Search This Blog

Tuesday, 27 November 2012

007-- Waiting for the Operative Word

This past Friday I woke up feeling not so perky. As the day progressed, I began to feel worse and that evening I went to the Emergency Room at St. Joseph's Hospital. They examined me, pumped me full of drugs & anti-nausea medication and they sent me on my merry way.  They told me to come back the next morning for an ultrasound.

On Saturday morning, I checked into the Diagnostic & Imaging Department of St. Joseph's. It was run the same way as the Emergency Room --you have to take a number, just like in a deli. My number was 007.  In my intense pain & feverish fog I began my James Bond-esque adventures.
After my ultrasound I was sent back to the Emergency Room.   In my haze, I hoped that I would once again see The Russian Who Was Lovely.  He was the lovely nurse who attended to me the previous evening.  When I explained to him that I had a sensitivity to morphine and that it made me extremely sick, he was so lovely and empathetic.  He hooked me up to an intravenous bag so quickly and gently that I didn't even realize that it was in.  He gave me a morphine alternative and said that he did not want to further upset my GI system.  His accent was utterly charming.

Unfortunately there was a shift change and I was attended to by Nurse No.  Nurse No examined me a total of three times.  The conversation went the same way each time and although she appeared to be taking notes of my responses, she would come back half an hour later and the conversation was repeated - much like in the movie Ground Hog day.  The worst part was around my morphine sensitivity.  She out right argued with me - 'No, you don't have a sensitivity!" and she said in a snotty tone that she would just give me anti-nausea medication.  By this time I was thoroughly annoyed and insisted that this was not acceptable.  She asks me to come out of the exam room and gets me to sit in one of the chairs that is meant for patients to give blood.  She roughly rams an IV into the smallest vein in my hand and goes off in the huff and does not acknowledge me again.
It is apparant that Nurse No is the leader of the Bond villians and I have been  labelled as an arch enemy.  Nurse No has alerted her posse of villians known as The Live & Let Lie.  The Live & Let Lie crew do just that - they let me live & lie in the reclining chair....for ten hours straight.

Thankfully I have not one, but two Miss Moneypennies at my side - my mom and my bestie Vivieen.  They interrogate The Live & Let Lie posse for answers - which range from "we have lost the test results" to "we are waiting to get the test results" to "we have the test results but we cannot locate the appendix" (true fact I swear - you cannot make this stuff up) to, the best of all, - "she has been gone for hours and we were waiting for her" - despite not having moved from the chair directly in front of the Moonraker style lair that is their nurses station...

During the waiting period we also encounter Broke Finger -- he's the man, the man with the kleptomaniac touch.  He came into the Emergency Room with a broken finger - Nurse No assigned him the largest examining room in the ER - complete with a comfy bed.  Meanwhile, there is an old lady in her 70's sitting in a chair writhing in pain being visibly ignored by Nurse No and The Live and Let Lie posse.   Broke Finger spends most of his time outside of his room meandering around the ER.  The time actually spent in the room consists of him rifling through the supplies looking for something nifty to pinch.
After 10 hours, all apparant lost results have been put together.  It is determined that my appendix has been located and it is inflamed. I will be admitted for immediate surgery. When I am moved to the ward, the quality of care is like night & day. I have two nurses in the course of my twelve hour ward stay (Jessica and Nicole) who are sweet, kind and funny.  The put a bracelet on my wrist as an indication not to give me morphine. The surgical staff who operate on me are young, casual and gorgeous. They chat & smile at me over the sides of my bed prior to entering the Operating Room looking so beautiful they look like the cast of an NBC hospital show. The surgeon personally goes & speaks to The Fella, who has taken over for my two lovely Moneypennies, and is waiting to hear the outcome of my surgery. He is so charming, even The Fella is enamoured of him. 

I appreciate that fact that I am lucky to live in Canada and do not have to take out a loan to pay for an emergency surgery.   I also appreciate the fact that Ontario Health Care has taken a budget shit kicking and that hospitals are under funded and under staffed - and I can only imagine the toll that this takes on their resources.  I can't even imagine making a living dealing with ill people and all the headaches that an Emergency Room staff must deal with on a daily basis.  However, is it to much to ask that they can show a smidge of humanity?  It can make the world of difference to someone who is ill.


No comments:

Post a Comment