Three or four hours after being released from Century City Doctors Hospital early Saturday afternoon, the swollen bear-claw hand and the red interstate highway streaks on my left arm had returned. My resources drained by my 16 hours at CCDC, I had no choice but to check into the UCLA Olive View County hospital in Sylmar. I stayed there Saturday night and all-day Sunday and am leaving today. And I think things really are cured now. My hand was actually operated on yesterday and the infection has been removed and I’ve been told I’m over the hump.
Intravenous antibiotics administered for 16 hours at CCDH on Friday and Saturday morning had merely suppressed the infection for appearance’s sake. The chumps at CCDH didn’t want to actually attend to the swollen, senstive-to-touch, pus-filled wound on my left palm (they were afraid of something going badly — private medicine procedure today is all about fear of possible malpractice lawsuits ), and by 5 pm Saturday I realized I had to go back into another hospital for Round 2.
I’d been told by a doctor at a Beverly Hills walk-in clinic a couple of days earlier that Olive View was “nicer than USC County”, so I drove up the 405 and onto 5 and into Sylmar — right up against the mountains in the northernmost area of the San Fernando Valley. I eventually found the hospital and was admitted to the Olive View emergency room by 8:30 pm.
Right away I knew I was dealing with very smart, ultra-focused doctors and nurses — professionals of a much higher order than the ones I encountered at CCDH. The Olive View doctors and nurses are straight off ER and St. Elsewhere and other TV shows of that type, by which I mean they seemed to say and do the right professional thing at all times.
A friendly, youngish, no-b.s. ER doctor named Bloomfield anesthetized, lanced and excavated the wound, and I was given more doses fo antibiotics Saturday night and all day Sunday. Another doctor and a small team performed a 15-minute operation late Saturday afternoon (I was put to sleep with a general anesthetic), and staffers gave me all kinds of pain medication and more antibiotic drips after I got out.
So I’m out of here this morning, and thank goodness for the stirring George Clooney goodness of the doctors at Olive View. Bloomfield is going to be featured on an upcoming epsode of some Discovery channel show about unusual medical experiences, or something like that. (I’ll pass along the details later.)
Do not ever go to Century City Doctors Hospital for anything, including directions. All they do is sedate and placate and get as much money as they can from you. I wouldn’t exactly call them a disgrace to their profession, but they’re contenders for that distinction. What they did for me on Friday was equivalent to a guy going to a hospital with a broken leg and the doctors saying, “Well, we’re not too sure we want to get into the leg part, but here’s some pain medication and we’ll send a therapist to your room so you can discuss your feelings.”
I’m typing this from the Olive View hospital library. The only thing good about CCDC is that they have broadband computer hookups in each private room. But that aside, forget it. They even refused to give me a copy of my medical chart so I could give it to the Olive View people. Or rather, they said I could have a copy but I’d have to come back to the hospital and fill out a form and give them $23 dollars, and then they’d fax it to me within 2 to 10 business days. I was told this by a bitchy senior nurse named Linda, who works on the 4th floor.