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GrandmotherFamily Matters

I came home from work one night and found my grandmother hyperventilating and holding her chest. I called 911 and she was taken to St. Elizabeth’s in Brighton, Mass., where a friendly nurse greeted us. She took my grandmother’s vitals and explained what she was doing every step of the way.

My grandmother had X-rays and a CT scan to check her throat and lungs. The emergency physician also checked grandma’s heart — because of her age and the anxious feeling she was having — and determined that she had suffered a minor heart attack. She was admitted to the hospital for further testing.

I am grateful for the thorough care that she received, and for the kindness and commitment of everyone in the emergency room at St. Elizabeth’s.

Michelle Bruno
Belmont, Mass.


HorseEquestrian Folly

I was out for a ride on my favorite mare, Annabelle, when a stray dog startled her. As Annabelle reared up I was thrown to the ground and my outstretched hands took a great deal of the impact.

My left wrist was extremely sore and had already started swelling. After 30 minutes of icing off and on, the wrist was still quite swollen so my husband drove me to the local ER where I was relieved to learn that there were no broken bones. However, the wrist was badly sprained and needed to be braced. I had to wait a bit to be seen, but the ER staff was friendly and helpful.

Evelyn Von Graf
Louisville, Ky.

VolleyballNets and Knees

During my weekly volleyball game, I jumped up to spike the ball over the net and fell. That’s when I felt something pop in my knee. Although the pain was moderate, my knee began to swell. I put ice on it and rested, but the next day I was unable to walk. I headed to the emergency room at Our Lady of Fatima Hospital in North Providence, R.I. After seeing me, the staff referred me to an orthopedist. After receiving tips from the ER doc on how to heal the injury, I began my recovery with a set of crutches, a knee brace, and a preliminary diagnosis of a torn ACL.

Beth Fraser
Scituate, R.I.

Little Girl with Teddy BearBaby Scare

Recently, my 15-month-old daughter suddenly experienced excruciating leg pain. One minute she was toddling around the house, the next she was screaming in pain and wouldn’t let her left leg touch the ground. Something was obviously wrong.

I raced her to our pediatrician who believed she had a toddler fracture. Because it was a Saturday, she directed me to the emergency room at MetroWest Medical Center in Framingham, Mass.

The emergency department staff was expecting us and sped us through the paperwork and into an examining room. X-rays were quickly taken and the ER’s pediatrician soon gave us the diagnosis: no fracture, but toxic synovitis — a common occurrence among kids that could be remedied with Children’s Motrin and lots of TLC.

While no one wants to spend a Saturday in the ER, the staff at MetroWest made it as quick and painless as possible.

Kate Denon
Hopkinton, Mass.

Safety FirstLadder

I knew I had broken my arm as soon as I hit the ground. I’d been on a ladder, trimming a tree, and probably fell from a height of only 5 feet, but all my weight landed on one tiny spot. Minutes later I was in the car, getting driven to the emergency room at Northwest Medical Center. A few X-rays later, the doctor diagnosed a fractured humerus. It was a clean break, he said, and he put my arm in a sling, told me to call an orthopedic specialist the next day, and sent me on my way with a painkiller.

The professionalism impressed me. The staff at Northwest Medical Center knew what to do, and they got me in and out as swiftly as possible. Next time I need to use a ladder, I’ll make sure to place it on dry, level ground, keep my body centered between the rails, and avoid climbing too high or leaning out too far.

Robert James
Tucson, Ariz.

Doctor with PatientSugar Low

This past Christmas, I was shopping for martini glasses at the mall and felt my blood sugar getting low. I’m a Type 1 diabetic, and I always carry some kind of snack with me. But I didn’t eat my granola bar until I was really starting to crash. The next thing I knew, I woke up in an ambulance heading to Beth Israel Hospital. In the emergency room, the doctors explained that I had bitten my tongue when I passed out, and that’s why my mouth felt so strange. When my father arrived, the doctor walked him through exactly what had happened to me and how he should “keep an eye on me” for the next few days.

Overall, it was a scary experience, but in the end it was comforting to know that when something like that does happen, the emergency room physicians and other staff are there to make sure you’re OK. I feel really lucky and thankful to everyone who took such good care of me.

Cassie Baker
Somerville, Mass.

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