Saturday, February 2, 2008

Is 3 in one day considered excessive?

Okay, this whole ER thing with Andrea reminded me of a incident from the past summer. I went back through my archives to see I had not posted the story of my ER experience. We have one hospital in Visalia, the other hospital was bought by this one and closed down ( can we say monopoly?). It has since been turned into a Urgent Care that closes at 5 PM, we have a Urgent Care company in town that also closes at 5 PM.

So it is a Friday evening I am playing with Elizabeth in the living room helping her untangle a slinky type bracelet like this one

All of the sudden it snaps,I feel something in my eye and run to the bathroom to see that I have a small piece lodged in under my lower eyelid. I call Marty and he can't see anything, but I can tell something is there and I need to get it out a.s.a.p. So I call my friend Robin to watch my kids while we go to the doctor to see if they can remove it. We drop our kids off and run by the Urgent Care to see it has closed for the evening. We drive to the Hospital, brave the horrible parking situation, walk in the ER to see 5 million people in there with nowhere to sit. We walk up to the front desk clerk to check in, she asks why we are there and proceeds to say " I can't see anything and it is a two hour wait" rolling her eyes and handing over a clipboard. We look at each other and decide to go check the other Urgent care in town. We are driving around and I am looking in the visor mirror to see if I can see the piece of metal, sure enough there it is shining back at me! We arrive at the other Urgent Care to see that it is also closed. I decide I am either going to the fire station or go to my friend Michelle's to see if she can remove it for me. We decide to go home and see if we can figure something out or prepare for a long night in the ER waiting room with the rest of Visalia. I called Michelle and she asked me if I tried using a piece of kleenex to grab it, I had not and really it was my best option. I grabbed a piece of kleenex and removed it out of my eye after 5 minutes of trying unsuccessfully to remove it. We got our kids and I saved the metal to show the eye doctor the next day since I didn't know what else to do. I got checked out the next day by the optometrist and all was fine.

We live in a heavy agricultural area with many farm laborers who have no health care and depend on the ER to treat them. It is sad that our ER's have become Dr.'s offices and when true emergency's arise there is no immediate care available. The town 15 minutes up the freeway has closed it's ER because they couldn't afford to keep it open. This means that we are going to get impacted as will Fresno. We all know in this area if you want good care you have to drive to LA or SF to get high quality treatment. We are lucky to have a good Children's hospital in Fresno but it is the only one between LA and Sacramento so it is quite impacted itself. Sadly, it isn't just here in this city it is nationwide and no matter where you stand politically, socially or economically it is affecting you and we need to make a change.