So you need medical attention?

Hey everyone! This is just a quick post about my recent excursion to the emergency room at the Cayuga Medical Center. My blog, like all Life on the Hill blogs, is meant to illustrate all parts life at Cornell and that includes medical issues too! So here’s my experience of getting medical help on a somewhat isolated campus.

I mentioned in my previous post that I had poison ivy, which I noticed on my right leg on Thursday/Friday.  I’m still not sure where I got it but it may have been from going running with a friend and I could have brushed past some poison ivy plants along the way!

I went to Gannett Health Services, which is where students  go for any type of medical treatment.  Whether you have the flu, sprained your ankle (like I did last year) or if you need to fill a prescription, Gannett is the best place to go first to treat any type of illness.   At Gannett, the nurses advised me to take Zyrtec and Benadryl in addition to applying Calamine lotion and Neosporin regularly to dry the rash and prevent infection.  The nurses here were very helpful and have always been caring and informative.  Despite following their instructions carefully, though, the rash still had not begun healing.

On Monday, I woke up and noticed that the poison ivy spread to my left leg.  That night at about 9 p.m., I noticed it spread further to my stomach, chest, and back-upper and lower! As I mentioned before, there is no air conditioning in my building and these hot summer days and nights made it even itchier and more unbearable! Unfortunately, Gannett closes daily at 5 p.m., and I was worried that if I went to bed without further treatment, it could spread to other parts of my body even more quickly-including my face!  My next option was to go to Urgent Care in Ithaca, but unfortunately that closes at 10 p.m.!  So after a few extended phone calls with my parents and with the Gannett hotline, I decided to go to the Cayuga Medical Center emergency room, with my friend accompanying me!

As you may or may not know, Ithaca is not a big city and is not easy to get around, and although I have a few friends with cars, I had no idea how long I would be waiting in the emergency room.  For that reason, I decided to get a taxi-and the driver said I should expect be at the hospital for 4 hours!

Luckily, the hospital was not too busy, and I was able to see a doctor relatively quickly.  I took some prednisone that night and got a prescription for more, which I filled at Gannett straight away the next morning.  I got in and out of the hospital within 2 1/2 hours and it was really no hassle at all.  By then it was only midnight so I was able to get in contacts with my roommates (one of whom has a car) and they kindly came to pick me and my friend up from the Hospital and drove us back to Cornell!

One of the highlights of the night was the organic/healthy foods vending machine in the hospital (which had cheddar bunnies, applesauce, chocolate covered goji berries, and other things I indulged in because I was happy to finally start getting better!)

Its my second day on the medicine and luckily my poison ivy isn’t spreading any more and the rash is going down a bit, but I still am feeling pretty itchy all over!  Overall, this has been a very stressful experience to say the least.  Hoping I’ll feel better with each passing day.

I would show you a picture of what my poison ivy looks like but I wouldn’t want to turn away any readers by looking at a bright red rash on my leg….

Finally, here are my meds just for this poison ivy….so frustrating.

In the end, I’m ok now but I wish there was a more convenient place for me to get treated.  Having to find my own transportation at 9:30 p.m. to get off campus on a weeknight just to get a prescription (which I knew I needed all along) was a bit frustrating.  This is one of the affects of going to school that is isolated on its own campus.  There are good and bad sides to having a campus that is so separate from the town but late night emergencies like this are easier to take care of where transportation is more accessible like in a bigger city!  Regardless, I still like the location of Cornell’s campus although I hit this ‘speed bump’ on the road to recovery.

But if you have any other questions about health services in general at Cornell, feel free to leave a comment! 

Stay tuned to hear about my trek up the 161 steps to the top of the clock tower!

4 thoughts on “So you need medical attention?

  1. Rough start to the semester! But you have a good attitude about it and you handled it well. Nice call heading to the hospital that night before bed because I hear late at night when you’re sleeping poison ivy comes creeping around. Feel better!

  2. So sorry you got poison ivy. Sounds like you handled it well and did all the right things. Get better soon and enjoy the semester especially fall in New York!

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