b84f853f1b9e709bf3084269c0ff3ffcI recently spent 12 hours in three emergency departments because I managed to get one single piece of glitter in my eye.

Something as simple as putting an apron on over my head did me in. I had been wearing it the previous day  when I was working with some glittered pumpkin pots and some of the glitter must have attached itself to the apron.

I spent 30 minutes trying to flush the irritant out, but I knew I would have to go to the emergency, because the pain was excruciating. So off we went. Great place to spend Saturday afternoon.

When we arrived I was pleased to see there was only two other patients in the waiting room.  Hah. That doesn’t mean a thing. Its been over twenty years since I visited an emergency department, and things have changed a little. First you have to see the triage nurse, then you have to register with the clerk, then you wait. And you wait. And you wait. Finally a nurse shouts out your name and you feel like you’ve won the lottery. Only to find out that you are just going to another smaller room, to wait.

Even though you are in a private examination room, there is absolutely no privacy.

Open door policy

Open door policy

You can hear everything that all the other patients are telling the medical staff, and visa versa. When the doctor finally walks into the room you have such a feeling of relief that now you will be okay. After the freezing drops, and the dye and the machine, he says that he can’t see anything in there.  Whaaaat? Dude, look at my eye, there is no white visible that’s how bloodshot it was. I asked for prescription strength eyedrops, but that was a no-go. Instead, a squadron of nurses came in with a device to flush out my eye.

Florence Nightingales

Florence Nightingales

After they were done, I asked the head nurse what to do if the pain comes back after the freezing wears off. She told me to go to Welland because they have an opthamologist on call.

Sure enough two hours later I wanted to gauge my eyeball out. So off we went to Welland, only a 45 minute drive. They also weren’t that busy. I was triaged and registered within 30 minutes. Oh good, we’ll be out of here within the hour. Wrong. 3 hours later I’m still in the waiting room, when they wheel in a woman in labour. Apparently there was only one doctor in the whole hospital and obviously I am taking a back seat to Mother Nature.

The minutes tick by, the baby is born within half an hour. I figure another thirty minutes to tidy up mom and baby. Wrong again. After an hour I ring the bell and a nurse appears from around the corner, with a look of horror on her face. I knew it. They had forgotten me. She apologised, took me to another, smaller, waiting room.  After 45 minutes I had  finally had enough, went back to registration to inform them I was leaving and going back to Fort Erie.

Another 45 minute drive back to the first hospital. By this time it is ten thirty at night, twelve hours since the incident occurred. By now, I know the routine, triage, vitals,  registration, smaller waiting room, wait some more. We overheard the doctor giving the third degree to the woman in the next room. I was extremely re-assured by this, because it meant this guy meant business.  Sure enough, he did a thorough examination, more so than the first doctor twelve hours earlier. Diagnosis – ulcerated cornea. Big time. Its a wonder I could see out of that eye.

The nurse came in ten minutes later and handed me a prescription. Wait, the doctor said you would give me a sample to get me thru the night. Sorry, we don’t have any, you will have to drive to Niagara Falls (30 minutes down the highway).  I asked if they could call ahead to make sure the Pharmacy had some. Sure we can, no problem.

We were on way within a few minutes.  Pat is pulling out of the parking spot and I saw a ticket on the window. Yep, a parking ticket, that was  issued two minutes earlier. $49.00. Icing on the cake. What a day.

I seriously injured my eye, spent 14 hours getting it attended to,  and got a parking ticket to boot. All because of one teeny weeny piece of glitter.


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