Posted by: Miriam | 20/08/2008

Perils of Urgent Care

So on Sunday I took a magnificent dive off my mtn bike at about 25 mph into very large gravel due to a ginormous blackberry bush that was in my way. Well it was either blackberry bush or median of large loose gravel. Either way I knew I was going to eat it. And I did. Brilliantly. So I banged my knee and whacked my handle bars in my stomach (yes I have a round bruise right of my belly button), and I really abraded the hell out of my left elbow. I clean it up, I put neosporin goo on it. I’ve had road rash before, I know how this goes.

Fast foward to Tuesday night, my arm is swollen and a bit red, and definitely warmer than it should be. Crap. So I try a little ice, and I prop my arm up on the back of the sofa for most of the evening to see if I can get it to drain. No dice. All that I get from that is lost feeling in my hand and a cold elbow. Crap.

So today I go to urgent care…and by urgent they mean if you are not spurting blood everywhere, then you are probably ok and going to sit there for hours. And by hours I mean minimum of 3. Do not go to urgent care if you are not obviously seriously injured. So I’m there I check in. Lesson number one dawns pretty quick: do not act chipper or upbeat or have a pain number less than 5. Yes my minor infection is a 10. It is totally the worst pain I’ve ever had. Evar.

Lesson number 2: Hospitals do not care about blood born pathogens – do not touch ANYTHING. So some dude who’d been there for 2 hours, bleeding (see he wasnt at the 3 hour mark, so they couldnt help him yet) from a very large laceration on his palm. He went to the bathroom to put more paper towels on it and when he came out, there was blood dripping down his elbow, all over his shoes, jeans and the floor. He didnt notice until I pointed it out. They didnt bandage his hand up for about 5-10 minutes. It took about 15 minutes for them to get out the antimicrobial spray and wipe down the floors. And the nurse did it w/o gloves.

Lesson number 3: Your wait will be 12x as long as your actual visit with any medical professional. I sat for 3 hours. I saw the dr for about 5 minutes, the nurse for about 10. Fifteen minutes. She cleaned my elbow (by pouring what looked like water on it), slathering some polysporin on it (whats the difference between poly and neo?) and then wrapping it in gauze (because I’m allergic to adhesives so I dont to medical tape well). And fax a script for antibiotics to the pharmacy. At least the dr and nurse wore gloves.



  1. That was some gnarly rock for sure. Good thing you’re tough! 🙂

  2. Ugh, sry&c.Antibiotics are one of those things that, if we were just well-behaved with 'em, we ought to be able to prescribe ourselves.There's a reason I've never been to "urgent" care. I was amazed by how long I had to wait, bleeding, at an emergency room, before!

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