Friday, June 6, 2008

Inappropriate ER Behaviour...WTF?!?!?!?

Ander has not been feeling well since Monday. I called the doctor - he was completely booked and suggested the After-hours Pediatric Clinic. Got an appointment for 7:40 PM. The nice doctor determined Anderson had a serious ear infection. Then upon further examination the doctor started to use the terms "toxic", "unresponsive", "not typical or appropriate reaction", "alarming", "extremely high heart rate", "laboured breathing", "low oxygen stats".... he then gravely told me that my little Pander-Bear, as a best case scenario, may have pneumonia or some sort of infection, and that we should head straight to the children's hospital. He even inquired if we wanted to go by ambulance.

With all the dire medical terms colliding in my head, we rushed right over to CHEO.

I think half the population of Ottawa was in the CHEO waiting room! Standing room only.

I will never bad mouth the Children's Hospital of Eastern Ontario. If you frequent The Fringe, you probably read about how this hospital preformed life-saving surgery on my son DJ. And you have read about the wonderful care and attention we have gotten at this hospital. I also wrote about how this wonderful hpospital took the time to really explain my son DJ's rare condition. You have also probably read how even before Madigan was born we knew she would need surgery and medical intervention form this wonderful hospital. You may have shed a tear when you read about my friend Donna and her son's time at CHEO. And if you have been around in the last week, you read how much I do every year to help raise money for this amazing hospital.

You will NEVER hear me speak poorly the Children's Hospital of Eastern Ontario.

But everything else, and everyone else we encountered in the ER is fair game.

Firstly, I understand many people are having trouble finding a doctor in Canada. It is a well-documented issue. But people, please, why bring your child to the ER, at night, because he or she has had the sniffles for over a week now? WTF?!?!?! Go to a walk in clinic if you have a deadly fear of the common summer flu/cold.

Further, if non-emergencies were removed from the equation then the wait time would be dramatically shorter.

Secondly, if one child is sick, why bring the whole "fam damliy" to the ER? I can understand it if you had no other option - but the frigging number of families there last night was unbelievable. One family consisted of mom, dad, child with a sizable goose egg on their forehead, 3 cranky siblings and a grandmother. WTF?!?!?! HELLO parent escort child to hospital and the others stay home. Easier on EVERYONE...

Further, if your 4 year old will not sleep because their head hurts and you have no idea if they fell in the recent past, then why would you and your hubby bring your 2 month old baby to a hospital. GERMS people...why bring a healthy baby into a germ infested hospital? WTF?!?!?! Unnecessary risk!

Thirdly, if your child is out of control and running around and smacking into other people and screaming at the top of his lungs - take him out in the hall, or even outside. Other families would greatly appreciate it. In particular, that little sweetheart of a gal who split open her lip and wants to cuddle in Daddy's arms and not have YOUR son running into her and making dinky-cars drive up her arm. On top of that, your hyper, loud, child probably did not need the chocolate milk, cookies and chocolate bar you fed him in a span of 5 minutes. Especially since you were using the ER to get a blood test done instead of going to the clinc during the day. WTF?!?!?! You may also want to read point number two. Your mother and sister's rude, loud and critique of the wait time were uncalled for...most people in the waiting room have work or school in the morning... not just you!

Fourthly, there are job search engines out there. If you want to get all your work experience and accomplishments broadcasted, please visit or An ER chance meeting with a superior is not a job interview. I for one, do not wish to hear you go on and on about your last 10 years in the Federal Government. For the record, Revenue Canada is a huge department - The "Do you know so-in-so" game followed by a huge long plug on how you worked with that person is not called for... WTF?!?!?! There is a time and a place for obnoxious name dropping, project-accrediting and the ER room is not one of them. No. Seriously. I do not care who you know and what you have done in the last 10 years. But I must say, you did try hard to close the deal with a fake chuckle and " Well, we should exchange cards, I would love the opportunity to review my CV with you - I really think policy management is where I want to go with my career".

The fifth point I would like to make is that bottled water and juice sold in the ER room should not force you to take out a second mortgage. $2.50 for a little bottle of water? WTF?!?!?! And if a nurse recommends keeping your son hydrated with lots of water - please have a paper cup so that Mom can use the water fountain.

Finally, the winner of the "Most Inappropriate ER Behaviour" award goes to the automated parking lot attendant. Yep! I know, you are thinking WTF?!?!?!. But the big metal box, with the squeaking, irritating female voice wins hand down...or is that parking stub down.

"You owe T-H-I-R-R-R-R-teen dollars. If you have any coins, please insert them into the coin slot. "

cling cling cling

"Thank you. Please come again."

WTF?!?!?! WTF?!?!?! WTF?!?!?!

Please come again to the ER. As in "hope to see you back ER". WTF?!?!?! Listen, the last thing I want to do, or my child wants to do, after waiting 2.5 hours to get registered, 2 hours to be called to, well, wait in another room, and another 1.5 hours to see a doctor, is think (or plan) on coming back to ER.

OK. Rant over.

As an update, my little Pander-Bear was so good last night. He made Mommy very proud with his bravery. He is now on antibiotics to clear up a nasty ear infection and the doctor (Dr. McCutie for sure) is pretty sure he has a case of pneumonia. Any healthy, get-well vibes you can send would be appreciated!


Melissa said...

Serious bummer. When our pedi sends us to the hospital they call ahead and get Hope admitted. Now I'm pretty darn thankful for that.

I hope your little guy feels better soon and that Dr. McCutie gave him the good meds to get him there.

There seems to be an overabundance of hot doctors lately, huh? ;)

Life As I Know It said...

Oh, I'm so sorry you had a terrible time at the ER.
Hoping he is feeling better soon!

Kellan said...

Oh, I 'm sorry your little sweetie is sick and I hope he gets better quickly. As for the rest - I have been there and done that - tooooooo many times.

Have a good day and I hope your baby has a good day too. Kellan

Anabella said...

Poor baby! I hope he is doing better. You poor thing. I don't know how you do it. How do you stay level headed? I can't believe some people. Why not wait to go to your child's doctor? Why subject your child to more germs? Some people just don't think.

Kathryn said...

Aww. That poor little Panda-bear. :(
Sending all the get well vibes your way.
Sorry you had such a time of it at that crazy ER last night.

Emily said...

i say we post this outside every er

Mighty Morphin' Mama said...

My goodness, it is like a petri dish for the strange and the inappropriate.
I home Ander is feeling better soon, and that he has no complications. We'll be thinking of you.

Lainey-Paney said...

Ahhh...I work in an ER.
I sooooooooooo feel you.

but, here in the usa, we don't have free healthcare for all. My FAVORITE (note the sarcasm), the person who bitches & moans to me about the fact that they don't have health insurance, and healthcare is expensive, and where they're from there is a universal plan, and we americans ought to be ashamed of ourselves, yada yada yada.

Take out my personal feelings about socialized medicine (it has pros & cons in my book...), but let's boil it down to this response (which I would love to say....) "I have health insurance because I pay for it. I pay for it because it is important to me that I be able to maintain my health & the health of my family. I can afford health insurance because I have a job."

Okay...there's my rant on the subject.

OHmommy said...

So sorry to hear that. I have had so many trouble with our Er.

Hope he feels better SOON.

Jill said...

Glad to hear he's doing better.
I've only been in an ER a few times, and saw similar behavior there too. I don't get it either.

Tillybud said...

Sending lots of 'get well soon' vibes your way. Sorry to hear of your ER experiences but your account of it did give me a chuckle!

Patty said...

OMG that is a funny post. I have had to bring Abby to the CHEO ER once due to serious croup, it was an experience.

Good thing that Ander is feeling better!!

A Buns Life said...

What a nightmare....I'm sorry!!!! Is he feeling better now?

forgetfulone said...

Oh, how frustrating a wait in the ER can be! I'd rather just skip it forever if I'm so lucky. Sending you get well vibes.

Pregnantly Plump said...

I'm sorry Anderson isn't feeling well. At first I thought you were going to say the doctor who sent you to the ER was wrong and Anderson just had a stuffed up ear.
I hope he gets well soon!

Don Mills Diva said...

Oh Laura - Rob spent several day in the hospital last year and I am nodding my head in agreement with every one of these - soooo frustrating!

Hope Anderson is better.