The last experience I had with our health care was in November of last year...I was doing a pickup at one doctor's office, and they were doing renovations on the building. It was an older building, and the stairway wasn't made for taller people. I was bounding up the stairs two at a time and crack....I smacked my head on the landing above.
Felt like someone hit me on the head with a baseball bat. I didn't knock myself out, but I dropped to my knees and had to gather my thoughts for a moment. I made it to the top of the stairs where the receptionist said "was that your head" as she had heard the bang. I was rubbing my head, but I thought I was okay.
So I had to drive another 20 minutes to Kingston, and although at one point I thought I was going to be sick, that moment passed and I finished my delivery. Made it home and put an icepack on my head. Everything seemed fine, although I had a "Fred Flintsone" type of bump on the top of my head. Ruth was up visiting her Dad at the time, and I even had a beer or two that evening.
The next day, I was at work at the RV place, when all of a sudden I felt like I couldn't stand up. I had to go lie down in one of the trailers. I rested for 15 minutes, and then went back to the parts counter again. Same thing happened...felt like I was going to drop. They ended up calling an ambulance for me because I couldn't have made it to the parking lot. Very strange sensation, and I can't say I've ever felt anything like it.
I thought the ambulance attendants were fantastic. Not sure what more they could have done. They did all the standard tests...blood pressure, etc.
At the hospital emergency room, the ambulance attendants and I explained what happened. I still couldn't stand, and I was helped from the stretcher to a small examining room. This is where I thought the care went downhill.
They took a blood sample. Why, I have no idea. I'm guessing it took about 45 minutes for the doctor to see me. He asked the whole story about what happened, and never once looked at my head. I know he wouldn't have seen much...a bump and a scrape...but I still thought it was strange. Then, I waited about 2 1/2 hours for the results of the blood test. When it came back with everything good, they said I could leave and to come back if I had any more problems.
My boss had waited around to drive me home. I managed to walk to the car, although I felt pretty unsteady. When I got home, I went on the internet and researched concussions. Based on what I found out, I had some pretty typical symptoms of a severe concussion.
It took about a week for me to start to feel normal, and after two weeks I was totally better.
I received a bill for the ambulance for $45. And the hospital visit was totally covered under my Ontario Health Insurance plan.
But I feel that the emergency room doctor was not experienced with head trauma. He seemed to think that my problems were not even related to hitting my head, which is why he ordered the blood tests. Having said that, I'm not sure what else they could have done, other than an MRI or catscan or whatever it is they do to further inspect your head. After reading about other people's experiences with severe concussion, I was pretty scared that there was internal bleeding or something, but thankfully I did fully recover. Some people get better in 3 days, and some people take 3 months or longer....and some people never get totally better.
Stay tuned for part 3...