मंगलवार, मार्च 27, 2007

My experience at Hospital

Today was definitely an interesting day in my life. Today one thing led to another and it ended up putting me in hospital for a day with a sore head. I was expecting not to play cricket today but something made me go to Rice and start playing cricket.

First, the ground on which we started playing cricket was different. Secondly, the ground was in poor shape. There was lots of moisture in the ground and the pitch was surrounded by think grass. In a nutshell, it was not a great environment to play cricket. But, since we were really frustrated by the weather for last three weeks, we decided to play on that not so good looking ground.

I bowled a few balls as practice and it was okay, some were really off line and length but later I got myself well in line and length. After that I put on the pads and thought of doing some batting practice. It occured to me that I should wear a helmet but I am not sure why I shrugged off that idea. I faced couple of balls and it seems okay. I was really frustrated by the wide balls of Hamid and then came Shekhar.

First few balls of Shekhar were either slower deliveries and some short pitched medium paced deliveries outside off stump. Then all of a sudden he bowled a beamer and I completely missed the line and the height of the ball. I heard a big bang in my head, then came little sparkling stars all around. I think I had blurred vision for a second and heard someone saying something. I did not become unconscious. However, I sat down first and then lay down on the ground using a pad a pillow.

Soon, excruciating pain followed and someone called Rice Emergency Medical Services (EMS). EMS guys and girls asked routines questions and I answered them. Then they asked me if I wanted to go to the Hermann Memorial hospital or some other place. I asked them to take me to Hermann Memorial because that was the first name which came to my mind.

Soon, an ambulence came and they strapped me on a board with duct tape and some plastic support and put me on a stretcher and loaded me into the ambulence. This whole setup was quite uncomfortable and it somehow increased my pain. My neck also started to hurt because of the uncomfortable situation of my head. I kept my cool and wits and was not feeling so much pain. I think I have lots of threshold for pain so may be I felt pain but it did not bother me.

We reached Hermann Memorial hospital within couple of minutes and then started the ordeal of frustration, agony and disgust about the incompetence and lack of professionalism of the hospital staff.

I had to wait 20-25 minutes just to be removed from the stretcher and moved into the emergency room (ER). There was some small kid who kept crying in very high pitch and it made me uncomfortable because I was all strapped and unable to move my leg or turn around my head. I was also feeling extremely thristy and they informed me that I couldn't drink any water before a doctor looks after my condition first.

I think first I was attended by an orthopaedic who after asking some simple question and probing the area around me neck concluded that probably I don't have a fractured skull and sent me to trauma center.

Another doctor came and he sent me to get a CT scan. CT scan was a quickie. My head went inside a big machine and within seconds I was done.

The most funny thing which happened at the hospital was that they didn't keep their words. Some nurse will come and ask some funny quesitons and then disappear while promising that she/he will be back in moments. I don't know what unit of time the hospital staff followed but a moment was never less than an hour.

Later, I got to drink some water and the doctor came with my CT scan report only to tell a bad news. He told that something unusual is found on my CT scan and that I have two 5 mm size internal bleeding spots because of the impact of the ball. He told me that soon a Neuro-surgeon will examine me within couple of minutes and I simply waited and waited and waited.

At around 8 pm Shekhar was informed that they intend to keep me in the hospital for the whole night and this really made me uncomfortable. A nurse came around 8:40 and told me that they need to shift me to different room. I asked that I don't want to spend the night here and would like to spend night at my home and come back again in morning if required.

Next, she came back with the Neuro Surgeon and he made a lame excuse about why he could not see me earlier because he was very busy. He seems a good doctor and he explained me his concerns and said that we should take another CT scan at 11 pm and if everything is fine I can go back home. He told me that as I am hit in the right side of my head, more internal bleeding could lead to seizure of my heart. I was really scared and decided to go with the doctor's advice.

Now, they have shifted me to another room which is more comfortable and has a TV and a couch for the visitors to sit.

I could access one computer in the hospital and I have written this blog from that computer in one sitting. I hope I can finish it soon because it will highlight the poor state of healthcare services in United States.

Good News: I got my second CT scan done and it does not show any increase in the internal bleeding. This is a good news but I still need to be little careful for next couple of months like not to become stressed or consume any alchohol.

More to follow later once I get out of hospital probably tomorrow morning...

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