A Friday Night Date with My Wife: E.R. Live!

Friday night Nichelle and I determined we hadn’t been out together in a while, so when I got back from the Museum of Science with the Quinlans, we decided to go someplace somewhat exclusive and very fancy, that we’d never tried before.

We were impressed with the curbside service—a staff member actually came out to the door and showed us in, which is a level of service far above that to which we are accustomed.

Once inside, we disocovered there would be quite a wait—this place is popular—so we settled down to wait a bit in the lounge. We were impressed by the obvious expense that had gone into the venue. Millions of dollars had been spent on making this place stand out from its competition, and everything looked beautiful, even though some parts were still being renovated.

We were at the renovated (but still expanding) Southern New Hampshire Medical Center‘s emergency department.

Nichelle had been in severe pain from Thursday afternoon on, and by Friday evening it had gotten unmanageable.

After a brief wait (only about 4 hours)—next time Nichelle will need to be either bleeding profusely or pregnant to ensure rapid attention—they got Nichelle checked in, and administered a couple of different drugs by IV, the second of which actually helped. She was still having severe, stabbing pain in her ribs every 5 to 10 minutes, but most of the other pain was significantly reduced.

At 5:00 a.m., she’d been released, and we took a trip through our favorite drive-through: Brook’s Pharmacy, and watched the sky brighten with dawn. How romantic!


This morning Nichelle is feeling much better. The grip of the pain seems to have lessened, and she’s able to move around again without difficulty. She even made me a breakfast sandwich (when I finally got out of bed around 11:30), and played a few rounds of Burnout 3: Takedown with Isaac, David, and I, which she hasn’t done in months!

This brings me to an interesting, if merely anecdotal, observation about the pain she constantly suffers, which varies in severity. It would seem, based on how much better she was this morning, that the medication delivered by IV interfered with a feedback loop that was keeping the pain severe and inceasing it in severity. In short, stopping the pain temporarily led to stopping the pain for a much longer period. Fascinating.

5 Replies to “A Friday Night Date with My Wife: E.R. Live!”

  1. Very funny lead-in, Mr. Wilcox. I can tell that you’re using humor to help a very difficult situation.

    You are all still in my prayers, and I look forward to hearing reports of Nichelle’s improvement!

  2. If you think that was funny, you should have heard the sponteanous jokes I worked up with Nichelle while in the emergency department.

    Humor is one tool in my “arsenal of coping.” Besides, you claimed my BLOG was too depressing.

    The biggest things that make life endurable is studying the sovereignty of God and relying on Him for the strength I need. Still, it’s a very difficult situation.

  3. I frantically brought my friend to the ER once- she was crying, couldn’t breath, couldn’t stand upright, and was having chest pains. Apparently, that is nothing if you are a female in your 20’s. Men who seemed perfectly calm and comfortable were being wheeled in. I kept pestering the triage nurse, and then I started calling the doctors I knew who worked in the hospital- they said they could take care of us once we got inside, but they couldn’t do anything to get us in and encourged me by saying that if she did pass out like I thought she would she would get in right away. So those are the rules for getting in the ER- vomitting, bleeding, and passing out. It turns out she had pericarditis (an inflamation of the membranes surrouding the heart- very painful) and the men who were wheeled in ahead of her had heartburn. Next time, I’m calling the ambulance if someone I know is in that much pain- that way you cut line.

  4. I forgot to mention that I stayed mostly out of trouble this trip, except for when I fired up the in-room medical monitor (before they’d started blood pressure and pulse monitoring on Nichelle), and discovered that it was connected to the central monitoring system at the nursing station (which promptly started echoing the local “lead not attached” loud warning beep).

    I got the device shut down right away (well, before anyone came to investigate), then restarted it and had to figure out how to put it back into standby. Thankfully, the UI (user interface) was easy to follow.

  5. Nichelle meets with her new primary care physician today. The hope is this doctor will be someone who will agressively go after a diagnosis and treatment.

    For those of you who have suggested different possibilities after consulting with your own medical experts, Nichelle will be presenting those as well. We do appreciate the interest and advice.

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