It was eventful, that’s for certain. After we dropped the boy off at school, his first day back since the strike began, Matt took the girl out for a date at Dorky’s. It’s an old-school, video arcade and it’s quite possibly Oliver’s favorite place on earth; he doesn’t remember Hawaii. He’s only been to Dorky’s twice but it’s like a dream come true for him. Today Chloe’s dream came true…sort of. We think she just wanted to go because Matt has taken Oliver there and she wants to do what they do. Fair enough. Off to Dorky’s they went.
While they were rockin’ Ms. Pac-Man and whatnot, Sylvie and I were home. Around 12:45pm I heard her take a nasty tumble down our old, wood stairs and I came to find her at the bottom crying. She’s taken a spill here and there but this seemed a bit harder. I noticed she wasn’t really moving her arm normally but she wasn’t crying anymore or acting like she was in pain. Matt and I agreed that I should take her and her limp arm to the ER, just to be sure.
Ok, let’s just start with the ER and their policies. I’ve gone through a doctor’s office faster than the ER, actually I think every doctor visit combined, for my entire life, is shorter on total than I have spent waiting in the ER. This baffles me considering people are there for….wait for it….emergencies!!! When we took Oliver in for what we thought was an appendicitis we waited around six hours to get the final results (ultrasound, MRI-seriously?- bloodwork, blood pressure and temps taken). By that time he was fine. No appendicitis! Just a whole lotta poop jam-packed in the lower intestine. And then we finally left for home, but not before ringing in the new year at the local children’s hospital. I was grateful that he was ok but man, we had to wait long stretches between people seeing us.
Once again I found myself sitting in the ER, waiting for a doctor to see us and every time they come for a quick visit, they leave again for like an hour. Someone comes to take some info from me. They leave for about 20 minutes then someone else comes to check vitals. Exit again for another 30 minutes. The doctor comes to pinch the baby, move her arm around, poke at her, smile at the “darling cherub” and then say, “Maybe we’ll do an x-ray. I’ll be right back”. Riiiiiight! 30 minutes later you’re getting prepped for the x-ray, that only takes about 11 minutes, then you wait again for the results. You hear said results; in our case she has a wee fracture but, because she’s a baby and her bones are made of Rubbermaid, she’ll be on the mend in a matter of days. “Now, wait right here while I type that up” whoosh….he’s gone like a vapor; gone for another 20 minutes. “Hey, who wants a popsicle?” Well, I can’t say no to that, especially with Chloe in the room, so we wait another 15 minutes.
After this I thought we were in the clear but no, we had to wait for discharge papers and it was then that I started to feel a bit like we were incarcerated or something. I knew we COULDN’T leave until they told us we could. You even have to go in the back of the ER where the only way to get a door opened is with an orderly that has a handy card to swipe, one which you do not have, and if you wish to leave or enter, they must say it’s ok first. I felt stuck and watched and unable to ask for what we needed which was to be out of there in time to pick my son up from school. I kept asking when they thought we might be finished because I am the only one available to get my child from school and they kept saying, “Geez, I sure hope we’re done by then”. It was a bit bizarre and if it came down to it I would have left with Sylvie in her baby, hospital gown and come back later with all of them. I just can’t bear the thought of leaving a child at school with no one there to get him/her. Also, you can’t tell me I can’t leave to go get him. I-ont-thinkso!
I’m super grateful for the care we received and, to their credit, everyone there was very nice. I know they were just following protocol but I am still baffled that you end up spending so much stinkin’ time in the ER, waiting for your emergency to be dealt with, while I could go to my doctor’s office tomorrow, needing to be seen for darts stuck in my retina and I would STILL get in and out of there quicker. Why is their protocol to make us wait for hours on end, unable to leave because we’re now checked in?
Do you have a bizarre ER experience?