Beauty in the Ordinary

This is not about being brilliant, or extraordinary, it's not about wanting to be famous, or making headlines, or trying to impress...this about sharing a 'gift' each day with the lift the spirit of people when they read this blog, to show them the beauty in the ordinary.
"And above all, watch with glittering eyes the whole world around you because the greatest secrets are always hidden in the most unlikely places. Those who don't believe in magic will never find it." Raold Dahl

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

A day in Emergency...

Daughter on the right, Jessica, ended up in emergency yesterday to have her arm, that she broke last Friday, reset and put in a cast.  A tedious, painful experience.  Thankfully, she is fast asleep upstairs and beginning the healing process.Others we saw yesterday are not.  

A day in emergency can turn into a surreal experience.  I'm not sure whether to bless the medical system or despair of it.

As we sat in the first hospital's emergency department (we had to go to two to find an orthopedic specialist who could set her arm), there were two twenty-something aged men obviously high, even to my naive eyes, both complaining of vague back pain.  All the while there (and it was over two and a half hours) they were up and down, back and forth, ducking under and over temporary barriers in the waiting room without a wince or grimace.  Neither bothered to hide that there was nothing physically wrong with them, well their backs anyway.
As Jess and I sat waiting for her paperwork before moving on to hospital #2, one of the young men came running out of an examining room, waiving a prescription and announced to everyone in the waiting room, "this hospital is AWESOME...ativan man, ativan".

Fast-forward five hours, well slow-forward actually, and now I am sitting in the radiology department waiting for Jessica to have her post-reduction x-ray, next to a man whose eighty-year-old Mum is in having her x-rays taken.  We can hear the gentle crying of his mother as the technicians turn her this way and that.  This man is teary too as he explains to me that his Mum's bones are so fragile, every tiny movement is excruciating for her.  "I keep trying to tell them that they have to go slowly and be gentle with her, but they won't listen, they have no time, they don't know her." 

And herein lies the crux of the problem.  Staff have no time to simply observe the all-too-obvious grab for cheap drugs with the first young-man, and no time to properly tend to the needs of Anna as she is subjected to painful x-ray after x-ray. 

I'm grateful Jessica's arm is now cast and she can heal, but again the specialist, the only one on call in what was an over-taxed hospital, didn't have the time to read her chart properly or ask her the correct questions and ended up re-setting the bone without anesthetic, and so the poor girl had her arm broken twice in the space of four days.

I hope this doesn't sound too judgemental, every health professional we met yesterday was helpful and caring, but without exception distracted and over-extended.  I genuinely believe the system is horribly broken and don't have a clue as to how to fix it.


  1. Oh Jaqueline, your poor girl. The system sucks. Those drug seekers worm their way into every area, be it emerg or the doctors office.

    Haviing worked in orthopaedics, I know from the staff side how taxing and overwhelmed the system is. We longed to have time to comfort those such as Anna, but there was always a waiting room full of others in pain. I am glad her son was with her. Poor thing. It makes me cry just to hear this.

    I hope your daughter is comfortable today.

  2. I desperately try to avoid ER's for the reasons you have clearly illustrated and I am a RN. I hope your daughter heals and has a much better day today.

  3. J - I too hope that Jessica is on the mend again! Can't imagine them re-setting her arm with anaesthetic. As for Anna, How awful for her too have to go through all that! I think the doctors and nurses are brilliant - just over stretched! It's the powers that be that have got it seriously wrong.

  4. Oh, poor Jessica :-( And poor you too, having to spend endless hours in hospital emergency rooms. There are a lot of great things about our health system, but there are a lot of things that need to be fixed too.

    Those drug addicts are real scum. If it was so obvious that they were high, why didn't a nurse or security boot them out? I'm sure they made everyone waiting uncomfortable, but more importantly, they took up time with a doctor that should have been used to treat someone who truly needed help.

    Hope you and Jessica are both having a better day today.


  5. Oh Jacqueline, I'm so sorry you had such a stressful day and poor Jessica.
    Our healthcare systems are very broken. I don't know if there will be any fix until we put humanity ahead of finance.

    Still as someone who know the miracles that medicine creates daily, it is perplexing. We are living far longer with more diseases and less care.

    I sometimes wish we could experience in real life what was created In DAVE, remember that movie? Common sense for the common good.
    Even a fifth grader can understand that! Ok perhaps I'm feeling so negative because of all the political crap we're facing for the next 13 days, that I'm hoping reality would mimic film. jeez! Just ignore the cranky girl in the corner. : 0

    Hope Jessica heals perfectly and quickly. What a stunningly beautiful girl.



  6. What a horrible experience...I feel so angry that the system is absolutely convoluted by a serious lack of common sense, right and wrong, and proper care for those in need. The police should have been there immediately to pick up those scammers, Jessica (poor thing) should have been seen immediately and taken care of humanely, dear Anna as well...the whole experience is very midieval, and not in a good way. I won't go on but I could... :/

    Praying Jessica is resting and healing body, mind and spirit. ♥

  7. Wish her well from me, J. Speedy recovery too.

  8. J - Have just realized I've made a typo - of course I meant without anaesthetic - Oh dear!! Anyway hope she's feeling better now!

  9. Update on my girl...relatively pain free day. We both went to to hairdressers (because this is what you do) and feel so much better!
    Wish I could change a lot of other things, but I can't, so will just accept.
    You are a sweet lot, that's for sure.

  10. Oh Jaqueline how AWFUL....I'm sending WARM cyber hugs to you & healing thoughts to your daughter....Our health system has 'issues' too & I understand your concern....!!

    I hope those young men wake up to themselves....You have to hope....

    Take care Lovey & get some rest....!

    Tamarah :o)

  11. What a heartfelt and thought provoking post. I'm sorry that you both had to endure such a situation. Sadly it would seem that A&E wards are the same the world over, as I've had a similar experience myself whilst waiting four hours for attention. Nightmare! Best wishes to your beautiful daughter.


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