This morning when we were sitting in the ER, I looked over at Brandon and said, "How many alcohol related injuries do you think they have every weekend in the ER?"
Before I move on I should probably tell you why we were in the ER in the first place. Remember my post from last night at 11:30 when I said Mackenzie was sick and that hopefully her fever would go away in the night or sometime today? It didn't! She actually got worse and couldn't keep fluids or medicine down. When we called the pediatrician to make an appointment at the after hours clinic, they recommended we go to the emergency room. So we loaded her up at 5:45am and went to the ER. After some anti-nausea medicine and some more tylenol, she was examined, which included her first X-ray (boy was that fun!), diagnosed with a viral infection (deja vu?) and sent home 3 1/2 hours later.
This time we left with a prescription for the anti-nausea medicine which seems to be working wonderfully. We are still on the strict regimen of tylenol and IB profin and hopefully the fever will go away in the next day or two. We'll see how tonight goes, as that appears to be when she does the worst. She's still "feisty" as the nurse said, which is a good sign that she's doing ok, just not feeling well. She said they would rather have a crying child than a child who doesn't really respond to anything. They definitely had a crying child. The other patients in the ER were probably hoping we would leave soon! ;)
That brings me back to my original question to Brandon.
Case Study 1: When we first arrived at the ER and were waiting in the waiting room, a young man (do I sound old when I say that?) came out with his girlfriend and told his other waiting friends how bad his mouth hurt using a few choice expletives. His friend said, "hey...there are children in the room." He looked at us and then said he was leaving. His other friends got up and I heard his girlfriend say, "he's still intoxicated". It was 6:00am. I have no idea how he hurt his mouth, but I'm pretty sure it had something to do with the fact that he was drunk.
Case Study 2: Once we got to a "room" or bed with curtains all around, you could hear most everything that was being said unless they talked very quietly. I heard a nurse ask a patient, "So, you finally woke up? How many beers did you have?" The patient I think said 10, but I don't know for sure. The nurse then said, "That's a lot of beer." The doctor later came in and I think I heard him say they were going to X-ray his leg or hip or something. Who knows what happened to him.
This is about the time I asked Brandon my question. But then I was in for a real treat with the next patient!
Case Study 3: I heard a woman (mom) tell this story several times, "Well, Bubba (I did not change the names - I promise) was drunk and Jeff (her son) tried to take the keys away from him and drive home, but Bubba wouldn't let him, so Jeff climbed in the backseat." From what I heard, the truck missed a curve and ran into a telephone pole, breaking it and totaling his truck. Her son already had a cat-scan for a cut at his head, had broken his wrist and now they were waiting for another cat-scan to see if his spleen had ruptured.
All of this in the 3 1/2 hours we were there. And those are only the cases I heard! I have no idea how many alcohol related injuries (not just deaths) there are each year, but based on my small amount of time in the ER, I imagine it's a very large number. Crazy!