Posts Tagged Hospital

Warning: Waste of money and incomprehensible government/bureaucratic rules rant

Warning waste of money and incomprehensible government/bureaucratic rules rant coming up:

1) I am off to see my GP this afternoon. Not an issue normally as I trust her and require quarterly checkups anyway except today, the visit is for the Workers Compensation Board (WCB). For my right shoulder, the shoulder I broke May 25, 2011. For the shoulder, that I (begged) asked for proper assessment and treatment during the two-month recovery time WCB “allowed” me.

Asked to be assessed by “their” specialists. Denied.

Asked to be referred to the WCBs Millard Centre special shoulder treatment program. Denied.

Asked to be allowed to use the Millard Centre’s rehabilitation (warm) pool. Denied. (My WCB case manager said that she could not refer me to this. Huh? Then who could?)

Asked to have my file continued so I could have more physiotherapy and treatment. Initially denied. Was finally allowed an extra 10 sessions. My file was then closed.

In September 2013 and then October 2013, I received a letter stating that my case was under review and I needed to provide information and detail what specialists I had seen since my WCB file was CLOSED. Um, how is it that WCB does not understand (but everyone else does) that NO doctor/specialist will look/assess my shoulder once they realize that it is a WCB case?

Therefore, I received a letter last week (based on my response) advising that I needed to be seen by my GP before WCB would refer me to specialists or authorize testing (MRI). Not the orthopedist that handled my case but my family doctor who despite being fantastic is not an orthopedic specialist nor has she been involved in my shoulder case beyond my reporting that I had broken it…

What a waste of time, effort and money. My GP will likely send me for X-rays and perhaps an MRI (any guesses how long that wait will be), send her notes to WCB who will then decide on what action (if any) they will take.

Any guesses how much longer this will take? Anyone think this will help my shoulder and me in a “timely manner”?

2) After more than a year I need the care of a specialist that I have seen numerous times (but not without hurdles in the beginning). I MUST  be “referred” to them again. Except they will not accept referrals from my GP and have not returned my repeated calls to book an appointment.

The specialist is part of Alberta Health Services (AHS) wonderful “one solution for everyone, we will fit the circle into that square peg PCNs”. My GP is a rare breed in Alberta, a sole practitioner. I fail to see why a PRIMARY CARE NETWORK (PCN) has specialists (of which there are few, especially ones taking new patients, and are decent)? How is this PRIMARY CARE?

Furthermore, how DARE a PCN deny retaking on a patient that was already on their books??? For the record when I made the initial appointment and then asked my GP to send over relevant records the specialist’s booking clerk told my doctor’s nurse they would not take me on BECAUSE MY GP WAS NOT PART OF THIS PCN!

I called BS, already had an appointment booked so went to this appointment and many others. I also called BS when the managers of the PCN tried to get me to convince my GP to join them! FCOL. I am a patient in need of care NOT a fritizin sales person and this STUNK TO HIGH HELL! There was no cohesiveness in my care though because my GP had trouble getting records of what treatments and medications the specialist had prescribed. Hrumph!

How did I get this specialists name and “referral”? Hubby#1’s GP passed the recommendation and introduction along because this GP is head of the Royal Alexandra Hospital (RAH) Family Care Centre and teacher at the RAH/UAH. Therefore, I snuck around the gatekeepers due to his doctor’s pull. So much for equal treatment and care in Alberta!

Now I am faced with having to get David’s doctor to intro me again, attempt to find another specialist (who is decent and taking patients, yeah…) or I need to keep being a pain in the butt.

Pain in the PCN and WCB butts it is!


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ROAR! I am a patient’s voice hear me ROAR!

ROAR! Yes, that is what I did, that is what Hubby#1 did and that is what we will continue doing over the lack of care and professionalism experienced by Mum.

RAH staff did NOT get her out of bed yesterday despite this being in an agreed recovery plan and despite my INSISTING that they do so. Could not get to the hospital until after 3 PM because of my Saturday Yoga class but she had not been helped out of bed again today and was “sleeping” and not eating. Well DUH!

David went to to the Ward desk and raised holy hell after we spoke to Rosalee (who now has another big black mark next to her name by the nurses on Ward 53). She told us that one nurse was extremely rude to her and thus Mum when Rosalee reiterated my request to get Mum out of bed. Not only that the nurse than proceeded to lie about what was happening with Mum when the Palliative people came around. Except Rosalee wouldn’t let her get away with it, calling her out in front of Palliative Care!

When we arrived and demanded that Mum be helped out of bed we got the same old song, which we know the chorus by heart. “We don’t have enough time or staff. The special chair has gone walkabout (you know there are other patients who need this equipment too… Sorry, we are doing med rounds (left in the room and forgotten about as has happened many times). We are about to start dinner. Your Mum needs to have a BM which is much more important then getting her up and ensuring she can eat! (When Rosalee said that Mum had already had two BMs today the nurse said this was not the case as it was “not in the charts”. To which Rosalee retorted that Mum certainly had because the nurses who had cleaned her up had bitched the second time very loudly and unprofessionally!) Yes, Rosalee is a bundle of tenacity and we are so fortunate for that.

The nurse called me out to the hallway to complain about Rosalee’s “interfering” something I did not appreciate nor did I agree with the nurse.

David has told the Unit Manager that it was not acceptable to not clean up Mum until mid-day, to not get her up (the difference is incredible) nor to talk around her. We do not know how much she understands but she is a human being and deserves respect as such. (Rosalee will not let anyone be negative around her son either, this should be the most basic of nursing but does not appear to be so.)

Found out today that due to shortages (and the closing of the adjacent Ward because of an infection outbreak) that there is a real possibility that another person will be squeezed into an already crowded four-to a room set-up. The room beside Mum’s already has five in it. Um, WHO gets the oxygen of which there are only four outlets? Will the patients have to share? What next, bunk beds?

There is NO room for the medi-lift that is needed to get Mum out of bed as is without the bed having to be angled tightly and everything moved as far away as possible. No better for Rosalee’s son. Across the room is the same except the closets and washbasin is on that side. (The washroom is two feet from Mum’s bed.)

A new Hong Kong Chinese man recovering from a stroke has been moved into the rotating bed. Despite asking for an interpreter (and that the RAH brags that they have interpreters in so many languages) no one had come up to speak to the man and his wife. Indeed, while we were visiting a nurse came up to ask what language they spoke! She assumed Mandarin which the wife confirmed but knowing Hong Kong Chinese people as well as I and David do he asked if they were more comfortable speaking Cantonese (David asked in Mandarin and then switched to Cantonese because my man is excellent in languages, his major at Uni was Asian Studies and his roommate (and the best-man at our wedding is Hong Kong Chinese). The wife was visibly happy to talk to someone. When her husband was brought back into the room after four hours of test in a wheelchair the porter took off with it despite the wife, Rosalee and myself asking for it to be left. His response? Other people may need it… The wife chased him down the corridor and ended up retrieving the wheelchair in front of a random room where it had been abandoned. (Probably beside the bed which has been blocking the door to Ward 53 for days, yep, health and safety standards being met allover.)

Yes, I am POd and bitching all over about the Stroke Ward. I know they are horribly understaffed and do not have anywhere near the equipment needed BUT guess what? I HAVE ONE MIL and will scream for her to get care because she cannot and also, NOTHING is going to change until the damn government stops allowing executives have unlimited expense accounts, until AHS cuts the way too top heavy executive pool (Managers, Directors, Managing Directors, Executive Directors, Senior Managers, Senior Directors, VPs, Executive VPs, Senior VPs and the list goes on and on…). Virtual teams which means one of those VPs may have an assistant in another city necessitating huge conference call bills and travel costs. Also, the AHS CEO needs how many offices? All fully equipped and not only in Edmonton but in Calgary…

NONE of the above gross misuse of TAXPAYERS money improves front-line care but still it goes on and on! Throwing more money at AHS WILL NOT improve patient care (lack thereof) because that is not where the money will go. Wheelchairs, IV Poles. PILLOWS, more qualified and engaged staff and better adherence to infection controls will make a huge difference — saving lives and improving recovery rates but alas with no accountability in the system and because that is not the “sexy” answer this will not happen. Instead, a new specialty ward will be opened as others are closed because that makes it appear that the government is doing something and “cares”.


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Hubby #1’s Personal Update (with corrections and comments by his first wife!).

Hubby #1’s Personal Update (with corrections and comments  by his first wife!).

David Ward sent this e-mail out to his contacts on June 27, 2009

Hello Everyone,

My ego refuses to believe that you all are not sitting by your computers just waiting to hear what is happening in my world. So here goes:

On May 24 I was taken to the Miseracordia Hospital in Edmonton for emergency abdominal surgery. I spent two thrilling weeks attached to tubes, monitors and other devices of medical torture before being “paroled” on June 8. (Report on the Miseracordia Hospital: The Filipino nursing staff: the best care anywhere. The food: the basis for every bad joke about hospital cuisine.)

I am recovering at home (where the nursing staff (i.e. Debbie) is pretty strict, but the food is much better). My doctors are allowing me to work from home for a few hours each day. This will increase until the end of July when I should be back to work full time.

A word about my employer (the University of Alberta): I don’t think you could find a better place to work. Their only concern is that I heal completely before returning to work. They are more worried about me pushing things too quickly than I am. My supervisor has made sure my projects have been reassigned and keeps telling me not to worry and just rest up.

Right now, my stamina is pretty low and I tire easily but I get a little stronger every day and I find I can do a little more around the house each day. So, for those of you who think you are in my will, you are just going to have to wait a bit longer.

For those of you who wish to extend your best wishes, please send cash (no cheques) to:

(Never mind. Debbie is looking over my shoulder…)



Corrections and comments from his first wife, Debbie WardD & D Ward

The date was the 23rd of May. Surgery was done on the 25-26 of May.

The correct spelling of the hospital is Misericordia.

Yes, David was paroled on June 8th, very early in the morning. It would have been even earlier than it was if he had had his way (and I suspect the hospital staff by that time!) except his ever loving first wife had to do some things around the house like wake up, take care of the pets, shower and drive to the hospital. Oh, and answer phone calls several times from him plaintively asking when I was coming to take him home. Uh yeah, I really, really wanted him home but I do not move too fast at 06:00!

Yes, fortunately David is now recovering from home, which means for me a lot of being asked “when I have time/a chance could I…?”

Misericordia staff was all fantastic to me. From the first long night that stretched into early morning while he was in surgery they kept me informed and did all they could to make me comfortable. One nurse came into the waiting room at about 03:30 to tell me David was just in Recovery and as soon as possible they would let me go into see him. She also brought me pillows and heated blankets to make me more comfortable during the long evening.

When David was finally more or less conscious I was allowed into Recovery to see him briefly before I finally went home to catch some much needed sleep. During his stay I visited as much and as often as I could and all staff was always helpful and accommodating. I will one day however write a post about the Misericordia’s possessed elevators!

During the last part of his stay when I went to purchase yet another weekly parking pass they tallied up all I had already spent and gave me a monthly parking pass for the rest of his hospital stay at no charge. This compassionate parking pass was appreciated so much as having to find coins or use a credit card every visit was becoming costly and a major hassle.

While David was in the hospital I contacted family and our immediate neighbours (and his office) but simply did not have time to spread the news out to many other people. Except through Facebook and Twitter! My updates and the responses were a godsend as they enabled me to get the news to many people but I also realized I was not entirely alone. Lonely was a familiar feeling when David was in hospital which just proves how much the big guy dominates the house and my heart.

His employer, the U of A has been FANTASTIC! While never breaching his privacy they did all they could to help me get things started for his leave while David was in hospital (or jail). Wow, this wonderful support will be instrumental to David fully recovering from his emergency surgery.

Our friends, neighbours and family have all pitched in where and when they could. From taking care of the “boys” when I was at the hospital all night to cutting and trimming our lawns to being there for a quick coffee or an encouraging word! Thank you! We both appreciate it very much and will not forget the kindness. (But no, that does not mean that those who think they are in the will are going to be getting more. ‘cuz nothing of nothing still equals nothing!)

To comments that surgeons should put velcro or a zipper on David’s abdomen to make it easier the next time or that I should request that he receive six-pack abs— these were taken under careful advisement and dealt with accordingly.

About David being able to “do a little more around the house each day” I will just comment that he is hiding that very well from me(!), unless perhaps he is referring endlessly playing DVD’s of Poirot or MASH and generally taking over of the television?

Oops, now I have to go as I can hear him asking for something…

Kind regards,

Debbie Ward (aka David’s First Wife)

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