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Old 02-27-2018, 11:04 PM
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Default Well, is has been fun ...

On Friday afternoon, one of our students found a bat, which he thought to be dead. I happened to be walking home at the time, and he called me over. It was an Eastern Red Bat (Lasiurus borealis), and it wasn't dead, in fact.

Most likely, it had awakened early because of the unseasonably warm weather and was weakened from hunger and lack of available food. From a quick look, it didn't appear to have White-nose syndrome. It's likely that it either collapsed from exhaustion/hunger, and that's why it was on the ground in front of the Student Center.

Anyway, I scooped it up with a piece of paper and it soon flew off -- hopefully to find some place where it could go back to sleep until the insects it feeds upon are out. (Many bats, especially the larger species, have trouble taking off from the ground.)


Anyway, the incident got me to thinking. It has been reported that there's an outbreak of rabies in the area, and so it has been recommended that anyone who comes into contact with wild mammals should be vaccinated. So I figured that might not be a bad idea.

I went to the closest hospital yesterday -- on the idea that, since that's where the vaccines are kept, that'd be the logical place to go. I went to the hospital and arranged to meet with a physician. He said, "Yes, I think you should be vaccinated against rabies -- and by the way, when were you last vaccinated against Tetanus?". So, I got a tetanus shot, and he said that he'd send me to the nearby clinic to get the first of 4 shots for the rabies vaccination. The appointment was for 10:00 a.m. this morning -- he stressed that he'd called the clinic and that they would be expecting me.


So, I showed up at the clinic a little before 10:00 this morning. After I waited for over an hour, the doctor saw me. [Some patients take longer to deal with than do others; I understand that, so I don't blame him for the wait.] He noted that I'd already had a tetanus shot and reiterated his belief that I should be immunized against rabies. But, he told me, they didn't do that sort of thing at the clinic; I'd have to go to the Health Department for a rabies vaccination. He said that he would call them and that they'd be ready and waiting for me by the time I arrived.


So, I went to the Health Department. They told me, "Oh, we don't do that sort of thing here; you need to go to the Emergency Room of the hospital." I noted that I'd already been to the hospital, and that they'd sent me to the clinic, and that they had then sent me to the Health Department. Oh well, at least things were properly sorted out. The person I spoke with at the clinic told me that she'd called the Emergency Room, that they had the vaccine on hand, and that they were expecting me.


So I went to the Emergency Room. The receptionist had no idea what I was talking about when I told her that I'd been sent by the Health Department, and that they should be expecting me. She told me that the person who handles that sort of thing was out to lunch, and that I'd have to wait. So I waited ...

Eventually, she returned. She told me, "We can't give you that vaccination without written authorization from the Health Department; you'll have to go back to the Health Department and get the proper authorization." I noted that I had been sent by the Health Department, and I was holding the prescription from the doctor authorizing the vaccination. "No, you need to get written authorization from the Health Department."


So, I went back to the Health Department. They told me that they couldn't give that kind of authorization. It could only come from a licensed physician. I pointed out that I was holding a prescription, which a physician had written out just a few hours earlier. "No, you need an official authorization form before you can get the vaccination."


So, I went back to the clinic. After I waited for another hour or so, the doctor came back to see me. He apologized for all the confusion and said he'd call the Health Department himself. After awhile, he came back to tell me that he'd called the Health Department and that they'd told him they didn't have the vaccine. So he called the Health Department in the next county over and they didn't have it either. So he had them promise to have it sent via overnight shipping, and I could come in tomorrow to get vaccinated. He promised that they'd call me by 4:00 to make all the arrangements (it was after 2:00 by this time).

So I spent pretty-much the whole day running around and accomplished nothing except wasting a lot of time and gas. At this point, I was wondering if I should go out in the woods to find a rabid raccoon and let it bite me a few times. Then I'd go and bite a few people myself. Maybe that would get some results.



Not long after I finally got back to school, my office telephone rang. As it turned out, it was the Regional Supervisor of Health Services. He was, to his credit both very apologetic and very angry. Someone had called him to let him know what had happened. (I had explained to the doctor the runaround I'd been given, and how frustrating it was; I'm assuming he called the regional supervisor.)

As the supervisor pointed out, if this had been an emergency, I'd have been in serious trouble. (And, not incidentally, in a perfect position to file lawsuits.) He told me that he'd personally called around and found that the Emergency Room at the hospital did have the vaccine on hand, and that there's no reason at all that I couldn't have just gotten vaccinated when I went to the hospital yesterday. If, for some reason, the physician at the hospital didn't know that, all he'd have had to do was call over to the ER and they should have said, "Send him over." Why that didn't happen is a mystery. Why they didn't take care of me in the ER when I showed up today -- with a prescription in hand, no less -- is even more of a mystery.


Anyway, the supervisor apologized very profusely and promised that he would be having some serious discussions with several people regarding the incident. He further promised that they'll be ready and waiting for me at 11:00 a.m. tomorrow morning, and that there will be no screw-ups this time.



Sheesh! What an experience!

The doctor at the clinic was most sympathetic. He told me, "Welcome to healthcare in the U.S., where the right hand has no idea what the left hand is doing."
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  #2  
Old 02-27-2018, 11:17 PM
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Default Re: Well, is has been fun ...

I think that at about hour two or three of that runaround, I would have been frothing at the mouth. That might have gotten some prompt action.
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Old 02-27-2018, 11:18 PM
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Default Re: Well, is has been fun ...

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Old 02-28-2018, 04:43 AM
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Default Re: Well, is has been fun ...

Quote:
Originally Posted by The Lone Ranger View Post
The doctor at the clinic was most sympathetic. He told me, "Welcome to healthcare in the U.S., where the right hand has no idea what the left hand is doing."
... where the right hand has no idea that there's supposed to be a left hand, nevermind being agog at the idea that it should be doing something, that on top of knowing what it should be doing.
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Old 02-28-2018, 09:33 AM
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Default Re: Well, is has been fun ...

Invisible hands!
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Old 02-28-2018, 01:27 PM
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Default Re: Well, is has been fun ...

Quote:
Originally Posted by The Lone Ranger View Post
...
The appointment was for 10:00 a.m. this morning -- he stressed that he'd called the clinic and that they would be expecting me.
...
He said that he would call them and that they'd be ready and waiting for me by the time I arrived.
...
The person I spoke with at the clinic told me that she'd called the Emergency Room, that they had the vaccine on hand, and that they were expecting me.
...
This reads like one of those practical jokes or hazings people play on new recruits. "I've got a patient here for the special rabies vaccine, you know the one?"

Quote:
Originally Posted by The Lone Ranger View Post
...
He further promised that they'll be ready and waiting for me at 11:00 a.m. tomorrow morning, and that there will be no screw-ups this time.
Uh oh.
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Old 02-28-2018, 02:38 PM
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Default Re: Well, is has been fun ...

That whole experience is enough to kill someone, never mind the rabies. :hug:

Yoru student didn't touch it or get too close?
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Old 02-28-2018, 06:53 PM
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Default Re: Well, is has been fun ...

No, the student hadn't touched it, so we're good there.


So, I showed up a little before 11:00 in the emergency room. Man, they couldn't wait to get me processed and into a waiting room. Evidently, they'd received a very pointed phone call from the Regional Supervisor.


So, I was ushered into a waiting room, where I ... waited. I could hear the nurses arguing occasionally. "Is it given IM?" "What's the dosage?" After 40 minutes or so, I was ready to go out there and say: "Look, the dosage is given IM (intramuscularly), and it's weight-dependent. You took my weight when I came in, so find a calculator, calculate the proper dose, and let's get on with it."

Eventually, a nurse came in to give me the injections. The way that rabies vaccination works is that first you get a large dosage of immunoglobulins to combat any virus that might be present. In my case, that wasn't actually necessary -- but procedure is procedure, I suppose. Then you get 4 follow-up shots of the actual vaccine.

Because you're not supposed to get more than 30 cc of the immunoglobulins in any particular muscle, the nurse gave me 4 shots of the immunoglobulins -- one in each arm, and one in each leg.


But, as it happened, they didn't have the actual vaccine. No, that was at the Health Department. :doh:


So I then had to go to the Health Department to get the actual vaccination. (I have to go back on Saturday, then Wednesday, and finally next Wednesday.)



So, at least I'm now squared away. I swear, I should have bitten a few people.


I just got off the phone with the Regional Supervisor, who was very apologetic about the whole thing, and promised that he was going to have some very serious conversations with the various people involved. Seriously, why recommend the vaccination at all when no one seems to know a.) where the vaccine is, b.) who should be administering it, and c.) how to administer it?

There's a 10-day period after you're bitten by a rabid animal during which you can be treated. After that, the disease begins to manifest, and it's essentially 100% fatal. If I had been bitten and if I'd waited a few days before seeking help, this could easily have been a disaster.
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Old 02-28-2018, 09:23 PM
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Default Re: Well, is has been fun ...

I'm surprised they didn't just start googling it on their phones right in front of you. :google:

Glad you got some kind of shot and have some kind of plan.
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Old 02-28-2018, 11:28 PM
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Default Re: Well, is has been fun ...

When I did my military service I was sent to another hospital several hours away by train because there was allegedly a problem with a chest x-ray or something. I don't know.

When I got there, I had to wait for another hour and when it was my turn, the doctor came and told me there was nothing wrong (I was still sitting in the waiting room), I had to wait some more, and then he gave me a medical report letter.

I took the train back to the unit to report back to someone who didn't really care after everyone was off for the weekend, by that time it was early evening. Six or seven hours off my weekend doesn't seem like a big deal but it is when you're basically locked up for the rest of the week. Couldn't they have given me a two minute mock exam so I wouldn't feel like an idiot?
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Old 02-28-2018, 11:55 PM
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Default Re: Well, is has been fun ...

Geez, TLR. This sort of thread title had me thinking your story would end with something like: "And the doctor told me I've contracted a deadly form of rabies and I will be gone within the day. Well, it has been fun. Goodbye everyone!"

Don't do that to me!
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Old 03-01-2018, 02:12 PM
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Default Re: Well, is has been fun ...

Actually, I meant to type "This has been fun", but for some reason the "Th" didn't take. By the time I noticed, I'd already posted. Darn it.


By the way, the Health Department isn't actually open on Saturday. So, the nurse will be meeting me in the parking lot behind the building to give me the injection. The way things have been going as of late, a police officer will probably witness the event, think it's a drug deal going down (which, I suppose, it is, in a way), and arrest us.
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Old 03-01-2018, 02:38 PM
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Default Re: Well, is has been fun ...

Well, what do you have today?

- Rabies, really good stuff. That will have you frothing at the mouth.
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Old 03-01-2018, 03:31 PM
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Default Re: Well, is has been fun ...

Sweet Christmas, Mr The Lone Ranger! Back alley rabies injections? WHAT IS THIS WORLD COMING TO?
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Old 03-01-2018, 04:18 PM
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Default Re: Well, is has been fun ...

Quote:
Originally Posted by The Lone Ranger View Post
Actually, I meant to type "This has been fun", but for some reason the "Th" didn't take. By the time I noticed, I'd already posted. Darn it.
I think you can be forgiven, on account of having rabies and all.
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Old 03-01-2018, 04:20 PM
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Default Re: Well, is has been fun ...

Quote:
Originally Posted by The Lone Ranger View Post
By the way, the Health Department isn't actually open on Saturday. So, the nurse will be meeting me in the parking lot behind the building to give me the injection. The way things have been going as of late, a police officer will probably witness the event, think it's a drug deal going down (which, I suppose, it is, in a way), and arrest us.
If it's not a practical joke (see my earlier comment, below), it's a great comedy show. Except possibly for you.

Quote:
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Quote:
Originally Posted by The Lone Ranger View Post
...
The appointment was for 10:00 a.m. this morning -- he stressed that he'd called the clinic and that they would be expecting me.
...
He said that he would call them and that they'd be ready and waiting for me by the time I arrived.
...
The person I spoke with at the clinic told me that she'd called the Emergency Room, that they had the vaccine on hand, and that they were expecting me.
...
This reads like one of those practical jokes or hazings people play on new recruits. "I've got a patient here for the special rabies vaccine, you know the one?"

Quote:
Originally Posted by The Lone Ranger View Post
...
He further promised that they'll be ready and waiting for me at 11:00 a.m. tomorrow morning, and that there will be no screw-ups this time.
Uh oh.
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Old 03-01-2018, 11:06 PM
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Default Re: Well, is has been fun ...

Quote:
Originally Posted by BrotherMan View Post
Sweet Christmas, Mr The Lone Ranger! Back alley rabies injections? WHAT IS THIS WORLD COMING TO?
One small benefit: this is something to add to my collection of "if you let them privatise the NHS, it will end up like American healthcare, HAVE YOU HEARD SOME OF THE THINGS THAT HAPPEN IN AMERICAN HEALTHCARE" stories.
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Old 03-11-2018, 08:17 PM
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Default Re: Well, is has been fun ...

Quote:
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Quote:
Originally Posted by The Lone Ranger View Post
The doctor at the clinic was most sympathetic. He told me, "Welcome to healthcare in the U.S., where the right hand has no idea what the left hand is doing."
... where the right hand has no idea that there's supposed to be a left hand, nevermind being agog at the idea that it should be doing something, that on top of knowing what it should be doing.
The hands of a Government Man...

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