Ever since I shattered my leg a few Valentine's Day's back, I have found myself spending quite a bit of time at the hospital down the street. I had never even really been that sick before that, never mind in need of a surgeon or specialist, and really didn't have any complaints about our health care system. Other than a few days wasted sitting in the medi-clinic just to be told to get some sleep and take amoxicillon, I didn't have anything to complain about.
Then, I broke my leg. Something that happens all the time to people, nothing out of the ordinary. I was rushed to the hospital via ambulance. It was the EMT's first day, and he was nervous, and couldn't get the IV in to shoot me up with morphine. All I could think was, "Fuck, just let me do it", and cry a little. I kept myself occupied by telling my co-worker Steve, who was in the ambulance with me, how to get ahold of my brothers to meet me at the hospital.
I broke my leg good. I never saw it, but Steve and GQ told me that it looked like it had been put on backwards. While they nurses straightened it out to get a splint put on, three or four of my boys had to hold me down on the bed.
They finally got me settled in a room in the orthopaedic ward. I was in so much pain that I couldn't even lift myself to pee in the bedpan without screaming. Luckily, I wasn't allowed to eat or drink before my surgery, so I didn't have to pee all that often.
I thought I'd be in to surgery right away. The surgeon had come to my bedside within an hour or so, and got all my info, and told me what bionics would have to be put in. Boy was I wrong. I was in a morphine haze, so I am unsure of exactly how long I had to wait to get taken to surgery, but it was definitely not right away.
On my second night in the hospital, I was woken by a nurse at 3am, and told I was being moved to a new room, because there had been a car accident, and someone else needed my room more than me. I muttered something or other to her, and fell back asleep.
The next morning, I woke up, and looked at my surroundings. I was in the storage room. Surrounded by extra scrubs and wheelchairs, and other such hospital equipment. A janitor walked in, and was startled by my presence. He asked if I had been attended to, or if I had eaten. I told him nobody had come to see me, and that I didn't even know what floor I was on. He went and found a very sweet Jamaican care aide, and she checked in on me every few minutes for the rest of my stay. She said there was no record of me being moved, and told me I was lucky he came to find her, otherwise I probably would have been lost forever. She went and got me some food and water. When I left that hospital a few days later, I vowed never to come back. I hated that place with all my heart.
Last year, with the insistence of Mr. Head, I finally went to see my specialist again. The pins in my ankle, and the screws in my shin were killing me, and I wanted them out. He got me in relatively quick, ( a few weeks wait), and it was just going to be a day surgery. I handled it as well as I can handle anything medical, which is not that well, but I was happy that this whole thing would be behind me. I was lucky to have someone to help me get better, and make me take my meds, and in a few weeks, I was as good as new.
Except for the fact that my surgeon FORGOT to take out the top screw of the plate. If it wasn't for the X-Ray tech, I never would have even known it was there. I could feel something, but I figured I was just healing, and never thought much of it. When I questioned Mr. Specialist about this, he said that he didn't feel like it was necessary to open my leg up that high to take it out, which was bullshit, because I have a scar to prove that he did have it opened up in that spot......but I digress. My family doctor told me that I am just going to have to live with it, because unless it started to abscess or make me less ambulatory in some way, they were not ever going to take it out.
I got over it. My leg is feeling good. Other than some swelling when it's really hot out, and an out-of-place hip from overcompensating for too long on one leg, I don't really have any problems.
I was lucky. I got most of what I was supposed to get, when it came to "free" health care. I realized this today, when I found out that the Palinode, who has been in pain for a year, didn't get his scheduled surgery yesterday, heard that Wench is still waiting to even see an orthopaedic surgeon about her crappy knees, and when I thought of the hundreds of hours I have spent sitting with sick friends and family in the emergency room to get almost no help at all.......well, maybe I don't feel lucky. It just pisses me off.