How Weird Is It to Have Enjoyed Being in the Emergency Room?

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Aspie1
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14 Nov 2014, 11:03 pm

On Tuesday evening this week, I had to go to the ER; I won't disclose why. I live near a large hospital, so that was a piece of cake. The pain got too intense to bear, I got in my car, and drove myself there. Apparently, it was a slow time, because I only had to sit in the waiting room for 20 minutes. I was checked in, had a medical bracelet put on me, changed into a hospital gown, and escorted to an ER bed. Somehow, I found really easy to feel comfortable socially, although obviously not physically. I even joked with the workers, mostly chemistry humor, which they got. While I screamed bloody murder during the operation, the doctors and nurses were very understanding, and had great bedside manners. (Which I cannot say about doctors I saw as a kid, although due to my family being poor, most of them were at county hospitals or paid by Medicaid.) It was also flattering to be called Mr. LastName by someone who's not a cop or a courtroom judge. After the operation, I lay in the ER bed until I felt OK enough to get discharged. I spent a bulk of that time watching Cartoon Network (the hospital had cable), taking selfies, and constantly asking for cups of water.

The hospital had a courtesy shuttle that drove me home, and my friends met me by my apartment building. Along the way, I kept laughing at the light poles zooming by; the driver was very patient about it. My friends brought food and champagne. They drank it on my behalf, and made me a Sprite with a drop of yellow food coloring, to wash down my prescription meds. We looked over the ER selfies in my phone, and had a few laughs. They made sure I can walk to my bed, and went home. I didn't go to work on Wednesday, and I feel perfectly fine today. (I took a taxi and picked up my car on Wednesday afternoon.)

So now, on with my question. Looking back, I kind of enjoyed being in the ER on Tuesday. That cannot be normal or even right! I get it: an ER is not prison, but it's generally not a pleasant place. And yet, I'm reacting to it the way most women would react to going to a spa! It's a freakin' emergency room, for crying out loud! Then why would I be reacting so positively to something that most NT's consider a bad experience?

So,
Was it the anesthetics/sedatives they gave me, and the state they put me in?
Was it their great bedside manners? (by contrast, many doctors I saw as a kid didn't evoke trust or sympathy in me, and were quite patronizing)
Was it the freedom to scream in pain if I damn felt like it? (by contrast, I got in trouble with my parents for doing so in hospitals as a kid)
Was it the freedom to look, talk, and act like a complete wreck (like when looking for the restroom, with an IV in my arm) and not have it matter one bit?
Was it my knowledge of the process, enough to joke about the chemical formulas of drugs they were giving me?
Was it my friends reacting with respect and dignity to what happened to me?
Was it being taken care of for a change? (by contrast, I have to take care of everything and everyone at my stressful IT job)

Thoughts/questions/comments/concerns? Please share!



andrethemoogle
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15 Nov 2014, 12:13 am

I think it might have been a mixture of the sedatives, the adrenaline flowing through you and the overall feeling that you're in safe environment where the doctors and nurses won't judge you.

That's what I took out of what you read. ER's for me are the opposite, it makes me even more paranoid being in one and a hospital in general when I know I'm in safe place.



cathylynn
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15 Nov 2014, 12:32 am

lots of people like being taken care of.



Aspie1
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15 Nov 2014, 1:20 am

Andrethemoogle brought up an interesting point: adrenaline. It really did make my ER experience more interesting than it should have been. It was my first time ever going to an ER, at least as a patient and not a visitor, hence the adrenaline. So it was all new and exciting (for the lack of a better term), although there were a few familiar elements, like the high-tech bed, the bracelet, and the gown. But the similarities end there. One thing for sure: it's leaps and bounds better as an adult than as a child. There are many reasons, but the most important one is this: you get real painkillers and never feel the pain "full strength" that you do as a child, when all you get is verbal reassurance that doesn't actually reduce the pain.

This brings me to another reason: I actually wanted to be there, because I trusted the staff to stop the pain. Not because my parents dragged me there, kicking and screaming, for the "nice man/lady in a white lab coat" to help me. Spending most of my ER time in a drug-induced daze, getting rid of excruciating pain in a matter of minutes, and having my friends be slightly jealous of the IV painkillers I got was awesome.



rainbowbutterfly
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15 Nov 2014, 3:09 am

It was probably enjoyable to you because of all of the reasons you mentioned. Additionally, it's probably also because of a combination of the drugs they were giving you and the chemicals being produced by your own body.
I had a similar experience once when I was hospitalized because of a hiking accident in which I fell at least 10-20 ft. Everyone has expected that the accident traumatized me but it didn't. The only trauma was in the aftermath, the way I chose to interpret things when I fully recovered. Strangely, the accident itself was actually a good moment in my life. I was in an altered state of consciousness and at times I saw my body through a 3rd person perspective. It seems like it was almost a Near Death Experience. Also, with all the endorphins pumping through me, I was in an incredibly relaxed state, like no other. Although the people around me were probably really traumatized I felt like there were no burdens on my shoulders, and nothing that I should do, shouldn't do, or couldn't do at that moment in time. I was simply ready to face my fate and surrender my will to G-d. When I talked to the person I was hiking with, he described me as acting really euphoric.



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15 Nov 2014, 6:21 am

I always like going to the hospital, I'm not sure why. Although I usually want to leave after more than two hours. It's oddly fun getting all that attention and being in a new environment, for me at least.



slenkar
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15 Nov 2014, 8:20 am

It gives an ego boost when several people are intensely concerned about your wellbeing.



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15 Nov 2014, 4:09 pm

For me, it was the mental hospital. I LOVED being in the ER; it was like a party. Me and my new friends, fellow patients, talked a lot about our unforunate circumstances and made a lot of noise and joked. They gave us PRNs to calm us down but we were at it again 10 minutes later. There was never a dull moment... psych emergencies, things to joke about, more. It was great.



TheTrueMayhem
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15 Nov 2014, 5:35 pm

The reasons why I've been in ERs have always been unfortunate, but more often than not I enjoy the compassion and company of the hospital staff. They have a special place in my heart, and are the few humans I have sympathy for.



Graelwyn
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15 Nov 2014, 11:38 pm

I used to enjoy being in hospital.
One, for being taken care of, and two, probably because of the routine, the order, the cleanliness, the predictability of it.
It felt safe.


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YippySkippy
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16 Nov 2014, 12:40 pm

Why were you screaming during the operation? Were you in pain? Because I would think they should have numbed you or put you under if that was the case, and I'm wondering why they didn't.



Aspie1
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16 Nov 2014, 1:28 pm

It was a 5-minute operation, or not even. (Out of the 4 hours I spent there.) Using general anesthesia would have been redundant. And it was something that wasn't responding well to the local anesthetics; partially my fault for ignoring the problem too long. But once the whole thing was done, I felt much better, and dizzy from the IV meds. And I felt only slight pain at discharge time, and barely anything the next day. It's a far cry from the operation I had as a kid, when I felt sharp pain for five days after, and was told by my family "stop whining; you're big boy!"

On that note, my friends who met me where the hospital shuttle dropped me off at my apartment building were totally awesome about it. They made me fake champagne (I wasn't allowed drink alcohol for 24 hours after), brought food, and shared good laughs over the ER selfies I took. My immediate family, on the other hand, was less supportive. They described my ER trip as hasty and without thinking, and said that I should have toughed out the pain and waited until I can see a regular doctor. (But then I wouldn't have a good time, and this thread wouldn't exist. ;))

Another interesting thing: I actually believed the words of reassurance/encouragement the hospital staff gave me, even cliche, almost-childish statements like "You did a wonderful job." Somehow, when the staff told me these same things as kid, I just didn't find them believable. I "knew" those were just empty words that did not reduce my pain, physical or psychological, in the slightest. But they made me feel better as an adult. Why, I don't know. Either way, I still think it's weird beyond weird that I had a good time in the ER, and trying to get some insight.



Last edited by Aspie1 on 16 Nov 2014, 10:50 pm, edited 2 times in total.

YippySkippy
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16 Nov 2014, 1:32 pm

Beacause the procedure was something you'd been putting off for a while, part of your joy was probably relief that it was finally done.



ImAnAspie
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17 Nov 2014, 4:47 am

I can understand. I like being in hospital. My last visit, I got to spend my last 4 days in a massive 4 bed room ALL BY MYSELF - WOOHOO!! ! and the nurses didn't even come in too often. I really appreciated my alone time there. Had my laptop, smart phone, Special Interest and I was in heaven. Most peaceful, restful time I've had in a long time.


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LookTwice
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17 Nov 2014, 10:40 pm

Not sure which anaesthetic they gave you, but if it was Ketamine, that might explain it. It's being studied as an antidepressant.


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ImAnAspie
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18 Nov 2014, 2:54 am

LookTwice wrote:
Not sure which anaesthetic they gave you, but if it was Ketamine, that might explain it. It's being studied as an antidepressant.


I thought I knew that from somewhere. That's what is often referred to as the date-rape drug and they also use it as an animal tranquilizer.


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