Heigh Ho, Heigh Ho, It’s Off To Emergency We Go

Friday, December 4, 2015

Sunrise PicHaven’t been blogging because I have been insanely busy lately.  All is good.  Coached boys volleyball team.  Went to a workshop at Art For Cancer Foundation and painted this sunrise picture.

WellspringGot a ticket on Tuesday near Sunnybrook (they changed the no parking sign to no stopping which I didn’t notice).  I’m contesting it.  Hoping the judge will be nice and reduce the fine at least.  I went to a free cooking course at Wellspring and didn’t want to pay the $24 parking fee for 2 1/2 hours.  Unfortunately that wasn’t my only problem that day.  The cooking course was pretty much all raw vegetarian and a bit of cheese.  I’m lactose intolerant (makes me cough up phlegm) and my German dr told me my stomach intestines were inflamed and I should only eat cooked veggies.  Boy was he right.   My tummy hurt for a couple of days.  Lost a couple of pounds too.  Because I wasn’t eating much I figured I needed some nutrients so I asked my daughter to make me a veggie juice on Thursday night and then I felt really horrible after that.  Didn’t make it to my cancer support group meeting because I felt so ill.

At 3:45 in the morning, my dear friend who is staying with me thought she was having a heart attack.  She came to the right place.  Pulled out my heart monitor.  Everything was high (systolic, blood pressure, pulse…mentally recorded time and rates).  Gave her as aspirin (remember the time).  Phoned tele-health….was not happy that they have a ten minute recording about getting your stupid health card before you even get a chance to talk to anyone.  Got dressed.  Out the door and into the car with cell phone and ill friend in tow.  Destination…Sunnybrook, Trauma and Heart Attack Central.  I decided to take her there because I was afraid that if I called an ambulance that they would take her to Scarborough General (30 seconds away from my house), a fate worse than death, and I valued her life. 

Why not Scarborough General?   I dunno.  Maybe it’s because of the time I stayed there overnight and they didn’t bother giving me a nurse after surgery.  Maybe it’s because of the time I had heart problems and I arrived at the ER and there was nobody there and I waited 15  minutes for a triage nurse to appear at her post…that’s when I got back into the car and went to Mt Sinai.  Maybe it’s because I had a mammogram there 13 years ago and no one bothered phoning me to tell me there was something suspicious there.  Or maybe it was because the last time I went there ER Doctor told me that the next time I had an emergency, not to come here because they didn’t know what to do with me.   Anyhow, I think you see my point. 

imageDid you know that at 3:55 a.m. in the morning you can go 100 mph on Lawrence and get all but one green light? Meanwhile, my friend was talking to good ole tele-health and answering questions.  I knew, as I was driving, that she hit 5/6 red flags for a heart attack (chest pain, pain in back, shortness of breath, nausea, and sweating).   That nurse was SLOW!  Holy cow.  By the way she essentially told me to shut up and to let the patient answer the questions.

imageBy the time the tele-heath nurse finished evaluating her…..”You need an ambulance”…. she tells us after she has painstakingly punched into the computer all of my friends responses,  I was less than 4 minutes away from Sunnybrook.  So I told her just to send the information to them as we were nearby.   She told me to drive cautiously en route.  Too late for that, chickie!

Now, you would think (after watching ER and Greys anatomy shows on TV) that someone would be greeting us at the ER door, but you would be wrong.  It seems to me that they don’t care as much if you’re having heart attack symptoms than if you are having a stroke (in which case you have a 4 hour timeline to get some injection in you to break up the clot or you could possibly face permanent damage and they could face a law suit).  Two people ahead of us.  Triaged fairly quickly, then registered by 4:10.  Told my friend we were in it for the long haul because they would need to get her blood work done and wait 4-6 hrs later to check the troponin levels to see if in fact she had a heart attack.  She called a replacement for work.  Guess what time she got the blood work done?   7:10.  Just in time for a shift change at 7:30. 

imageWe met an interesting man in the second ER waiting room.  He shared his medical problems with us.   I was amused as he kept asking us for our opinions on his condition (he was having problems with his heart, he drinks and smokes, and his friend wouldn’t let him buy the heart drugs his doctor prescribed him). 

imageI could tell my friend was getting exasperated by him and wanted to thump him in the head, particularly when he started discussing his hemorrhoid problems.  Oh how I wish my husband was with us!  I could just imagine how that conversation would have ended up.  Sometimes you get some interesting entertainment whilst in the waiting room.  My friend emailed me and told me he was missing a few screws upstairs.

Shortly thereafter, he was called for a review with a doctor.  It lasted less than 4 minutes and he was discharged. I don’t think he even got a prescription for his hemorrhoids!  He was told to go see his family doctor.  It was just after 8:30.

My friend got her first set of blood work back.  Normal, thank heavens.  But we still had to wait for the other one (troponin) and they wanted to do a chest X-ray.  By 11:00, my friend was really tired of being there.  I told her, “Don’t worry, they have to get you out of here in 8 hours from the time you arrived or they have to admit you.  Anything more than 8 hours also requires an extra billing to OHIP who requires an explanation as to why you are still there waiting for a diagnosis.   Sure enough, a resident quickly told her at 12:00 that she did not in fact have a heart attack or a pulmonary embolism and she was free to go.  Right on time.  “That’s what my friend told me,” she answered. 

734376_591741964188594_1624691723_nDrove my friend to her worried sister.  She was going to take the bus, a very long 3 hour bus ride and her back was still hurting her so off we went in my car.  I spent the night with them.  We had delicious Thai food for dinner.   It was very nice spending some quality time with the two of them.  Their apartment is so cool.  They have giraffes in their living room with Santa hats on all their heads!  She should be an interior decorator.  I’d hire her! 

Drove home the next morning.  Will try to catch up on sleep tonight.

Tuesday, December 8, 2015

sidewalk fall leavesHi.  Not feeling so great.  My wacky cough is back.  I usually get this in the fall because I’m allergic to mold….too many dead leaves on the ground.  I don’t do well when it rains either.  Get headaches and feel like total crap. 

Also was a bad girl because I ate cheese last week.  Not a good idea when you are lactose intolerent.  I don’t fart.  I just cough up a lung. 

Waiting for the snow to come so I can feel better.  Either that or I’m going to have to drive somewhere hot with salt water to dry out my lungs (that’s what my allergist told me years ago). 


Wonder if a sauna would help.  Sigh…..

Wednesday, Dec. 9

Currently hooked up to vitamin C I.V.  Hopefully will start feeling better soon.  Blood pressure was pretty low when I started.  Had my chest/cough checked.  It’s clear, so it’s not bronchitis.  Damn cheese!  Damn mouldy leaves.   My cousin says she loves it when I swear in my blogs!

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