Saturday, January 21, 2017

Emerging for Provisions After Confinement with Flu

My First Day Out Since I Got the Flu Two Weeks Ago

There's nothing like your first day out in the world again after being inside sick for a couple of weeks. My flu came on fast after my husband got it. It's my first case of any virus lasting more than three days in over twenty years. I decided I was strong enough to emerge today, and I did need to shop. Off I went to Smart and Final. 

You can see by the clouds that rain was likely. It was in the forecast, which is why I wanted to get home early. Fortunately, it did not rain while I was out or even the rest of the day. The rain will probably start again after I'm in bed tonight. Meanwhile, you can see the rain clouds waiting to dump their load, and you can see how green the hills across Golden Hill Road are across from the Smart and Final parking lot.

If You Are Unfortunate Enough to Get the Flu

If you begin to cough or get other flu symptoms such as aching muscles, I suggest you get to a doctor quickly before it's too late to get Tamiflu treatment. My husband, who got to the Emergency Room at Twin Cities Hospital the first day, got the Tamiflu and he never got as sick as I did. By the time I came down with the flu the next day, no one was well enough to drive me so I self-medicated. Here's what my flu looked like, stage by stage, what helped, and what didn't. 

Comparing Treatment at Twin Cities Emergency Room and MedPost Urgent Care

Twin Cities Emergency Room

My husband was treated at the Twin Cities Emergency Room. The minute we got there he was given a mask to keep him from spreading his germs to others. I filled out his paperwork, and he was into a room within five minutes.

 He stayed in that room for about three hours while they took his vital signs, swabbed his nose to see what virus he had, and X-rayed his chest to see if any bacteria were present. It was determined he had Influenza A. They sent him home with a prescription for Tamiflu and a cough medicine. Because it was pouring rain and the pharmacies were all closed, the doctor gave him the morning dose of Tamiflu so that I wouldn't have to get the prescription filled until afternoon the next day. 

Although we had to stay at the ER for a long time, my husband was kept comfortable and isolated from other patients, and so was I. Medical personnel were careful to keep contagious people isolated. Medical personnel filled out all but the most basic paperwork and entered any important information into their computers. If you get the flu and can't see your own doctor immediately, I highly recommend the Twin Cities Emergency Room.  

MedPost Urgent Care on First and Vine

My experience when I went to MedPost a week later was not as positive. When I walked in I was almost well, but needed medical advice on the one symptom that remained troubling. The waiting room was crowded and almost every person there was coughing. I put on a mask I found in the box on the registration counter, but no one else had put one one. They were all coughing into a hand or sleeve. I also noticed people using tablets. I didn't understand why until one was returned to the counter and it was passed to me. 

The woman at the desk handed me the tablet with no instructions. I wasn't sure what to do with it. She did not offer to explain or help. When I couldn't figure out how to clear the sample phone numbers to enter my own, she showed me the back button.   I am over seventy. 

Many people my age have never been confronted with using a tablet or any mobile device aside from a phone. I think when a person is already sick, weak, and possibly confused she should not be confronted with and expected to use unfamiliar technology. 

If this weren't enough, it seemed extremely unwise to pass the same tablet from patient to patient when almost everyone was coughing and contagious. The tablets were being touched and coughed on and then passed to the next sick person. The only protection offered, besides the unused masks, was a container of hand sanitizer to use after using the tablet. 

Unless you are young enough to feel comfortable with the tablet technology, I recommend you find some other urgent care center. It's possible that if I'd asked for help, the person behind the desk might have entered my information for me, but even when I seemed confused she did not offer to help. Later there was someone else at the other window who seemed more helpful, but it was too late for me by then. 

In all fairness, once I got called into a room the technician who took my vital signs was kind and helpful, as was the doctor. When I left I had a solution to the problem that had brought me in. Still, if I had to do it over, I'd go to Twin Cities, even if it is farther and takes longer to get in and out.  

It Felt Good To Get Out Today

I'm grateful I was strong enough to shop today and that the weather was kind to me. I'm grateful for all the rain we've had and will still get, but I'm glad it didn't rain on me. I will welcome it as a lullaby if it returns when I'm trying to sleep. 

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