Thursday, July 17, 2003

Wonderful ER, Or Something

Aloe is not enough.

Antibiotic burn creme, however, ought to be.

So towards the end of my shift tonight, the pain and blisters were getting much, much worse. Every time my boss looked at my legs, he said, "ewww." In a nice way, of course. By the time the doors locked, he suggested I get it looked at up at Hall Health, and I agreed. Why didn't I just do that yesterday?

I left work and walked to upper campus. Hall Health is right across from the Communications building, which is where I was going anyway. I called Kevin as I walked, and whimpered excessively. It was way fucking painful. When I got to Hall Health, the sign said it closed at 5. This was about 7:25. I told Kevin to come pick me up outside the Communications building ASAP and we'd figure out what to do.

I hobbled over to CMU and up two and a half flights of stairs to the newslab, which was miraculously unlocked and in use by someone I don't know who was printing off hundreds of pages of LexisNexis shit. I browsed the story requests and selected one that sounds decently interesting, due in a week, 650-700 words. Emailed the paper's editor and one of the contacts. Bam. Went out to wait, in massive pain.

Kevin finally arrived after getting a little lost on campus and we determined the best course of action would be to high-tail it to the UWMC Emergency Room. So I insisted that he park and walk in with me, and of course I insisted on walking. The wait was probably 30 minutes. Bad Boys was playing on the TV in the waiting room.

When I finally saw the nurse practitioner, she surmised that, gee, that was a nasty burn, and it sure looks like it's got a secondary infection, too! So she drained the blisters (clear, not pussy), had the medical assistant girl (whom I swear I've seen as a student in the computer lab) wash the whole area (ow) and apply a thick layer--"like frosting a cake"--of silver sulfadiazine creme with a tongue depressor. Then she applied non-adhesive pads to cover and wrapped it in gauze. She put all these items in a bag and sent it with me, because I'll be repeating the procedure twice daily now.

The NP also prescribed some antibiotics, which Kevin is now at the Ballard 24-hour Walgreen's filling, and told me to keep my feet up as much as possible. Great. The whole thing stung slightly and hurt like hell, but I'm sure it will help much more than, say, aloe alone.

"It's a good thing you came in," she told me. "This wouldn't have healed on its own."

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