Wednesday, May 2, 2007

A Further Anecdote - Why I don't wish to be hospitalized again

Checking in for my hospital stay began, as it does in the states, with Triage. The nurse there asked me for my symptoms, life story, and took my vitals. This would all have been business as usual, but as she came to the part where she listens to my heart she took an exceedingly long time.

Perhaps she sat there, stethascope pressed to my chest, for more than a minute before she removed it with the slightest of frowns. "Anything wrong?" I asked her.
"No" she answered hesitantly, "but... do you have any heart troubles?"

This brought about a brief pause from me. "I certainly hope not." And I ended it there, waiting for her to explain. But she didn't, she just set about nervously on her paperwork until I interrupted her with my silly question

"Why do you ask?"
"Well", she answered, looking up from her paperwork, "A normal heartbeat is between 60-80 beats, yours is 57." And that was that.

Later in the ER, a nurse came into take my vitals. He listened to my heart. He listened long, and hard, and his listening ended with a troubling frown. "Anything wrong?" I asked him.
"No... well... do you have any history of heart troubles?" he asked me.
"No. Why? Is my heart beating unusually slowly?"
"Yes, it should be 60-80 beats per minute, and yours is 57." And on that note he walked out, looking troubled.

Perhaps 10 minutes went by before the doctor walked in, and with a roll of his eyes put a stethascope to my chest, listened briefly, gave a slight nod, then turned to walk briskly out. As he did so I called his attention back "Anything wrong?" I asked him.

He paused to give me an amused, conspirative look "My nurses both think there's some problem with your heart, but they're wrong. There's another noise in there that was throwing them off, your heart is perfectly normal." And with that, the doctor turned and strolled impatiently from the room.

Shortly after he left, the previous nurse that had come in to check on my vitals came back, put his stethascope to my chest, and nodded sagely to himself, as if suddenly something made more sense.

Then he, too, left me to myself and my ER booth filled with mosquitos.

1 comment:

jennifer said...

good seeing you at home. Now to amuse us all, you have been tagged to do random facts. See my blog entry of May 17.