I am laid up in bed as I type this out, with a kidney infection. I have a fever, so if I ramble on we shall just blame it on that, not on my usual verbal diarrhea.
I was a little worried that something sinister was going on, but my symptoms were so vague initially that I just ignored it. That plus being in NY with no health insurance. If I was seriously sick I would have ponied up the money for a doctor visit. But the vague symptoms just didn’t seem to warrant it. Leaving Monsey on Monday morning, my back was aching and I was feeling off. I chalked it up to the sadness of leaving my KoD and a night spent tossing and turning and not sleeping.
By the time I got to Montreal 6 hours later, I had a raging fever and my back and right flank were throbbing away. By evening I was throwing up and had a blinding headache.
Monday was Thanksgiving here in Canada, so most clinics were closed, and I really didn’t want to shlepp to the ER. I decided that I would go Tuesday morning to the walk-in clinic that I usually go to.
I arrived there at 8.45 am and was straight away called to the triage nurse. She asked my why I was there, and sent me straight away to the lab to do tests. She did NOT measure my blood pressure nor take my temperature or pulse. Didn’t ask me anything she should have – are you pregnant, taking medication, allergic to medication….nada.
I went to the back, paid for the testing, did what I needed to do and by 9.30 was back in the waiting room.
The waiting room was full to overflowing. When I had checked in I asked the receptionist how long it would be, she said a couple of hours.
At 10.45 am they called my name and took me to the treatment room. The longest I had ever waited in the treatment room was 15 minutes. At the walk-in clinic they have one doctor just for walk-ins, 3 treatment rooms. It’s all he does, so it should move pretty fast. Of course it rarely does.
After a half hour I hear a commotion out in the hall. Someone needed urgent medical attention, the Urgences Sante people were there (paramedics). So I figured that I would have to wait just a little longer. After another 15 minutes I spoke to the office manager and she told me not to worry someone would be there soon. I started chatting with the people sitting outside of my treatment room. One of them had heard the secretaries talking – the walk-in clinic doc was off sick and the other doctors in the practice had to cover for him in between their scheduled patients. Um, if this was the case, why had they not told the patients? It for sure meant a longer wait – give us the choice to go somewhere else where we could be seen sooner. Of course there were more people registering to see a doc at the walk in clinic, and they were NOT being told that there was a probability of a 5 hour wait.
At 12.30 pm I went out again, and in front of the whole waiting room I asked the manager if there were ANY doctors actually working there today as I had been waiting, in pain, for hours in a treatment room with a post it note saying “premier” (first) on the door. Manager told me that I shouldn’t worry, a doctor would be with me shortly. I reminded her I had been told the same thing over an hour ago. She promised me 5 minutes, and I snorted. If I had not already spent almost 4 hours in the place I would have left. 5 minutes. Yeah. Right.
Within 10 minutes a doctor was hurrying into the treatment room. I expressed my displeasure politely. He agreed with me, telling me that THREE doctors were off sick. In any customer service business if you have 3 senior people off sick, you call in reinforcements so your business can continue. They didn’t do that here. This doc had scheduled patients to see, but came to see me because I raised a ruckus. Being a mouthy b!tch has its advantages sometimes….
The doctor gave me a thorough exam and took my temp and blood pressure, expressing dismay that the nurse hadn’t done it. I was surprised how verbal he was about the incompetence. He then told me that I had a kidney infection and explained the antibiotic regimen. He scared me – told me if I didn’t start to feel better soon and my fever didn’t start going down, then I would have to go to the ER for IV antibiotics.
So far I have had one dose of antibiotics and am feeling worse than I did yesterday. I am trying to drink a lot of water but not managing it. Fever is still present. Just hoping the antibiotics kick in soon. I want to avoid the ER. There are sick people there, you know.
Weird as it sounds, I am looking forward to being sick in the states – no such thing as waiting 4 hours to see one’s GP. Right?