At 11:30pm Thursday evening, my neck muscles began to spasm, along with strikes of pain all along my spinal column and shoulders; I couldn't breathe very well. After slowly standing and stretching I began to control the pain somewhat and the spams subsided. I took a hot shower, but was extremely stiff; I coud barely move my head. So I went to the emergency room.
I am not sure what Michael Moore's new movie, SiCKO, says about E.R. visits, but let me illustrate my experience:
* We arrive at 12am. We wait 20 minutes just to register my name and state my condition.
* After about an hour, I see a triage nurse and better explain my condition.
* We wait another hour or two in the waiting room before we are sent back to the E.R.
* A nurse asks me again what's wrong. She doesn't say much other than that the MRI machine only works during the day time hours. She disappear and doesn't come back. We wait for another hour.
* Suddenly, out of nowhere, comes a doctor. An actual M.D. She begins asking me very pointed questions. She is knowledgable, a trait that my primary care doctor certainly does not share. She offers many possibilities of what may have happened, and gives me a slew of strategies of making sure this doesn't happen again: Oxycodone and muscle relaxants are involved. Let me tell you: muscle relaxants are AWESOME.
* It's 5am. At this time, we leave the E.R.
Why did this take so long? Who knows. The wait was unbearable.
I noticed that there were at least three doctors back there. Maybe it's a staffing issue. I can't really fault the staff; they do what they can do.
Anyway, I am whole again. I am changing primary care doctors and will begin going to physical therapy.