Friday, May 7, 2010

Janeway Day Surgery

I spent most of today at the Janeway Day Surgery with Madison. She was there to get tubes placed in her ears for the first time. We were originally told our appointment was at 10:15 am and with the procedure and recovery time we would leave approximately 3 hours later. Guess I was pretty naive to believe that, given the state of our health care in Newfoundland!

We registered a little before 10 am and we sat. Approximately 45 minutes went by and we started to ask questions. The nurse kept telling us we would be seen to shortly. Another 30 minutes went by and we were told Madison is at the bottom of the list due to priority given to other patients. A little while later we were told she would be seen shortly. By now the waiting area was almost full to compacity. We started chatting with other parents, one who drove into St. John's from Lewisporte that morning, told that their appointment was at 10 am, only to be told that their child would not be seen until 3:30 pm!! But the kicker, they were not allowed to leave the waiting room!! We immediately demanded some answers and was told that Madison's appointment was now at 2:15pm and she was not allowed to leave the waiting room!!!

Now you have a large group of about a dozen kids, with parents, beginning to get upset now that most of the appointments were pushed forward by about 5 hours. But you have to consider the kids, many of whom could not eat or drink since the night before.

We found out later by word of mouth that everyone was told to arrive for a 10:15 am appointment. Then alternate appointment times were given out. We were never told why they did this. It was like trying to get blood from a turnip, just to get a simple answer to our questions. I did get an apology from the nurse at the desk, as she didn't mean to keep putting me off when I asked when Madison would get to be seen.

I don't in anyway blame the nurses or even the doctors for the screw ups; it was clear that it was management that screwed it all up. They need a complete overall of the whole health care system. Many years ago when the health care all had their own divisions, I worked for the Bonavista Health as a medical courier and I can't remember anything being like this. Seemed like everything ran like clockwork back then. All the problems arrived when the Government combined all the numerous health care departments into one called  Eastern Health. They also did the same on the West Coast of Newfoundland.

The nurses were great with the kids throughout the whole ordeal. I don't know how they do it. They were always happy and calm even though you had a full room of not too pleasant children, or adults for that matter. We were lucky because Madison made friends with the daughter of the couple from Lewiporte and they played for hours. She was also 5 years old and went to kindergarten, like Madison. Later when we arrived into Pre-Op Madison was waiting to go in and there was another little girl across the room who was scared and was crying. Madison, little trooper like she is, was trying to talk with the little girl saying: "It'll be alright, I'm getting tubes in my ears too!" It's unbelievable how independent Madison is; she wanted us to leave her in Pre-Op by herself!! When the time arrived she gave us a kiss and held onto her Teddy and rode off on the bed with the nurse.

The procedure went well and she got to have a Popsicle while in Post-Op and then to her delight got to ride a little red wheelchair out to the car! She was back to her old self within a couple of hours and hopefully the tubes will prevent any more ear infections in the future. Time will tell.

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