To Whom it May Concern:
On Tuesday, October 19, 2010, I visited Express Family Clinic around 6 pm after experiencing sudden and severe abdominal pain. When an x-ray showed a mass on my left side - stretching from my ovary upward into my chest - the clinic advised me to seek immediate medical attention at an emergency room. I arrived at Florida Hospital East at approximately 7:30 pm, and I gave the ER staff the note from urgent care. I waited for over three hours. Finally, sometime between 10:30 and 11 pm, I opted to leave after I was told for the third time by a staff member that they didn't know when I would or could be seen.
The mass was blood and fluid from an ovarian cyst that had ruptured - a cyst caused by my endometriosis (of which I informed the ER staff) and a cyst that was disrupting my bowels. Had the cyst contained more blood, I would have needed surgery. If the cyst was large enough, I could have lost my ovary. But "could have" and "would have" shouldn't matter here. Ultimately, I should never have waited three hours in such excruciating pain. Florida Hospital East advertises a 60-minute or less emergency room wait. Your marketing and public relations department should consider discontinuing this campaign. While I was checked in within 60 minutes of my arrival, I never saw a doctor. In fact, as I was leaving, they were calling back a patient who arrived at the hospital one hour before I did. Another patient, who was brought in via ambulance after being hit by a car, was still sitting in a wheelchair in the waiting room - ice on his knee, his arms covered in dried blood.
My experience with emergency rooms in this area is limited. My only other emergency care visit occurred with my husband last year, when I took him to Dr. Phillips Hospital for what we later learned was a kidney stone. We were in and out in less than three hours. So, in the time that it took for me to bleed internally in your waiting room, Orlando Health treated and released my husband for a much more minor issue.
I think it's safe to say that my experience was less than pleasant. In the future, when it comes to my urgent health, I will not choose Florida Hospital - and I will encourage others to do the same. My reproductive endocrinologist, who diagnosed the rupture, told me I was incredibly lucky this time. I don't think I'm willing to trust Florida Hospital with a "next time."
Your worst fucking nightmare (Not really. But I wish.)