Christmas Day in the Emergency Department

 One thing unplanned on Christmas Day, was a few hours in the Emergency department.

Shortly after waking up from an unsettled night, I was sitting in my ‘beloved recliner’, and I notice the there is a feeling of gentle but obvious pressure around and underneath my right ear. I didn’t feel ill at all, but after touching the area, it is obvious there is a swelling. I wasn’t sure what I was going to do, but after an hour of this enlarging, I decide I should do something. We were supposed to go for dinner with our son and his wife and her mom and dad. We were planning on being there at 2 pm so  that we could have a short visit with some of our grandchildren, before they left to go elsewhere for dinner.

I decided to phone the tele-nurse, created by the Ontario government to see what they thought, in the hope that they could advise me, thereby bypassing the need to go to the Emergency department. I didn’t know whether the swelling was possibly ‘mumps’ because if there was a chance it was, or something else contagious, I would not want to pass it on to anyone else. There was also another possibility that had happened over a year ago. Anyway, I needed to find out.  Unfortunately after answering multiple questions, she told me to go and check with the hospital. So off we went about 10:30 am!

When we arrived, we knew we were likely in for a wait, because the emergency department was packed. After registering, and an x-ray, we waited to see the one doctor that was on duty. It turned out to be comical in the sense that we all waited with bated breath to see when our name might be called…. kind of like winning the lottery…. only not for a monetary win, but to have a diagnosis, so we could perhaps just go home. There were several people with injuries of various kinds, a lot of people with flu, some children who were unwell, and various other illnesses. It was so busy of course because being Christmas Day, all walk-in clinics were closed. It was funny to look around as we wondered if the person we were looking at was one that was there before us, or would we be before them. Some were wearing masks because they were coughing, so all you saw were their eyes staring back at you, wondering the same thing you were.

At one point a policeman came in with a small bag of toys, to give to any children that were there. The little ones were given priority of course, and seen out of order. Everyone understood that!

Anyway after about 3 hours, I won the lottery when the doctor returned from taking a break for some reason, for about a half an hour. She needed one of course, as people just kept filling the waiting room. Everyone sat thinking the same thing, but not verbalizing it; like the proverbial white elephant in the room…”when will she get back”? We sat watching the television. minus the sound and waited.

My name was called finally, when the doctor returned, and she told me that it was an issue with my salivary gland only, and not anything contagious, and that she was going to arrange an ultrasound, and call when this was done, but I could go home.

Without prolonging this already too long post, we went home, let out our dog, picked up the pies we were taking and went off to have our turkey Christmas dinner. Unfortunately we didn’t make it in time to see the grandchildren, but spoke to most of them on the phone.

So while there were certainly some unexpected aspects, we were still able to celebrate on this very special ‘Christmas Day’ !




46 thoughts on “Christmas Day in the Emergency Department

  1. oh Diane, I am so sorry about your having to spend time in the ER! Was the gland simply stopped up? Is this something they lance, like the ear?
    Thank goodness my times in the ER have been limited this past year! I hope I don’t have to go for anything this year!
    I haven’t posted anything because I have had a difficult holiday season because of my youngest daughter. I know you understand. If you feel up to talking, call me. I can’t write about it at all.


  2. It’s great you still could enjoy Christmas and family, but sometimes it is good to get another opinion, too, once the ultrasound results come back. There’s nothing worse than endless lines in emergency rooms. While we all understand that everybody wants to celebrate and so on, there could be more staff when they clearly know it is going to be packed. You at least made it out still on time. I hope you’ll be fine and that will be something which can be easily fixed with drinking more liquids and similar stuff.


      • yea she had to have one too. I just can’t remember what they done for her, we had to do treatments at first we were all real worried it was odd but nothing extreme anyway I wanna say it has something to do with salt intake I don’t know but keep us posted. My little family had a nice Chritmas with a story I will share with you through a message sometime I think you will love it!

        Liked by 1 person

  3. Pingback: If We Were Having Coffee – 12/28/14 | My Weary Mind

  4. In life, unsuspected things can happen. I am glad that it was not serious and you had celebrated Christmas with family.
    Wishing you in advance Happy New Year!


  5. So glad you won the lottery in that your gland is ‘just’ infected, or affected…but those waits to be called in to see the dr are nerve rattling! Glad you were able to meet up with some of the family.


    • Thanks Deb… it seems that I’m in a ‘waiting mode for a few things… but thank the Lord I seem to have developed the gift of ‘patience’.. not that I have the choice… ha… (I’m wondering how you did through Christmas Day… but I can wait till you post if you plan to) Diane


      • Planning on one in the morning. Cleaned up the mess a houseful leaves behind, dishes included; then worked on other stuff I have been wanting to do and got a migraine, so that shot writing much tonight. All in all, the day went well. More laughter than tears…and there were lots of them! Deb

        Liked by 1 person

  6. I’m so glad it wasn’t anything major or contagious, and that you got to visit with your children. Once I had a blocked salivary duct that caused a lot of swelling. The doctor told me to drink a lot of water and massage the area. He said that I might happen to feel whatever it was blocking the duct pop out, or that I might not notice it at all. The latter was the case. I never felt a thing, but 48 hours later my face finally returned to normal. I wonder if this is the same thing you are dealing with. Regardless, I hope everything is back to normal as soon as possible! What a Christmas to remember!


    • Thanks Paige.. It’s strange because the swelling had lessened even by the time I saw the doctor…. but she still wants an ultrasound. It has pretty well gone down now to normal. The other thing is that I’ve had a problem for several months with too much saliva… Anyway, I hope they find out something… It definitely is a Christmas to remember.. Diane


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