COVID and my Night in the ER
October 7, 2021
Going through my pics and found this picture I snapped of myself in a recliner in the back hall of the emergency room at Providence Centralia.
To give you appropriate background: My mother and I received two Pfizer vaccinations in March, 2021. My mother and I both received our booster on September 30th. I came down with serious COVID symptoms on October 2nd. My mother came down with serious COVID symptoms on October 7th. This was a breakthrough case for both of us, due to the virus mutations which have resulted as a result of anti-vaxxers.
Just wanted to give all you anti-VAX people an idea of what breakthrough COVID is doing to our emergency rooms and our first responders and medical staff. Imagine how disheartening it is not only to be going through as a provider, but to be responsible for the care of a sick person and have to see them suffer like this.
As you can see I was in a recliner, not a bed, and there were recliners lined up along the hallway behind the ER because there weren't enough rooms in the ER Department because it was overrun with COVID patients. There were not only people lined up behind me but in front of me as well the entire length of the hallway behind the ER Department. I was lucky. Not everyone had a recliner. Some were in wheelchairs and some were in regular chairs pulled from the ER waiting room. I reconstructed my timeline by reviewing my ER chart notes on the patient portal: 1. Arrived at the ER by ambulance 2:01 pm. 2. Moved from from the ambulance gurney to a wheelchair and triaged. Determined stable, and moved to the ER waiting room. There was no social distancing in the ER waiting room. It was full. 3. Felt like I was going to pass out at 2:58 pm and yelled I needed help. 4. Was wheeled back into triage, vitals checked, deemed stable and moved back into the ER waiting room. 5. At approximately 5:00 pm, brought back through triage, IV inserted, blood taken, then moved to a recliner in the hall behind the ER.
6. Seen by the doctor (while in the recliner in the back hall) at 5:22 pm. 7. Received chest x ray, full labs, and two liters of saline. Note: Was going to be discharged after the first liter of saline, but my blood pressure was 80/55, so they had to give me a another liter of saline. That brought my blood pressure up to 102 over 50-ish, so I was considered stable and OK for discharge. 8. Discharged at 10:02 PM In summary, I sat in the ER waiting room in a wheelchair from about 2:00 pm until about 5:00 pm. Roughly three hours. There was no social distancing in the ER waiting room. It was full. I was in the recliner in the hallway behind the ER from about 5:oo pm until I was discharged at 10:22 pm, so five hours and 22 minutes. Total time in the ER about 8 hours and 22 minutes.
I was never moved to a bed in the ER because the ER was overrun with COVID PATIENTS. PLEASE NOTE: Although the ER was overloaded, I received excellent care. I was checked on frequently, my medical needs were addressed (dehydration, chest X ray, full labs), and although the situation was uncomfortable during the period I had to sit in the ER waiting room in the wheelchair, I was treated medically appropriately and with much compassion by all staff. No matter what part of the ER I was in (waiting room, back hall), I was treated appropriately and with much compassion by all staff.