Updated: May 10
My spouse had severe abdominal pains, so we rushed her to the ER. Starting at the end of the story - she had an acute intestinal infection, received antibiotics via IV, and was in the hospital for about 5 days.
Now, back to the beginning. We arrived at 8:40 AM at a not very busy ER, but that quickly changed. We had been there a short while when we heard a woman wailing, "...That's my little girl...why won't he let me say goodbye?" She wailed and wailed. I cannot imagine the heartbreak she was feeling. Someone else was screaming in pain, and yet another went unconscious by our room.
Then there was a guy who arrived in an ambulance with his finger arriving later in a separate vehicle; the county sheriffs were there for (Or were delivering) someone, and I believe one gentleman passed away from complications of a heart attack. Another lady had chest pains and was prepped and taken for an angiogram. I watched one EMT take 2 hours of verbal abuse from an obvious drunken (or crazy) man. It was abuse, mean-spirited, vile, nasty, and on occasion, physical. If I had been the EMT, I would have decked him or tied his ears to the table...I saw the EMT later in the day and told him, "Whatever they're paying you is not enough - thank you for what you do."
Ambulances came and went all day - broken this, broken that, fall here, fall there, fainted female, cut male - the tragedy went on and on and on...
My youngest daughter is an ER Nurse, and during a break today, I asked how she could stand all the human tragedy. She simply told me the rewards far outnumber the bad moments and that I had just had a glimpse into her life.
Throughout the entire day, the nurses and doctors, while not as attentive as I'd like them to have been (I understand others had more severe problems), all had a smile, were caring, and were genuinely concerned for our welfare.
We were there for a shift change, and we saw many tired people leave - and a new energetic group arrived. I imagine their night shift will be as busy as the day shift, but with perhaps an added stabbing or gunshot wound.