I got to ride in an ambulance!


No sirens or anything, but still. We drove to Victoria (I should say Carolyn drove to Victoria) last Wednesday for an appointment with an oncologist at the Victoria Cancer Clinic. Wednesday went well enough although I’m in severe pain and the stress is overwhelming. Despite my distress we had dinner at the hotel. That was great. The Inn at Laurel Point is a superb hotel and the staff is excellent.

On Thursday morning we got a cab (Carolyn wasn’t particularly interested in driving, parking, etc) to the Cancer Clinic which is right next to the Royal Jubilee Hospital. We waited for a bit then had a good appointment with the oncologist which lasted probably an hour and a bit.

After our appointment we decided to head into town to have lunch and do a little shopping. Big Mistake! Multiple Myeloma is not a forgiving disease and doing regular daily activities can be impossible. I was to find that out in spades. Instead of doing the logical thing and taking a cab back to the hotel I decided a walk would be good. Wrong! A walk is the last thing I needed. I was in severe pain by the time we got to the hotel. I lay down on the bed to see if I could dissipate the pain a bit and that seemed to work until I thought about getting up. Impossible! The pain was over the top, way over the top. Eventually I got out of bed by sliding off the end of it while in a critical state of pain. Well, a normal person might just have decided at that point to call an ambulance and get to the emergency department of the Royal Jubilee. Not me. I’m tougher than that, and way more stupid. So I took a schwack of T3s and went to bed. Hardly slept at all. We were supposed to drive home in the morning but that wasn’t going to happen. We called the oncology nurse and after a bit of discussion she told us to get an ambulance back to the hospital to get an MRI and to deal with the pain. So we called an ambulance and the paramedics came to our hotel room and got me on a gurney, etc., put me in an ambulance and took me to the emergency department. I think that will be the last time I let anyone talk me into going to emergency. I don’t blame the staff, they have their protocols, but the truth is I wasn’t there for a diagnosis. Nonetheless they took some blood (why, who knows) and had me sit in a waiting room with 60 or 70 other people. while I was in severe pain. Well, we were there for several hours. I got no pain meds for hours but finally got a CT scan, when what I needed was an MRI.

In any case, by the time I was in that black hole of an emergency department my pain was at a critical point so the ER doctor got me a hydromorphone drip and a prescription for hydromorphone. We got back into the truck but now had to stay another night because Carolyn can’t really drive after dark. Thankfully the Laurel Point Inn was able to accommodate us. I slept that night fully in the hands of my opioid angel. The hotel has a wheelchair which is good because by now I’m unable to walk because of the pain. In the morning we go downstairs, have some breakfast and then head for home. I knew that by the time I got home I’d be a basket case. More hydromorphone. Slept (I suppose we can call it that) when we got home. Now I sit here awaiting further instructions. I may have to get a wheelchair if I have to go any distance. The oncologist promises pain relief after I start chemo. I’m looking forward to that.

That’s it for today. I’m beat!

4 thoughts on “I got to ride in an ambulance!

  1. Jesus! Roger, that’s so wrong! As you say you were there under direction of a specialist who already had your diagnosis! Huge fucking communication problem that spans all the way from your specialist, to the Medics in the ambulance to the triage at emerg! Yes they have protocols but the protocol demonstrated by the triage decision to place you in the wait queue is unforgiveable! I have had the unforunate neccessity to visit emege a couple of times in the past month or so and I saw ambulance patients being taken directly to the treatment rooms. How long they waited to see the Doc I dont know but at least they laying down and could take whatever meds they had with them. Something seriously wrong with the triage nurses on duty at that time. You should have been placed where you’d be seen before someone who was there with a broken bone. Your official diagnosis should have travelled with you! I feel so badly for you having to go through that but it seems to be a problem at Jubilee. I would enjoy a visit with you sometime…

    Jack (250) 792-4670

    On Sun, Nov 3, 2019, 11:45 AM Roger Albert – Always a Sociologist, wrote:

    > Roger JG Albert posted: ” No sirens or anything, but still. We drove to > Victoria (I should say Carolyn drove to Victoria) last Wednesday for an > appointment with an oncologist at the Victoria Cancer Clinic. Wednesday > went well enough although I’m in severe pain and the stress is o” >

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    1. Thank you Jack. Sorry to take so long to get back to you on this post. Somehow it slipped by me. I must have read it in a moment of temporary delirium, approved it with the intention of replying a little later. I didn’t get back to the reply until just now. Not cool.
      In any case, the situation at the Royal Jubilee was absolutely ridiculous. I’ll never go there again. At first they were going to send me to the Vic General but then they changed their minds. I’m not sure why. That was their first big mistakes. There was a litany of them to follow.
      In any case, if you get up this way I’d love to see you That would be great.

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  2. Wow Rog (and Carolyn). What to say except you survived THAT experience.

    Now for the good news. I know where the Red Cross closet is. It’s on Morey Ave up the street that the Bus Depot is on at the end at the corner to the right into the parking lot. First unit closest to the road.

    Hugs.

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