Janelle (avec_bonheur) wrote in bad_service,

 All of these hospital sucks have reminded me of my ordeal last spring. It was by no means as awful as some of the ones here but it still sucked a lot.

I lived in a more northern, rural community. For any major services (high-risk pregnancies, chemotherapy, even CT scans) we need to be airlifted out of the community to either the regional hospital (500km away) or the hospital in the capitol (about a four hour-flight across the province). This is a huge suck on its own but one that you come to expect in choosing to live where I did. It's also an extra little 'perk' to those already living in or near the community that hosts the regional hospital.

As it happens, I was in the community with the regional hospital for a high school theatre festival. During our last rehearsal, my director chose to edit our blocking so that at one point I am rolled off of a couch and onto the floor. In the rehearsal stage, the fall happened just fine and the new blocking was kept; as such, I was never taught how to fall properly, something that was over-looked in light of everything else we had to do before our show opened.

The show progressed just fine throughout until it came to my fall. This time I was pushed too far out from the couch and I hit my spine hard along the edge of a coffee table that was perpendicular to the couch. I felt an intense pain shoot through my body but had very little trouble moving afterward so I thought nothing of it until the next morning.

When I awoke the next morning, I couldn't move without a cutting pain shooting down my back. My roommate rolled me onto my side and lifted my shirt to see that the area perpendicular to my spine was swollen and had formed an ugly bruise. We called my director and he, fearing lasting damage, agreed to drive me to emergency to find out what the issue was and how to treat it. I was doped up on OTC pain medication and we went to the hospital.

Paperwork was filled out and I was sent to the waiting room adjacent to the emergency. I wasn't offered a wheelchair let alone a bed to lie down in; all that was there were hard plastics chairs and the tiled floor. There weren't many people ahead of me and we assumed that since my injuries seemed severe that I would be called in to see a doctor very soon.

Nope. A very long hour passed between forcing myself to sit in the chair, on the floor against the wall, and pacing. Towards hour two the pain was becoming worse and I had started to sob. My director went to speak with the nurse overseeing the waiting room who informed him that emergency was busy; when asked if I could have a bed to lie down in, she simply said "no". Hour three came and went, seeing patients whom were not sobbing being called into emergency before me. Hour four the doctor (yes, just one in the regional hospital) on duty goes on lunch and isn't replaced until that hour is up.

By hour five the pain from this morning has become much, much worse. During hour six, I'm finally offered a bed in the emergency ward that I can lie down on. Hour seven, I've yet to have been spoken to by a doctor and I have a panic attack from the pain. I'm given oxygen and a sedative with no questions from the nurses regarding my level of pain, whether or not I've had a panic attack before, and not even a visual check on my back. I sleep from the sedative, during which time I'm told that my director finally freaked out at the nurses and demanded that I be attended to now.

I awaken a little past the hour eight mark to see a doctor finally approaching me. She looked me over for five minutes, touching my back once. She prescribed me painkillers and told me to "stop over-reacting next time, you're not the most important person here."

It's now six months later and standing for longer than five hours (ie, at work) will cause shooting pain to radiate throughout my back. I haven't had the issued addressed at another hospital because A. my hospital doesn't have the equipment; B. I'm not dealing with the regional hospital again; and C. I don't have the finances to fly to a hospital elsewhere because (unless for certain things) I will not be reimbursed for the flight costs. 

If you're curious, I'm seventeen years old. I feel like this isn't one of those things that will get better with age.




TL/DR: I sustain a back injury from a fall. I wait six hours before being offered a bed, then another two before I see a doctor for a five-minute (mostly visual) examination. Hospital staff essentially tell me to stop being a brat and to get over it.


Tags: *medical/pharmacy, first do no harm?
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