This is a true story that happened to me in June 2011…every year I re-post how I became…BATGIRL!
To complete my rabies series, I would need to get injections 4 days after my original shot, 7 days after, 14 days after and 28 days after.
Kind of a pain, but REALLY a pain if:
- No medical entities in Michigan had the serum in stock and could administer the rabies shot except for the ER downtown (and it took nearly 20 phone calls to find this out)
- The family and I were headed to church camp the next day and would be in the boonies hours away from home and without cell coverage (unless you were standing in the middle of the soccer field) when the day 4 injection needed to take place
- I would be in Chicago when the day 14 injection needed to take place
- My husband’s job would be changing hence our medical insurance would be changing right in the middle of my series of injections
- I would be in Oklahoma when the day 28 injection needed to happen and the new insurance would only cover me if I were physically in the state of Georgia
It was excruciatingly frustrating to have to try to figure out how, when, and where to get these shots on the exact dates they needed to happen and in the locations that I would be on those dates. I can’t tell you how many hours I spent making phone calls to hospitals, ER’s, med centers, doctor’s offices, pharmacies, and the insurance company to get each and every poke procured.
Not to mention the cost. Google how much a single rabies shot costs. Now multiply by 5. Add in ER visits and all the miscellaneous hospital expenses they LOVE to tack on. No wonder Bill Finger made Batman’s alter ego, Bruce Wayne, a millionaire; no one less endowed could afford to survive a bat bite!
Day 4 injection
My dearest friend, who was also volunteering at church camp, drove me 45 min to the hospital nearest to the camp that assured me they had a rabies shot to give me. We drove over what appeared to be a 27 foot long black snake on the dirt roads as we drove to get there. I walked into the ER and sat and waited, along with a man who had sliced his hand and was gushing blood, as all the old people who had fasted to take blood tests were taken BEFORE the walk-in emergencies. Again, I state, gushing blood man had to sit and wait with his arm elevated and trying to contain the blood flow with a paper towel while Alma, Cletus, Edna Mae, Walter, and Edith all got their cholesterol checked.
After finally being taken to the ICU of this very tiny hospital, I was told to sit on a bed and wait. My room adjoined another patient’s room, and he had just been helped to the restroom that adjoined our rooms. Let’s just say the sounds I heard rumbling from the bowels of that bathroom were making me ill as I waited for the nurse to decipher my chart because, “she ain’t got no stickers on here!” Lord help me! I don’t have stickers on my chart and they aren’t going to give me my shot!
Finally a nurse with a syringe entered my room and asked me where my most recent shot had been, then proceeded to inject my alternate hind-quarter before I was released. I did not get a band-aid on my injection site and my release entailed no paperwork. “Have a great day, honey–walk right down that hallway, go out the door on the right and you’ll be outside in the parking lot”. I highly suspect that syringe was filled with nothing more than plain tap water.
2 down…3 to go…
On the drive from the hospital back to the camp, we came upon some local construction. The worker holding the “slow/stop” sign apparently didn’t think we were slowing down/stopping fast enough and started yelling at us before he literally tore his vest and shirt off to make his point. Not in a good way. If he had shaved in the past month or had his hair cut in the last year, had any teeth, or did not look like nicotine was his only food group maybe the experience would have been more pleasantly memorable. We laughed our way back from our very “rural” hospital experience.
…tomorrow it ends…