Out of Hospital - Am Fine-US Medical the Best

Out of Hospital - Am Fine-US Medical the Best

I went into a hospital with no notice to them Memorial Day Monday about 10:30 and just was released today Wednesday two days later with temporary oxygen and pills - a small price to pay for something that could be quite serious. Rather than talk about me alone, I could just not be more impressed by US Medical. I know different people have different experiences. But in my case, I do not see how the last two issues I had could have been handled faster or more professionally.

1. THE EYE PROBLEM - SEVERAL YEARS AGO
Symptom: 8:00 am saw floaters in one eye I never saw before. Being a male I almost ignored it. But I called my eye doctor for an emergency visit and was granted one in two hours.
* 10:00 am - At Eye doctor who saw me on short notice. I expected him to say it was nothing or just take eye drops. He was concerned. He made an appointment for me at a Retina specialist a few miles north. I had never been her patient (Retina Specialist). She allowed an emergency visit at 2:00 pm the same day
* 2:00 pm - At the Retina Specialist, a nice Asian doctor, I expected her to say it was nothing. She said I had a detached retina and that was bad. But she said she could fix it that day. She asked me to sit in a very plain wooden chair and not move. She hit my eye with a hand held laser. Each time it burned a little but I tried not to move.
* 3:00 pm She said my eye was fixed and to come back for an observation in a week or so. The return visits showed no issues. She had fixed it by 3:00 pm. Not only were the floaters gone, but I do not even remember which eye it was without asking the eye doctor experts. They always tell me and smile
* And so 8:00 symptoms that were totally fixed by professionals by 3:00 pm in patient surgery the same day. 7 Hours later.

2. MEMORIAL DAY AND SERIOUS LOSS OF BREATH
Symptoms: What began seeming a normal cold on Saturday of Memorial Day weekend seemed to keep changing symptoms. By Memorial Day Monday morning I had a hard time walking more than 12 yards or so without stopping to rest and breathing heavy many times. I did get the flag out, but that meant just inside the house 10 minutes of sitting down and heavy breathing to recover before I could walk to another room.
* 10:30 am Memorial Day - signed into emergency room of a hospital I had never been to at my wife's suggestion.
* 10:35 am Memorial Day - hospital already fixed my symptoms. They asked my problems. I said walking was a problem and that then I could not catch my breath. The immediately put me into a wheel chair and gave me oxygen. Being a dumb male, part of me thought - hey symptoms gone, maybe I am done now. But no, even dumb me knew they had to find what was really wrong.
* 10:35 to 3 pm Memorial Day - They hit me with many tests. Some were standard, some I had never had before in my life. The standard ones were an often monitoring of temperature, blood pressure, pulse rate, and oxygen saturation level in my blood. Also it seemed blood test now were going to be every six hours. In addition, more tests that included: Chest X-Ray, EKG, Cat Scan, Leg Ultrasounds. And yes I may have forgotten one or two
* 3 pm Memorial Day - the nurses had theories, and perhaps the doctors first of pneumonia or later a heart issue. To everyone's credit, they did not diagnose till all tests were in. At 3 pm I was admitted to the main hospital since they found the answer. I had a blood clot in each lung and also a blood clot nearby the lungs. In other words, you could breath all you want filling your lungs, but not much oxygen could pass to the blood. They also knew the answer since this is not uncommon - blood thinners at least for some months to stop and then perhaps help reduce the clots, and also oxygen since the air is mostly nitrogen (78%) and oxygen about 21%. But of course if Oxygen were at 100% or close, the odds of getting oxygen to blood was much better.
* Hospital routine - blood thinner shots in the stomach, constant measuring of vital signs, blood tests perhaps every 6 hours. They also ordered ultrasounds of my heart, lung and neck areas. They also had a physical therapy person working with me to get me to walk starting with a walker. And of course I was also on oxygen and an IV.
* 5 pm Wednesday - 2 and a half days later - they said I was responding to treatment. They sent me home with oxygen that their numbers showed by my oxygen level that Medicare would pay in total for the oxygen (Medicare pays if 88% or lower oxygen level in blood), and also with a prescription not too expensive co-pay for a newer blood thinner medicine much less trouble than the old.
* Later Wednesday - as I sit here typing this, it is clear to me that as they told me many people can die from this blood clot in the lungs problem. What can happen is that a blood clot can start in the leg where the veins might be larger, and then travel up to the lungs with smaller veins where they wedge. And so with immediate care and the highest professional care a life or death item becomes... oxygen for a short while and blood thinner pills for a number of months. Not a bad trade - when you have immediate attention from professionals

OTHER COMMENTS - At no time did anyone lie to me, cover up a test so their own hunch would win or other. They also seemed to have a huge sense of urgency and sometimes a sense of humor. One doctor in the hospital (case 2) even impressed me when he said the words "I don't know" when he tried to figure out the cause. He said my case did not match the hereditary case type. And I did not have the correct bad habits to cause it. And with no leg bumps the clot in the leg travelling thing did not seem to fit, and there were no clots in my leg in yesterdays test. I loved when unlike all knowing clowns on my TV set, this learned ethical man said "I don't know what caused it." He then cared and scrunched his forehead. it was clear that he felt he should learn what happened.

The professionalism and speed was just beyond amazing to me. I have the highest respect for the US Medical system. I know some may have other experiences and some politicians say they hate it. But my personal history, shows them to be incredibly competent and caring people.

Views: 95

Comment by RNhunter on May 30, 2014 at 8:59pm

Robin - you likely know more than me but I heard in the hospital that there are at least two types of doctors:  "MD" and "DO".  What I was told was that the MD type might just prescribe something and just walk away.  But a "DO" tries to deal with the "whole patient".  While that can be many things, me, the engineer, took that to mean that after they prescribe something, they then watch the patient to see if they get better or worse and then change things.  If true, you might need a "DO" instead of an "MD"

The doctor who released me from the hospital was a very smart but also tough Asian doctor perhaps less than five foot tall and not very heavy.  She was a "DO".  She told me that as far as she was concerned that medicine was 20% fact and 80% art.  I took that to mean the same thing.  A doctor can prescribe, but a good doctor also checks to see if it is working on "that" patient and make changes if needed.

Comment by RNhunter on May 30, 2014 at 9:05pm

Thanks to all for the nice words.

JG - blood thinners - each has their pluses and minuses.  I went with the newer xarelto since the dosage is always the same and diet does not affect it.  However, it cannot be reversed like coumadin (Warfarin, also = rat poison) and so if bleeding, only external tourniquets and waiting 24 hours or so work.  Internal bleeding could bleed for 24 hours.

My younger brother has been on longer and therefore only had the Coumadin (Warfarin) choice.  He just texted from the Austin Texas airport that he is ill since a CVS pharmacy messed up his order and gave his 5 times the dosage.  Hope he is okay.  I told him it could be reversed, but I do not know if that makes it better or worse.  And my brother is no dummy and was a VP of engineering and he is having trouble with Coumadin.  Me?  I am chicken and go for the newer xarelto which any fool can take.

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