Does anyone know CPR? Resuscitating the healthcare system.

I have not ever seen an advertisement for a job vacancy within our local public hospital system. However, after my visit today I imagine it would look a little something like this……

Job Vacancy
Medical Receptionist
Bendigo Health

Must have relevant medical experience and be able to demonstrate complete and utter disinterest in all patients.

The ability to be rude to even the nicest of patient will be viewed favourably.

Please send resume and three references from people you have been recently rude to within the last fortnight to the manager.

………………………………

As you may have gathered, I have just returned from my booking in appointment. Yes folks, my time has come once again to make my way through the maternity maze and hopefully come out the other side in one piece, physically at least. Mentally may be a different thing all together.

The midwives were nice. The clinic ones always are. Somehow they never seem to be the same ones you get on the ward though. I did require some extra blood tests that my GP forgot about so off I went in search of the new pathology place. It would have been nice if someone had told me that the hospital pathology department now only caters to emergent patients or patients on a Saturday morning. For everyone else you now have to walk outside of the hospital and about five minutes down the road to an inconspicuous looking building situated in a very strange spot.

I found it, eventually, after much walking around like a doofus. I entered and looked upon a room full of people sitting quietly and no reception desk. I looked again. Nope, still no reception desk. After a minute or two of looking like more of a doofus, an elderly gentleman pointed to a small table hidden over in a corner. Apparently you just take a number and sit down. Eventually a blood letter will materialise and call your number. I was number 17. I think I just felt the day get longer.

After the blood letting I then had to make my way a little further up the road to radiology to make my 19 week scan appointment. Upon entering and presenting my referral I was told that they did not handle the obstetric scans here and that I had to go back to the hospital. Grrrrrrrrr. I think I may have audibly growled at that point.

It was now 11am and 2 hours had passed since my 9am appointment. I was getting hot, flustered and of course, now I had to pee as if civilisation itself depended on it. Deep breath. Onwards towards the “other” radiology. Which just so happened to be across the road, up a steep hill and around the other side of the hospital.

I walked through no less than ten people standing in the entrance way to the radiology smoking their cigarettes and wondered if I should go back to maternity and update my details about my smoking status as I now felt like I had just chugged down a whole packet myself. Of course, there was a line. I lined up, I waited.

Once I was seen by reception I presented my referral once again and was cut off mid sentence and told to go around the corner to desk number four. Okey dokey then, around the corner I go to find desk number four in complete darkness. Back around to the front and on the end of the line once more. I felt like a kid in that South Park episode where they go to a theme park and line up for. Ride that turns out to be just another line. After all, it is not a true theme park experience without the lining up and waiting is it!

Once I made my way to the front again and informed the receptionist that desk number four was in fact closed she rolled her eyes and told me to go to desk two then. As if I should have already known this and was wasting her precious time.

Desk two had a sliding glass window complete with lock and key. Behind said window was a plump and in no way pleasant looking woman who was furiously typing something into her computer. I smiled as her eyes darted up to meet mine but my smile was not returned as she went back to typing. I shuffled on my feet for a moment wondering if she was going to open the window anytime soon. She must have realised I was not going away so she finally decided to open the window and snap at me “next please” . I turned my head. There was nobody behind me.

My referral made a third appearance and this time the lady snatched it from me and read it with a deep sigh of frustration.

“What is this for”
” my 19 week scan” I replied.
“When do you need it for”
” well when I am 19 weeks pregnant I assume”
( eyes rolling) well how far along are you now”
” 15 weeks so I guess I need it no later than the 10th of may”

A this stage the woman’s eyes rolled so far back in her head I actually became concerned that she was having a seizure. She snapped at me something about being booked out until June so she may not fit me in, I shouldn’t have left it so late.

What the hell! I was given the referral an hour ago, how much sooner could I have gotten there!
Well I had ju st about had enough by this point so my pleasant demeanour quickly morphed into pissed off mama mode.

The following exchange went a little something like this……

” excuse me, the fact that you are booked out until June is neither my problem or my fault. My first booking in appointment was an hour ago, I was given the referral then. The hospital have been aware that I am expecting since I was four weeks pregnant. That was eleven weeks ago. They only decided that they needed to see me today. I appreciate you are busy, I am busy also and I don’t see why I should have to be subjected to rudeness when I am simply following an instruction given to me by my midwife.”

Well, her tune changed a little then and what do you know. Magically an appointment became available on the 10th of may. What a miracle!

Finally I was done, safely in a taxi on my way off of the hospital grounds. My phone rang. It was the midwife. Se had forgotten a blood test. Could I come back and get the referral.

No way, not on your life. She is now posting it to me. I am free. Until Monday for my next appointment. God help me.

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Nothing like a venipuncture to start your day.

Finally, Wednesday is here. I can write another blog, THANK GOD. I can tell you that it has been hard to resist the urge to write and not something I have been most successful at. I actually have a stack of blog material saved in my drafts now. By the time the next 12 weeks is finished you can expect a massive upload of saved posts that I have been struggling to hold back whilst adhering to the 3 post per week rule.

Just makes you wanna jump right out of bed in the morning doesn’t it?

So in the interest of my committment to medical enlightenment, I headed off bright and early this morning for a blood test. Well like 5 tests actually. As promised, I have had blood drawn to check my thyroid, hormone levels and cholesterol. Also thrown in for good measure was a full blood count, iron count, glucose test and elevated tumour markers. Sounds scary but due to family history, it is all necessary. Thankfully my sanguinary friend was exceptionally good at her job this morning and drained half of my blood volume before I even realised the needle had penetrated my skin. Usually I am very good with needles and when she asked if I had any problems having blood drawn, I started to say with my usual confidence that I did not. However, when I caught a glimpse of just how many vials were coming out of the drawer, I have to say I felt a teeny tiny bit woozy but that could have also been because this is a fasting test. Having your blood drained on an empty stomach is hard to…well… stomach!

So later today I am off for a chest x-ray to evaluate my lungs and assess the damage from 10 years of smoking. Straight after that I am having an ultrasound to investigate some suspicious lumps and bumps. Hopefully by Wednesday next week I will be able to blog my results…fingers crossed that they are all clear! I do already have one good result though…I do not have the high blood pressure that seems to come in my family. I am most pleased about this.

As you can see, my experience with the new doctor was positive. He listened attentively, examined thoroughly and ordered a barrage of tests to cover all of the issues that have gone ignored by the doctors before him. I have finally received some satisfaction. Now, as I said in the previous medical blog, in these time of doctors wanting to do less and less, we absolutely have to be accountable for our own health. For example, my new doctor was horrified that the painful lump in my neck had been ignored for 6 years especially in the last year considering that my father has cancer. I am hoping it comes back clear, please let it come back clear, but the point is, 3 doctors ignored something that was worrying me and it took finding a fourth to have it taken seriously. If you have to be a pest then start buzzing around until you find a doctor that listens to you. I would rather be a pest then dead.

So for those of you following my 12WBT journey, you will know today is weigh in Wednesday. A day that brings either intense high’s or extreme lows. I wish weigh in was on Monday so I could call it Manic Depression Monday. It has a nice ring to it and it is truthfully how I feel around the weigh in. Weigh in 1 was an extreme low as I had actually gained weight. Weigh in 2 was an intense high after a weight loss of 2.4 kilos. Today, weigh in 3 is neither. I have lost a grand total of 300 grams for the entire week. Whoopy do ! But, it is still a loss and considering it is that time of month, I should be happy that it is not a gain of 2 kilos of the dreaded fluid retention. I did not crack my goal of being under 80 this week due to TTOM but I have reset that goal for next week and will strive to reach it by next weigh in.

My husband has been joining me in a bid to lose some weight. He has lost 10 kilos in 3 weeks now. I am seriously considering homicide. Or at the very least injecting puree Big Mac’s directly into his ass while he sleeps. I would have to enlist the services of my blood nurse today, she is that quick, he won’t even flinch when the needle goes in. I would take great care to make sure the burger was mixed to a thin liquid like consistency as I am not sure how I would explain a pickle embolism to the emergency department staff. But wait, this is meant to be a positive blog…Oops, my bad…..

Yay Husband. How wonderful that you have dropped 10 kilos in 3 weeks to my 2.7 kilos. I would love to sit here and shower you with more praise but I have to go workout. For 3 hours. Ah, crap, I did it again. I tried to be positive but my sarcasm muscle flexed and it all went to hell with itself. Better luck next blog hey!