Monday, February 25, 2008

Of Lineups and Waiting Rooms

This weekend the weather was actually fabulous ~ the sun came out and warmed things up. I didn't get to see much of it....something to do with lineups and waiting rooms, both of which I hate.

The Weekend Part I: Saturday and the Lineup
Saturday I crawled out of bed at 6 am for a special event. Wrestling - the entertainment kind that Hulk Hogan and The Rock participated in - is coming here. We decided to buy tickets for son's birthday. Now, the tickets were going on sale at 10 am on Saturday and could be bought on-line, in person, or by phone. We never have much luck with computers or phones so I hauled out my foldable chair and went to get in line. I was about 35th in line, and did meet some nice people...although a little freaky on the INTENSE FAN side...but my son has done a good job of training me. With all those little updates and stats he likes to tell me, I was able to spout off names and dates with the best of them. I did NOT, however, have PSP video or cellphone recordings to play and play...and replay again. So I know that I am no psycho fan (*whew*).

At 10 am hubby called on the cellphone. (The people in the line up were permitted a 60 second time advantage over the computers and call-ins. Yeah, like that bought us a lot of time to secure seats! This great advantage was the only length of time WWE would allow) We decided hubby would try online and see if he could get tickets ahead of me; the long-suffering mother who had waited in PERSON, at the VENUE....cold, hungry and thirsty...for 3 HOURS!! Guess who got tickets FIRST???? Not me! Even with 4 windows open at the venue and with hubby's transactions crashing twice, he still beat me to it!

So, fair doesn't seem like the word of the day. What then becomes the worth of waiting in line? On the offchance the phone or the internet doesn't work? Is there no "reward" for people who take the time and effort to stand in line the old-fashioned way? Something does smell rotten here. I reached the box office just after hubby completed sale of the tickets, so I ensured it went through. Anyone behind me was about out of luck for getting good seats; they were mostly gone already.

The Weekend Part II: Sunday and the Hospital ER

How to improve on Saturday...why, just read on. Saturday for son...and Sunday for daughter! Daughter and I need to see doctors. We moved here in June 2007 and no family doctors are available and there doesn't appear to be any coming on the horizon either. So normally we have to go to the after hours clinic. There's a catch to that, of course. You are only permitted to talk about 1 thing and it has to be a small item. The clinic doesn't touch many subjects or handle the lengthy subscriptions on their "forbidden" list. Sedatives, antidepressants, etc, are on the banned list. In this province of Canada, apparently, whoever gives you an original prescription for one of those drugs, has to also be forever and ever, amen, the one who rewrites and refills that prescription.

Now, where was I? Right...back to whining...having started at said after-hours clinic, I was directed to the emergency room at a local hospital....that isn't the REAL emergency room it's more like cold out-patient care. Given the burden on our health-care system it wasn't a place I really wanted to go to. But daughter has had problems sleeping for years and it is getting worse. She's exhausted and is struggling to stay awake at school and wakes up as tired as when she went to bed. She has always been this way; I remember years ago when I'd put the 2 kids to bed for the night...son would drop off to sleep and be out until morning. Daughter though, at the tender age of 3, would be playing with her Barbies for another 2-3 hours most nights. When she learned to read, she'd be up reading. It hasn't changed and now she's using over-the-counter medications and ear plugs to help. Except they aren't.

I figure time to visit the specialists. Off we go. The ER definately looks at us strangely because we are the only NON-SICK patients in the place; or at least we WERE until we breathed in all those sick germs... We waited a good 3 hours at least. Then our attending physician was a female whose command of the English language faltered a bit. As in communications did not go well and she had a difficult time understanding why we were there. By the time the doctor and I were done discussing MY situation I was ready to go on a rampage out of frustration. It didn't improve with daughter's case!

We left more confused than when we went. We were given some phone numbers and clinics... and there might be referrals but no follow-up care, as I understood her, with those specialty clinics/doctors. Daughter might be referred to a pediatrician who could then refer her on to the sleep disorder clinic. We're not sure. The doctor seemed to change her mind a lot. Neither of us are clear on what my situation is. Neither path I'm supposed to take has any one is monitoring my medications or what they are for (like...high blood pressure! Which was VERY low yesterday, given the circumstances...). The physician was horrified when she found out no one is monitoring my health and multiple medications. When I requested she solve my problem though...she had no help to offer. So actually I'm still VERY agitated and frustrated by spending our day in the hospital yesterday. On a gorgeous day...with a bunch of sick, sick, SICK adults, kids and BABIES...breathing in all that air...

We have no private health care in Canada. There is no where to go. The doctor's lame suggestion to us? Try to "sneak" along with a family member who does have a family doctor and see if they will see us! Yes and that is exactly why there is this registration list you have to call when you get to this area. So you can be added to the approximately 5,000 people in this area (alone) without a family doctor. Because you aren't allowed to see specialists, etc, directly without that doctor "feeder". Son's psychiatrist wants him to have a family doctor and keeps pushing me to find one. Other than bopping little shrink on the head with an old-fashioned phone or stick, which would make ME feel better, what does he expect me to do? Wave my magic wand? Son is on medication that needs to be monitored but goodness, no one in this province has looked at him, let alone check his blood pressure, kidney function, etc.

Ok, ok...I have to calm down. I have a bunch of numbers to call and sort out what exactly I have to do so we get the attention we need. Here we the 21st century (or is it 22nd now?), an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure and I'm doing my best to support that belief - where every person is entitled to health care... HA HA HA HA HA!! That's the joke for this Monday!


Sasha @ Cherished Moments said...

Oh my goodness - I am stunned! In a First World country, you cannot get to see a family doctor (we call them GP's - general practitioners)!?!?! That is terrible... and you have more patience than I do - I would have given someone a serve about the whole silly situation!

Thanks for your questions re my family daycare work. It is tiring, but I do enjoy it. I am lucky to have children around the same age as Naomi, so it is really just more of what I was already doing. And it brings a bit of money in!