Friday, November 19, 2004


Spoke too soon: Lyn ended up back at the hospital yesterday. We were booked in for an ultrasound, but Lyn was in so much pain the radiographer rang up to the ward with the intention of getting Lyn induced. So we went up, and we waited, and we waited... after a couple of hours a doctor came by and said, yes, an induction might be a good idea but it's not my decision to make. I'll go and get the ward specialist. It's her decision.

So we waited, and we waited. After another few hours the ward specialist mosied by (maybe she was on a tricky back 9 or something all afternoon) and said yes, an induction might be a good idea, but it's not mydecision to make, especially as it was now evening time (we'd arrived at the hospital at 11.30am, but apparently irony isn't allowed on ward after dinner). The team that's been looking after you is on in the morning, so I'll keep you in here overnight and they can decide.

So Lyn was consigned to a ward for the evening, along with another 3 patients who also hadn't got any sleep in the last 8 months. She's given enough medication so that she wakes up on more than one occasion hallucinating, and everybody's happy. Except Lyn and I, of course, but at King Edward Memorial Hospital the patient doesn't count if you're a doctor and have something better to do. Like your nails or hair. Or finding someone to pass a buck to.

I arrive back at the hospital at 7.30 this morning. The doctor comes round at 7.45. His first words are "What are you back here for this time?"

This does not bode well. At least it wouldn't bode well, if we were given any boding time. Without waiting for an answer to his question he proceeds to tell us that he's not inducing anybody until 38 weeks, and Lyn's problem is she just can't handle pain. You can see the physiotherapist and the psychiatrist, he declares, and sweeps out. Probably had a tricky front 9 to confront or something.

I shan't go into the problems getting a wheelchair so we could leave. Suffice it to say that Lyn cannot walk from our bedroom to our toilet, less than 10 feet away, without assistance. If you understand this at the first attempt, you're overqualified to work at KEMH. We did not stay for the physio, much less the psychiatrist. We have a perfectly good chiropractor, who knows and understands us (and who we were able to get into see with but a phone call), and the last time Lyn saw the hospital Physio she needed a wheelchair. Which was a bitch to get our hands on this morning. See how it all fits together? Unlike Lyn's pelvis, which nobody at the hospital seems to give a rat's arse about. Her pain is physical, not a matter of coming to terms with it psychologically. It needs relief, not "coping strategies". We've got more coping strategies than a citizen of Baghdad. They're not working, which is why Lyn's in pain. See how it all fits together?

I have a couple of friends who are doctors (such as the frabjous Chris Lawson, the best hard SF writer Australia has seen in years, if ever) and I know all doctors are not uncaring, self-absorbed hacks. But the ones at KEMH are.

Don't go there. Find a manger, or a dumpster, or a burnt out car. Anywhere else would be better.

No comments: