Well, as some knew my husband has not been feeling well since a week ago Monday. We went to the emergency department of our local hospital last Wednesday and were fortunate to find no one else in the waiting room and so we were taken right in. We got in around 2:30pm and were out by 5:00 pm. We would have been out sooner but there were tests to be done and we had to wait for the results. After the examination and tests the doctor felt that he had badly strained some muscle in his upper back and thus the extreme pain he was in. Being sent home with a prescription for some medication to help the pain, and instructions to use heat on his back we left.
Unfortunately this past week did not go well at all and the pain continued albeit with some relief from the medication and the heat. My husband decided to ‘bear’ with it and hope for some improvement as the days passed. One thing that did not help was that the pills given for pain relief came with side effects. So today we both decided it was better to get things cleared up and so back to emergency we went.
What a difference a week makes. This time we arrived at the hospital at 10:30 am, and the emergency department was almost filled to capacity. After seeing the ‘triage’ nurse we sat down to ‘wait’. The young man beside me had been there an hour already and was in pain of his own. A young woman who was pregnant, was just ahead of us and she was having cramps but didn’t really think it was at first too serious in nature. As time passed we began to speak with others around, and discovered one man who was waiting for his wife had been there since 9 am. More people just kept coming in through the doors and some being worse off than my husband were of course taken in to see the doctor ahead of us. We understood this as it should be that way, but the time just dragged on and on. The young woman who was expecting a child, decided after a suggestion by another person, to go to the maternity area of the hospital instead of waiting any longer. We thought that was a good idea, as people were just jamming up the emergency department.
Oh and there was one very exuberant lady to liven up the room during our time there. She had been obviously (and she said so) been imbibing before coming there, and was trying the ‘patient’s’…..patience with her display of colorful words. I must say the hospital handled it very well, and checked her in quickly and took her to a separate part of the hospital. By the way, her reason for being there without her OHIP benefit card also by the way….was that she was having trouble sleeping. Lest you think that we laughed at her…while some of what she said WAS funny…I must say that I felt sorry for her that she was in such a state.
Finally at 2 pm approximately, my husband’s name was called. It felt like we had won the lottery….we were so excited. Well at least we were ‘closer’ to being seen by a doctor. After preliminary information was taken by the nurse we began the ‘waiting game’ again as she said there were several more people the doctor had to see before him. So around 5 pm the doctor came in and examined my husband and spoke briefly, ordering blood tests, ECG and an Xray. These tests were done about a half hour later, but we were told that we would have to wait about an hour for the results. The doctor came in around 6:15 pm and just as he was about to look at the test results, he got an emergency call from the Maternity Ward of the hospital. He was called away immediately to deliver a baby, and from what I heard the nurse say to him we determined it was the young woman who was in the emergency room with us earlier in the day.
Around 7:30 pm a very tired doctor came back into our area and looked at my husband’s test results and told him that it was not anything to do with his heart, but a very strange muscle or tendonitis in his back. It was affecting his arm as well as his back. The other issue with the side effect of the medication was handled by a different medication, and so with his arm in a sling to take the pressure off the arm and back, and a prescription in hand, we were advised we could go home.
Even though tired and hungry we left the hospital, still thankful that our healthcare system in Canada is one of the best there is.