Robert (gurdonark) wrote,

a visit to the ER

Friday night at 10 p.m. I began a new adventure. My wife asked me to help her take down a screen placed over an open door to permit the door to be open without admitting insect life. As I stood up, I found myself experiencing that vertigo known as orthostatic hypotension, that dizzy feeling one gets from standing up too quickly. I experience this roughly once a week, and had marked it down as something to talk to my doctor about when I was due for my annual physical next month. In the past, I recovered quickly by just putting my hands on my knees and allowing the blood flow to catch up.

This time, though, I went very dizzy and fell. I hit my head on a wooden dresser which also serves as a television stand for us. This caused an abrasion of roughly one inch, and a reasonably copious amount of bleeding. My wife quickly got me something to stanch the bleeding and called 911. I held my forehead and shivered a bit, though I do not know if the shivering was shock or the chilly weather or both.

Within five minutes, EMT technicians arrived with an ambulance. They loaded me onto a stretcher, asked me questions, took my EKG and blood pressure and heart rate, and took me to Centennial Medical Center in Frisco.

I kept consciousness through this matter, and was able to lucidly experience the situation. I did not have any pains other than the cut, and my anxiety faded once the bleeding had stopped.

Soon a kind ER doctor was stitching up my wound. The EMT technicians had had a 55 year old woman patient right before me who had also had a fall. The doctor said "it's the first day of Fall", a particularly appropriate pun because last night was quite cool.

Soon he had me well-stitched, and the kind nurse explained everything to me about avoiding heavy lifting,vertigo and infection. We arrived at 10:15 and were home by midnight. Though the wound was roughly an inch long, the doctor put on a huge bandage which made the whole experience much more melodramatic visually than the actual living of the experience proved to be. The rather elaborate bandage was a defense against bleeding, though no post-sew bleeding occurred. The EMT fellows ripped my shirt, so they gave me a gown front to wear, as well as curious red socks.


I got a good night's sleep and spent Saturday resting, walking Beatrice, and watching sports contests on television. This plan replaced my original plan to go day hiking instead. By day's end, I felt pretty good. The cut is not painful.
Even with the smaller band-aid-type bandage I now wear, I look a bit odd. But that's okay.

In the late afternoon, I walked at Bethany Lakes Park, where I saw a snowy egret and a green heron. We went to dinner at Rockfish Grill. I will call my regular physician Monday to try to sort out if there was a cause for the vertigo other than just standing up too quickly. I feel fortunate that my evening was not more worrying. I hope that is my one visit to the ER, at least for the present. I admit, though I had no aspiration to ride in an ambulance, it was an interesting experience.
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