It had to happen one day .... medical emergency
Lynn & Mike ..around the world
Mike Drinkrow & Lynn v/d Hoven
Sun 24 May 2015 07:08
Medical Emergency – our first in over 7 years!
On Wednesday afternoon Mike and I went down to Picnic Bay for a late lunch. We then took a leisurely walk along the boardwalk, but on the way back to the car, he started complaining of a pain in his lower right abdomen. During the 3 km drive back to the boat his pain went from uncomfortable to excruciating – stopping to throw up on the ramp down to the boat.
Inside the boat, I grabbed a bucket and the groaning and puking got worse. Mike was now lying on the salon floor and I was was calling Julie, a friend on the island who is also a nurse. She told me to get him to the emergency clinic asap, which I did with the help of the marina manager who almost had to carry Mike to the car. Luckily the clinic was less than 1 km away. Once at the clinic he was quickly put on to a bed and had a drip in his arm. The nurses started administering various drugs – to stop the spasms, pain and vomiting. They also called in the doctor who pumped in even more morphine, as Mike was still in agony, and it was still quite a trip to the hospital.
Townsville hospital sent over two paramedics on the ferry, who then got Mike on a stretcher, still on his drip and wheeled him on to the ferry to get back to the mainland. In the interim I had gone back to the boat to pick up some clothes; toiletries; money; ID etc, as I had no idea how long he would be in the hospital. Was it a burst appendix? Twisted bowel? ..we had no idea. The paramedics were great and kept things quite calm while I worried. By now, Mike was stoned out of his mind, somewhat confused, but in less pain.
On the other side, Mike was wheeled off the ferry and loaded into the ambulance, for the drive to Townsville General hospital. He was taken into ER and immediately examined by various nurses and doctors. He was given an ultrasound in the ER and then wheeled off for a CT scan. And then a few more drugs. Later the doctor came to give us his diagnosis – Mike had passed a kidney stone from the kidney down to the bladder, which can cause pain akin to childbirth.. which sounds damn sore! But luckily the doctor could not see any other stones. Apparently once the stone is in the bladder there is little chance of any further problems and it would/ has pass out easily. As it was so late at night and Mike was still groggy – they decided to keep him overnight and do one more blood test in the morning to confirm that all was well. It was now 11pm and I had missed the last ferry back to Magnetic Island. Luckily I found a taxi and a motel not too far away.
By the time I got back to the hospital the next morning, Mike was fit as a fiddle and very happy to have survived his ordeal. It could have been so much worse!
Thank goodness this did not happen at sea , or on some third world island. Thank goodness it happened here in Australia, where the medical care has not only been excellent, but very kind too. The focus was completely on the patient, not on the bill/ payment... which I have no doubt will be HUGE. Before we left the hospital I sat down with one of the administrators and gave her our medical insurance details. I had already contacted the insurance company and received a claim number. She was happy to deal directly with them and within 10 minutes we were ready to go home.
Now lets hope that Zurich Travel insurance dazzles us too, and Mike makes a bit more of an effort to stay hydrated.
On the ferry, with Cameron, the paramedic Arriving at the hospital
Finally asleep in the ER