Friday, August 03, 2007

Normal Service Will be Resumed Tomorrow...

When I arrive home this evening, I found a signed copy of Chiefbiscuit's new book in the mail. I've been waiting all week for it. I would jump into bed and read it, except that I think I will fall asleep as soon as my head hits the pillow. That's because....

I had about two and a half hours sleep last night, maybe three before the phone rang. I was lying in bed thinking "isn't P (my husband) going to answer that?" (since he is a real night owl and stays up far later than I do). Finally I figured he must be in the bathroom or something, and got up to answer it, only to find that it was actually P calling from downstairs on his cellphone.

He was having disturbing symptons - chest pressure, shortness of breath, etc, - and decided he should go to hospital. So we headed off in an ambulance to the ED where they did tests, found nothing wrong, and eventually he started to feel better. Of course once there, they don't let you go so easily. At least, not with those symptoms. By 6 a.m. it was clear that a) the promised cardiologist would be round sometime, but no one knew when and b) anyway, he would have to stay till at least ten hours after he first went in, for a second blood test. But it did seem that if that was clear, which was what we expected, he would be able to go home. So I went home, got ready for work, and promised to come back and pick him up as soon as he rang me. I didn't take much lunch, because I thought P would want lunch when he got home.

By two thirty I still hadn't heard, so I rang the hospital to find he was on a ward, and I could speak to him after 3.00 when "rest time" finished. When I finally found out what was going on, it went like this:
All the tests were clear. But they wanted more. Probably a treadmill test. But that's not available until tomorrow (Saturday) afternoon, so he had to stay in overnight.

On the other hand, they might decide to do a different test. But the hospital shuts down, rather, over the weekend, so they couldn't do it till Monday or Tuesday. But no, even though he is now feeling fine, he couldn't go home over the weekend.

This is what our tax dollars pay for. People who are feeling well take up hospital beds for three days longer than necessary, because nobody can do required tests promptly.

Of course, I am glad we still have a semblance of a free public hospital system, but still. Only a few days ago the hospital was in "red gridlock" because there wasn't a single spare bed, and no one could be admitted for 20 hours. It seems like such a waste to hold someone in unnecessarily just because it's the weekend. It's not as if they even pay penalty rates for weekends any more.

After that I finished up at work, went home and fetched a really large bag of books, and went in to see him. This morning when I left, I had said "shall I bring a book in for you?" and he replied that it was OK. I think he has changed his mind :)

The ED was good practice for our trip to the UK. English and Scottish voices all around us. That seems to be where most of our junior hospital doctors come from these days. Not that New Zealand pays well, but they seem to like to come here for a few years anyway, which is just as well, because we don't seem to train enough here, and those we do train head off overseas to earn larger salaries so they can pay off their huge student loans.

It wasn't altogether smart of me to go with him in the ambulance instead of following by car, because there I was in the middle of the night with no transport. By 6 a.m. when I left, the buses were running. And I had a bus card, somewhere in my purse. But somehow, it all seemed too much mental effort to a) find the bus card b) find the bus stop and c) figure out the timetable. So, I just put one foot in front of the other until I arrived home an hour later. It was actually a very pleasant walk.

Now, I'm hoping that he will get the treadmill test tomorrow and be sent home, because I don't want Monday or Tuesday messed up. Because those are the days I'll be working at the job where I don't have any sick leave, so if I'm running up to the hospital and back, I'll get less pay, and P has already done the sums for August and September which show that the bank balance will be not exactly large by the end of our trip.

And now, I really should stop rambling and fall into bed.

5 comments:

Bob-kat said...

Hi Catherine. Thanks for the visit.

I do hope your husbands tests show nothing was wrong. Fingers crossed.

Your expereicne of the hospital sounds very like ours here in the UK. Nothing happens at all over the weekends!

The flood waters ahve receded so you can leave your canoe at home by the way :) If you are going anywhere in South East Wales or the South West then I might be able to recommend some places to visit unless you already ahve your itinery sorted that is :)

Marie said...

Oh goodness! I hope he gets the test he needs soon & that your husband is released quickly. Sending good wishes your way...

And Hi there! Michele sent me!

Star said...

Bureaucracy; pffft!

I hope your husband continues to feel well and that he is able to come home very soon.

barbie2be said...

i hope everything turns out fine!

Michele sent me.

aprilbapryll said...

I hope everything is alright!

Michele sent me!