February 16th, 2002

self portrait

Quite a lovely play, actually.

Being the answer to "Other than that, Mrs. Lincoln...," of course.

Ericka went in to the hospital yesterday evening. I had finished work early and gone off to the gaming convention to help my friends run our game. Things were going well when I got the call. Dropped things there and met up with Ericka at the emergency room.

Turns out that in the prior couple of hours her injured arm had become greatly more inflamed, swollen, hot and painful. Both her regular doctor and the orthopedic surgeon on call said she should get her butt to the ER. So she did and the triage nurse guessed cellulitis, that is, infection of the skin cells themselves. Nasty stuff.

A doctor confirmed that about two hours later. (Not without a laughable attempt at getting Ericka into a hospital gown. Useless given that they didn't have any gowns that would fit her and pointless as the examination was confined to her arm which was fully accessible in her sleeveless dress. Harrumph.) He drafted orders for a course of IV antibiotics and admitted her to the hospital.

She's at St. Johns in Maplewood, a suburb of St. Paul, MN. They are a private hospital and the degree to which this is evident is scary. The ER waiting room felt like someone had the place Feng Shui-d in a big way. A nice big fish tank, a waterfall fountain, a fireplace, real books (not just out-dated magazines), a place for kids to play that was both secluded from most of the area and with easy access to the main desk, the area broken into manageable-sized rooms; it all added up to make it not unpleasant to sit in for a couple of hours.

The staff (apart from the gown incident) were all very courteous, helpful and did their best to make things easy for Ericka. They also didn't blink an eye at a strange guy with long hair, a beard and a leather jacket following her everywhere she went. They quickly grasped Ericka's special needs and either made accommodations or explained why they weren't immediately available and when they would be made.

They have nice art on the walls. The nurse on the floor when she got to a regular room asked not only what drugs she was taking but also what vitamins or herbs she might be taking. In spite of her being on MA, several of the staff made suggestions about how we might want to do things to save money. (Bring her CPAP instead of using theirs, for example.)

So, hey, if you're going to have your sweetie risk losing an arm to a horrible infection (exaggerating there, it was never a great danger), you could do much worse than seeking treatment from St. Johns.

I have to stay up for an hour or so more so that I can call Ericka's PCA who is scheduled to come by tomorrow and let her know that won't be necessary because Ericka's not her. I'll pack up a few things while I'm waiting so hopefully it'll go quickly
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