A tale of two visits

It was almost as if I visited two different hospitals. It was like visiting Bizarro World for your medical issues.

Yesterday, for instance, Mum drove me up to Caloundra Hospital in order for me to have another drip feed of anti-biotics. Zane the Efficient was sitting at the desk, and recognised me instantly. He sat me on a comfy chair, shoved a PICC in my hand and went searching for a doctor to okay the drug.

He was back in less than ten minutes with the stand and the fluid. He plugged me in and said he’d be back in 20 minutes. He was actually back in about ten, moving me into the waiting room (complete with drip) to finish off.

He left me there saying I should yell when it finished. He then appeared just as it finished and I was about to yell for him. He removed the drip but left the PICC in my hand, saying it could be used the next day for my final feed. He then said we could go…except I thought he said we should wait.

Annoying PICC

After a bit I went to the desk where another nurse was sitting and asked what we were waiting for. He told me we were waiting for nothing since I’d been discharged. He wrapped my hand in gauze and we left.

All very efficient, all very pleasant. It’s just a pity that sort of thing only happens once.

This morning we went up, thinking the same thing would happen. Oh, the folly of innocence.

We arrived at 8:20 and reported to the desk. My heart sank just a little when I didn’t see Zane. We were told to wait and someone would see us shortly.

We’d arranged to meet Denise and Trace for coffee in Sunland at 10am and figured we’d be waiting for them, given our experience yesterday. At 9am, Mum went up to the desk and asked how much longer we were going to be. I’d said if I hadn’t been seen by 10, I was going go all dramatic and pull the PICC out (just like they do on the TV all the time) and give it back to them.

Then we saw Steve (or John…I can’t remember which one but he had a very poor handshake) dithering around. While he was obviously Zane’s equal in rank and responsibility he was clearly not the same level of nurse. If they were carpenters, you’d never buy a table made by Steve (or John) because the legs would all be different lengths.

He was clearly stressed, though not by work. I think he’s just a stressy person. This did not instill any kind of confidence in him. He sat me in the chair from yesterday as soon as it was vacated by an old lady in need of some sort of treatment. I noticed they didn’t wipe the chair first. But then I was threatening to de-PICC myself.

So there I sat, waiting. Stressy Steve kept popping his head around the corner to make sure I hadn’t accomplished some sort of medical emergency on myself and to tell me that I hadn’t had the drip connected yet…something which was only too obvious.

On one of his flying visits, he gave me a prescription for some anti-biotic capsules which meant I could happily go and self medicate after they’d finished with me, something that was becoming increasingly at some distant time, possibly in the next century.

Then, as if taunting me with promises of riches beyond my wildest dreams, Stressy Steve told me to walk around to the previously excellent Fast Track where someone called Troy would hook me up to a drip.

I would just like to say that whoever trained Troy in how to connect up a drip and get it working is in need of a lot training. If Stressy Steve didn’t instil confidence, Troy was like a plumber who turns up to fix a leaky tap with a mallet.

Needless to say, the drip filled up the plastic tube (raised nice and high to help gravity and barometric pressure…I can only assume Troy fancied himself as some sort of inept meteorologist) but not my vein. In fact, it stopped at the PICC. I watched it, given I had little else to do. It was a joke. We weren’t even in the Fast Track room, we were sat in the waiting area.

Mum was frantically texting the girls to say we’d be late (it was 10 by now) and then went and found Troy to tell him the drip had stopped. When he turned up, looking confused and, quite frankly, mystified, I told him to pull the PICC out and give me a plaster because I’d had enough. I could walk, I had a prescription, I didn’t need to play practice dummy to an incompetent. After all, I’d already served as one for Edward and his initial attempts at vein impregnation two days ago.

Troy tried to convince me that he just needed to flush the line (it was obvious that the vein had closed up) but I insisted. He pulled the PICC out and, rather inexpertly, plonked a plaster on my hand.

The day then brightened considerably. We spent a lovely hour or so having coffee with the girls then went shopping with Denise after which she returned to the house to have lunch with us.

I even went for a short walk, late in the day, to prove to my right foot that the left one still worked.

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4 Responses to A tale of two visits

  1. Fi says:

    Thank goodness the Iv antibiotics have finished! However, I know nobody wants to be kept waiting at hospital, but in my experience, it’s best to just expect a long wait, normally 2 hrs for Public Hospital, and if it’s quick, it’s a bonus. As for poor stressy Steve and clumsy Troy, they’re probably new, and it IS stressy! In our job, if you rush things, don’t double check, or take short cuts, you can kill someone!! Just sticking up for the nurses

  2. Michelle says:

    2 hours is a good day in westmead. I was waiting 8 hours with a patient last year. 5 of which was waiting for a ambulance to transport her less than a km down the road to a locked unit. Some days are better than others

  3. Mirinda says:

    Useless prats. They clearly didn’t know what they were doing.

  4. Mum says:

    Yes it was an awful after such a quick two days before,but he is now on the road to recovery and walking well again.
    love mum xx


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