did give me drugs however to make my wait a little more bearable. I did not have a virus but an abscess which I was ready to lance myself, and actually have on a few occasions since I am the daughter of a surgeon and figure some of the knowledge must pass through DNA. I don't recommend it but I was fortunate enough or smart enough to take mega doses of antibiotics (courtesy of dad) and wasn't worried about infection caused by using a nail clipper as a scalpel. I hate the ER. And it does seem to me that a lot of people use the ER instead of just making an appointment with their doctor.

Nanny Goats In Panties said...

I'll never understand the horrible ways of today's ER. I did learn however, about the secrets of "urgent care centers" and don't understand why people don't use those instead, but also glad they don't so that the next time I need urgent care, I'll actually get it.

Alicia aka "Fashiona" said...

Wow, ummm you followed your gut and went to another more reliable place. I agree with DC Diva though in writing the first hospital a letter....the type where you carve out a liver without leaving a scar.

Chaotically Calm said...

@Diva, I might just take your advice or maybe send word to the undercover reporters for Channel 10.

@Jen, No such luck no morphine for me...can you actually use a nail cutter as a scapel....did you give yourself any home grown anesthesia...like vodka?

@NannyGoat, I wish you the best of luck.

@Alicia, They do deserve a good tongue lashing especially since they are supposed to be one of the best hospitals in the city.

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