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Clif Knight

Hospital merry-go-round  

By Clif Knight 

If you’ve ever ridden on a merry-go-round, you know what it’s like to go round and round in a circle and wind up at exactly the same point you started from. 

I got that feeling on a recent Monday afternoon when I admitted myself at the Decatur Morgan Hospital Emergency Room with a breathing problem.  

After brushing aside my wife’s offer to drive me – my first mistake – I pulled into a coin-operated parking lot at the ER, thinking I would be out of the ER and on my way back home within an hour or two – my second mistake.  

Little did I realize that eight hours later, I would be lying in a hospital bed under treatment to draw fluid out of my lungs while Geanell and our daughter, Pam Gray, would be trying to get our car out of the parking lot with quarters that wouldn’t work, 

My decision to go to the ER was made suddenly when I had to stop and get my breath while climbing the front stairs in our home.  

I knew I had to get medical help when I realized nothing like that had ever happened before.  

The ER staff began evaluating my case immediately. A chest X-ray was completed, oxygen was provided, and I was placed in a private room.  

Later, I was told by the ER doctor I had fluid in my lungs, and it was affecting my breathing capacity. As a precaution, a COVID-19 test was ordered, and I learned I was being admitted to the hospital for treatment and further tests.  

It was several hours before I learned the result of the COVID test. During the same time, I was concerned about being separated from my family. 

The infusion of medicine to clear up my lungs worked, and I was feeling much better the next morning. Still, the medications continued, and trips to testing departments located throughout the maze of hallways and double doors of the hospital had just begun.  

Seven different machines were used to scan my limbs, lungs, heart and other body parts. In the final analysis, both heart and lungs fell short of desired status and will be subject to additional medical attention in the future. 

At home, use of oxygen was recommended, but follow-up tests have indicated it isn’t necessary at the present time.