Mom blog: We leave the hospital…finally

SO HOW URGENT WAS IT? Recap: My dancer daughter’s foot began to creak
and hurt whenever she did “rises” and went up or down the stairs. I’ve
started working in an office, 9 to 5 (or 9:30 to 5:30, or 10 to 6), so
there is no chance to take her to her doctor during the day, I did as
many working moms and went to a hospital in the evening. Not to an
Emergency department, because I don’t presume to pretend that a creaky,
painful foot is an emergency – I went to Urgent Care, where I have been
before with a whooping cough child, and asthmatic child, a child with
dislocated ribs, so I know triage will determine the wait, and I’m
prepared and unembarrassed to present the case for what it is.

AS I LAY, WAITING As we sit, and I slouch down as I can so my head rests
on the back of the chair, my daughter points out if write her a note for
dance classes and studio, and she doesn’t have to walk up and down
stairs, we could actually go home. Ha, ha, ha. In for a penny, in for a
pound I tell her. We wait there a total of 25 minutes, then get sent to
a cubicle with the instruction that if anyone is already there, to send
them out, it is our cubicle. A very nice woman IS sitting in our
cubicle, but she is waiting while a doctor and nurse zoom into the
curtained bed area across from us. She explains she is waiting while
they take care of her mother. She is really sad, and says no old woman
should have to go through this.

FROM BEHIND THE CURTAIN Then I hear the voices behind the curtain –
“that’s it dear, move your knees up, move them apart, that’s it, a
little more, and there we go, whoops! there is goes! It’s OK now, it’s
back in! that’s good! All done!” Her daughter and I are standing
face-to-face in the cramped little cubicle, with Puffy Foot on the
chair. The woman is shamed, distressed, so hurt at her elderly mother
having to endure this, in a curtained-off examining bed in a room with
at least 10 cutained-off beds and cubicles. The doctor comes out and
launches into the fact her mother has a prolapsed uterus and it will
have to be taken care of. This most intimate of procedures, a violation
for sure for an elderly woman, discussions of the most intimate nature,
even the nurse’s and doctor’s instructions, heard by – try to guess – 14
complete strangers, right off the street. And University boy – remember
him? – was sent to a private room, with a door, to disrobe. I was
aghast. A sprained shoulder, migraine, puffy foot, sure, blare out the
examination on the intercom, but an elderly woman with a prolapsed
uterus, and we all get to hear? If I were her daughter, I’d have raised
a pen and a made a few phone calls the next day. Maybe she did.

DR. DeMILLE, WE’RE READY FOR OUR CLOSEUP Oh yay, oh yay, the doctor is
here. My daughter displays both feet, side by side, and the doctor
starts gentle poking and squeezing and asking for the “traumatic”
incident. For the first time in her 15-year-old life, my girl had no
dramatic, traumatic tale to retell. “It just started to creak, then it
hurt when I did certain moves, now it’s all puffy and ugly.” He said no
x-ray, since there was no tauma, just ice, rest, advil (ah, the IRA
prescription, much like the BRAT diet. I do so love acronyms, lol). No
bang, just a whimper. Most important though, and had we not waited it
out, her teachers at school would have had her work through the pain, to
which the doc said no way.

THE TALLY Two and a half hours at Urgent Care, some drama, some
entertainment, some vicarious flirting, even pathos, then relief. My
Dancerina will dance in competition this season after a respectable
rest, and hey, there’s a Tim’s right on the corner.

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5 Responses

  1. I remember that… I felt really bad for the old woman. That would have been so embarrassing. And I remember university guy too (he was pretty good looking)!
    Now it’s not my foot, it’s my hip! I think maybe we were meant to be around hospitals forever.
    Love Tessa

  2. I’m glad there’s another mother with trouble finding a GP with extended or weekend hours. Suddenly, I don’t feel so alone. Isn’t that what all the noise about LHINs was about? More hours, more help? Geez….

  3. All I’ve heard about LHINs is they tend to service large areas while leaving smaller centers without the staff and the resources they need. I’ve been considering seeing a nurse practitioner to improve my family’s care. For now I consult my RN mom.

  4. I think it is a shame the way that elderly woman was treated. I find that elderly patients often are not treated in a very respectful manner. My in-laws are quite elderly and have a multitude of health problems. My FIL has many tales of their being treated in a less than courteous manner.

  5. I’m an American … where there is a lot of talk about making changes in our health care options & there are those who think we need to have the government take over health care altogether. Your story about your wait doesn’t sound much different from any emergency room I’ve had to wait around in here for any number of reasons. I wonder what it would take for there to be improvements? How about we all make the doctors & nurses have to make appointments with us in order to earn their living? ?? ?? Just a weird thought sorry!!!

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