Healthcare on The Prairie

Quite a day yesterday! It started out the night before at 11:00 p.m. when my shoulder began to hurt with very sharp pain. I’ve been recovering from reverse shoulder replacement surgery so this wasn’t an unusual happening. I got up and took three Advil and applied heat to the area. At 2:00 a.m. I tried to go to sleep again; the pain increased so I got up and took three more Advil.

By 4:00 a.m. The pain was so intense that I broke into my emergency supply of pain meds and took the last 2 Tramadol I had left. I gave up all hope of sleeping and waited until 7:00 a.m. and drove myself to Mayo in St. James, Minnesota where I had a physical therapist appointment I had already scheduled.

When I got there at 7:45 a.m. I met with the therapist who suggested I go over to the clinic scheduling desk and see if I could get a Doctor to look at my shoulder.

At the reception desk, I was told that the earliest I could be seen by anyone was 9:15, so I went to a waiting room chair and waited to be called. At 9:20 a nurse came and got me and took me to an exam room and took my initial information. I told her I was at a 10 of 10 on the pain chart and asked for pain meds. I waited in the room for 15 minutes for a PA to come in who looked me over as said I needed to have X-rays. I was sent back out to the waiting room and waited another 15 minutes for the x-ray tech to come and get me. A very nice woman took the X-rays and led me back to my original exam room where I waited for the results. The PA told me that my info was sent to be read at Mayo (headquarters) and I should wait there for the results. The results came (40 minutes later) and they revealed a complete shoulder separation of my newly replaced ball and socket. She then sent the information to my surgeon in Mankato for his review. 15 minutes later I was told that I needed to get to Mankato Mayo emergency to get treated.

Being as my wife was sick with flu I called a buddy to see if he could drive me. Unfortuanently he was already taking care of another medical emergency with his mother so he couldn’t help. By then I was really hurting and not thinking very well, so I decided to drive myself from St. James to Mankato, Minnesota (About 45 miles). I got to Mankato and walked into the emergency room where I was examed and treated by some very nice people and my surgeon who after I was sedated put by shoulder back in place. It was now 3:00 p.m. and I was feeling much better. My shoulder and arm were placed in a sling, which I will be wearing for 6 weeks while it heals.

Unfortunately, because I was put under for the procedure they would not allow me to drive home and suggested I should take a cab 55 miles back to Ormsby. I immediately suggested they were out of their f#$!! minds. I called a friend (Thanks Cornie in Odin, Mn) who volunteered to come and get me and also recruited another friend (Thanks Lyle Anderson) who would drive my car back home. At 6:30 p.m. I was back home – 19 hours after my shoulder separated. Though it took awhile there were a lot of very caring people who worked to help me.

I guess that’s the good and bad for choosing to live in rural Minnesota.

Given a chance to make the decision to move out to Ormsby again, I would certainly say the friendships I’ve made here make the inconveniences worth it.