Dear Allan, I had a serious horse-riding accident on a trail ride on July 5. I was able to get home but a few hours later decided I needed to see a doctor. In my mind, this was the worst thing that could happen to me. Horses are dangerous and all during this “pandemic” I thought, what would I do if I needed medical care and they try to force a mask on me? Well, I was about to find out.
I decided to start with urgent care – maybe it wasn’t a serious injury. I could still walk around although my back and hip hurt pretty badly. I checked their website and it indicated accommodation was allowed. I called to confirm this and was told I would wait in my car and they would call me. That was exactly how it was, I went in without a mask and was not bothered at all.
The doctor said my injuries were severe with possible internal bleeding. She told me to go to the ER. I told her I couldn’t wear a mask and could she help me get in without one. She said no. I was filled with anxiety as I knew there was little chance of getting out of mask wearing. But I had potentially life-threatening injuries and had no choice.
When I got to the ER my husband dropped me off, I was stopped by the ‘guard’ at front door and told I had to put on a mask. I said I couldn’t wear one and asked to speak to the head nurse. I was told to go to registration and make my request.
The registration desk called the head nurse and she asked me why I couldn’t wear a mask. I simply said I couldn’t. She said it was hospital policy that everyone wear a mask and I had to prove it was disrupting my breathing by putting it on and taking a test. I said the mask gave me anxiety and panic attacks. Her response was that if that happened, they would treat me for it. I said wouldn’t it be better if I didn’t have a panic attack? I was simply told again I had to wear it; also told they wouldn’t see me for the CAT scan I needed without it. I had to agree.
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