Health Care in Newfoundland and Labrador
And this was almost two months before the Liberal Government's recent slash and cut budget.
There was a time, not so very long ago, when, if you had to go to hospital for any procedure, whether it be for day surgery or for an overnight stay, the staff would not hear of you leaving your bed any other way than in a wheelchair propelled by a nurse or LPN and wheeled to the front door and helped aboard the vehicle that was pulled up to the front door to pick you up. This was my past experience and expectation as I arrived in to Central Health Hospital for day surgery on both feet on February 25th, 2016. As I waited in Room 2055, the nurse came and led me in to where I was registered and had signed all the paperwork necessary assuring them that I was doing everything today at my own risk. As the next hour progressed the Doctor did his work and stitched up my feet. The nurse wrapped some hefty bandages around them and told me to stay off my feet and see the continuing care nurse in Robert's Arm the next day.
As the nurse and assistant tidied up getting ready for the next patient I hove myself off the gurney and prepared to get myself ready to leave. They both glanced in my direction and one said to the other, " Do you think she's going to need a wheelchair?" "Oh yes, definitely," he said, " she will have to have a wheelchair. She won't be able to make it on her own." They then proceeded to converse on the advisability of this patient, I think they refer to us as clients these days, needing a wheelchair to get to my vehicle. Speaking to one another the LPN said, " he's going to need a toonie to get the wheelchair." The nurse said, "no, I think it's a loonie." By this time I'm thinking I have ended up in a loonie bin. I said , "WHAT?"
"Your husband", the LPN said, "he has to bring a wheel chair from the lobby BUT they're chained up together and he will need a loonie to get the chair free of its chains."
Dear Heavens, where have I ended up? I got myself off the gurney, put on my size 10 sandals, I am a size 7, wrapped up my heavily bandaged feet, called my better half on the cell phone and told him he needed a loonie, and the reason why.
He said, I got no loonies (he used a little stronger language than that), and I said to him that the medical people said I must not walk and I had to have a wheel chair. I walked out of the OR and up the corridor on the day surgery second floor. In my misery, I missed the turn towards room 2055 and I walked the length and breadth of the second floor corridor before realizing I had taken a wrong turn. I began to retrace my steps. I met a young 'professional' sporting a stethoscope around her neck. Ha! Ha! I thought, a person who may know something. I timidily asked her if she knew where room 2055 was. She gave me a blank stare, as if in a trance, and walked on. Next I asked a maintenance lady if she knew where my room was. She pointed at the nurse's desk at the end of the long corridor and told me to go there, take a right turn and proceed on to room 2055. I, with my faltering steps, followed her directions and finally, after what seemed like an hours' walk, I made it to room 2055.
I collapsed in the a chair in the waiting room and phoned my other half. He said he was still looking for a loonie. I thought, my son, you don't need to look very far. Just come on up to the second floor of this establishment.
He said, he'd had the idea that knowing he needed a bottle of spirits for the weekend get together, that he would go to the NLLC. He would make sure he got a loonie back with his change. When he got to the NLLC door he found it was only 9:45 AM and they didn't open until 10 AM. Then he decided to go to Central Pharmacy. He'd buy a bottle of water for me, she's always lugging around water bottles, he thought. That's where he was when I reached him on his cell; in the porch of Central Pharmacy.
"Honey, I said, Honey, forget the damn loonie, come on down, after my trek along the entire day surgery unit of the secong floor I think I can make it on my own to the front door.