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The McGill University Health Center

Tuesday – “EMERGENCY” A Lesson in Resource Management

muhcThis is the new M.U.H.C. The McGill University Health Center.

After the building opened for business, the reviews were stellar. Brand new site, lots of space, consolidated services under one roof for several medical institutions. The Montreal Children’s Hospital, The Royal Victoria Hospital serving the adult population, and the Cancer Center, with state of the art medical technology, and the Shriner’s Hospital for sick kids.

Over the past months, the reviews have changed. I was not impressed with the way they limit access to your doctors office, choosing to refer patients to a “Reservation Center” that fields calls for appointments, changes and cancellations. I fell into this trap as both my doctors were transferred to the new MUHC.

I do not like NOT being able to talk to the doctor or the office directly, that is a royal pain in the ass, as my medical needs are acute and sometimes need direct intervention right away, instead I get, “well, we can’t get you an appointment for months …” So I avoided the hospital.

The Montreal General is still operating and has lab services. All of the hospitals are on the same main frame for medical charts and lab results and can be accessed by doctors in any office or hospital setting.

Yesterday I was visiting with baby mama. In the middle of the afternoon, both she and the baby began getting violently ill. I had an appointment uptown with a sponsee before the Monday M.A. meeting, so I had to leave. But I had called in the second string to take over for me.

A bad case of Gastro was going around the daycare, and children were getting sick. Much to our dismay, the staff did not tell the other parent, opting for silence. In any daycare, when one kid gets sick, it is a far gone conclusion that more kids are going to get sick too.

So that is a thing …

My jealous friend showed up because she had a car. Something I don’t. By 9 p.m. things were very serious. So she rushed baby mama and LuLu to the hospital. I was just leaving the meeting uptown, in the middle of a pouring rain storm.

I got home, changed out and had dinner, as I had not eaten all day and I was tired. By 11:30, my phone rang and the second string had had her fill of being responsible and present. They had checked in mama at the Royal Vic and the baby at the Children’s. They share common space on the lower level of the complex.

She had told baby mama that she was leaving her alone, both very sick and needing attention. It was very sad. Having no option but to accept that second string was going to leave her, mama panicked and she made a call to New Foundland at midnight.

Meanwhile, I had talked jealous girl around into coming to get me and take me to the hospital to take care of mama and the baby.

The damage was done.

An Inter Canada emergency was initiated.

We’ve been very careful in managing family because of what we went through to get mama back in one piece and alone, with the baby, in July. But in a moment of panic and fear, she made that call, instead of calling me.

We left my apartment and hit the highway. All of the Montreal highways are under construction so exits and ramps and entire through ways are blocked or closed for demolition. We should not have done that because it caused an “over the river and through the woods adventure to find ourselves off the highway and to the hospital.”

I finally arrived.

In the past, to what ever hospital you went to, if you visited an E.R., your wait time was as long as 48 hours to see a doctor. I shit you not. Totally unacceptable.

They were checked in sometime after 9 p.m. Tuesday night. When I got there, there were few people waiting in chairs. There was a wait. I arrived close to midnight. Mama in tears, baby wrapped in a blanket, sitting in a wheelchair in the waiting room.

Not long after I arrived, they took mama into an exam room. So there was me, mama and the baby. They had triaged the baby, and gave mama fluids to give the baby at regular intervals to keep her hydrated.

Meanwhile the doctor had come in for mama and said they would run blood tests and push fluids, so she was going to be there for awhile. The baby finally went to sleep and she slept right through the rest of the night.

We were waiting for the doctor on the Children’s side to see the baby. We finally were taken around 2 a.m. The two hospitals are side by side, and share common emergency room floor space, separated by and office so you have to exit one space and re-enter on the other side.

They allowed me a short cut with a baby in my arms.

I was given an exam room, and shortly, a very young and sprite doctor came in and did his exam and we spoke about what had happened. It took all of five minutes. We got her medicine and I took her back over to the adult side.

It was close to 3 a.m.

A nurse came in the exam room and told us that I had to take the baby home, that she could not stay in the room while mom was violently sick. She gave me a taxi chit and mama gave me her keys and I bundled up the baby and we departed the hospital waiting for a taxi.

I was standing outside in the garage waiting for my taxi, with a sleeping baby in my arms. Another nurse came outside and spoke to me, saying that mama wanted the baby to stay, so I asked, “who is in charge?” Instead of taking the baby home, we decided that I should go home and get clothes, food, diapers and stuff for mama that she needed, if the baby was to stay with her all night.

It was 3:30 a.m.

I took a taxi back to the apartment, did my duty and got on my way back to the hospital. It was closing in on 4:00 a.m.

When I got to the apartment, the door was open, all the lights were on, and for a moment I thought that there might be someone in the apartment that should not be there.

“Caution murmured …” ( ten points for the reference )

I got what I needed and headed back. It was around 4:00 a.m.

I arrived back at the hospital, mama and baby were sleeping. They had dosed mama and she was on her way out. She told me that I could go home, so at 4:00a.m. I took another taxi to my place.

It was after 4 a.m. when I walked in my door.

Hubby was sleeping. I had plans, if I really needed to stick it out all night long, to get my labs done at the new hospital. I had taken my sheets with me in a book I was reading. They gave me a new hospital card and I was ready to go.

I decided after 4 a.m. that I would just stay up and hit the General at first light, and get my labs drawn. I was pooped ! I went to lay down around 5 a.m. and could not sleep, so at 6 a.m. I got up, got dressed again, and set out for the bus to go up the hill.

I arrived at the General. They have re-sorted the spaces vacated by offices moved to the M.U.H.C. there were a few people waiting, as the lab had not opened just yet. I took my number, which was 26 … The reader on the wall was sitting on number 19. So that’s where they stared the call ins.

I waited a while. By the time the lab opened, the waiting room was packed. It was a good thing I went so early, because i would have surely waited double the time I had.

I was out of the lab at 7:30. I needed to get a new hospital card because my old one was expired.

While I was doing that I got a text from mama saying that she was going home and could I do some light shopping to bring to her later in the day.

I got a second text from second string inquiring about the night. I told her all was well.

The new M.U.H.C. is a beautiful campus. There is plenty of space. The staff were warm and caring. The doctors and nurses were efficient. I had never gotten through an E.R. experience in such a short time, which was a blessing. That was a PLUS !

I got home around 7:45 and took a shower and hit my bed.

I slept all day long until I had to leave for mama’s and the meeting.

So where does resource management come in?

Like I wrote the other night, relationships are based on the work we put into them. And not all people are created the same, nor do they ever exceed expectations when the chips are down.

People can only cope with so much, and the thought of committing to a job 100% is a hard pill to swallow and a tough task to expect of some people.

When things got dicey, I was out of touch, in another section of the city. Jealous girl had the car, and she rose to the occasion doing what I needed her to do. But a couple hours into the night job, she stated that she had had enough and that she was leaving.

She was done.

The emergency call was initiated.

I arrived on the scene.

Had jealous girl told mama that she was going to come get me and take me to her, instead of blurting out … I am leaving you … with no assistance, we could have avoided a family intervention.

The parents are on a 6 a.m. flight this morning coming from St. John to Montreal.

She just bolted when she had had enough. In the end, mama was not pleased, and quite frankly she was really upset over the dismissal.

I was not pleased that I was called in to pinch hit the ball game. But you gotta do what you gotta do, right ?

I did my duty. I was present, accountable and reliable.

Over all, the night went as it did. The hospital far exceeded my expectations.

Tonight, everyone is alive and well.

The parent’s arrive in a few hours. So we will have to deal with them in real time, and try to manage the fall out. They need to see me and meet me. So that they know who is responsible for mama and the baby. So that they don’t freak out and do something stupid, because that is entirely possible.

More to come.

Tonight, Wednesday night MADONNA – Rebel Heart Tour at the Bell Center.

Woo Hoo !!!!