Same hospital, different treatment

A few years ago on April 14, I arrived at the Bowen's hospital in Sherbrooke for a cat-scan. When I asked the employee at the reception how to get to my destination, I was directed rather abruptly to a room on the second floor. There, a nurse, or someone dressed like a nurse, told me to change to a blue thing-a-ma-jig that ties in the back and leaves your knees showing. I was to wait in the waiting room until I was called.

There were eight other persons waiting there - one man and seven women. I was the only one in the blue, air-conditioned uniform and feeling very conspicuous. It took a while to find an article in an old magazine that would get my mind off of my surroundings. I wished the other eight people in the room would also read and stop looking at my knees or hoping I would get up to change my magazine.

I don't know if the delay was due to Mme. Marois' the then minister of Health visit to the hospital that morning? I had to wait for more than an hour just to get out of the waiting room. I was imagining the minister downstairs talking to the employees in the cafeteria, who were probably served a fruity beverage while I was uncomfortably waiting.

When I did finally get out of there, my meter had expired but there was no parking ticket. The lady in green was doing her rounds and coming up the street towards my parking space. Whew!

My second visit to the same hospital was on May 15, to see a specialist about the results of my scan. I was amazed at the difference compared to my previous visit and how everything went so well.

To start with, I had the exact change required for the parking meter.

At the admission desk I was greeted by a smiling, pleasant and competent employee. She carefully gave me the directions to the location where I was to meet the doctor. I think she may have been worried about the possibility of losing a senior citizen in the complex hallways.

At my destination, another smiling lady, dressed like a nurse, greeted me with a smile and took the documents the pleasant admission clerk had given me. She then directed me to the clean and tidy waiting room.

I did not have to change into another thing-a-ma-jig. There was not time enough to read one page of a magazine when the nurse came to escort me to a large, sun filled, examination room. She said that it would not be long before the doctor would arrive.

She was right. In about three minutes the smiling doctor arrived and started up an amiable conversation. He examined my file and then examined me. He announced, "All the tests are negative. You are in good health for your age."

I have noticed lately that the inference to "at your age" is being used more often.

My visit went so well I felt like I was at a Club Med, not a hospital.
And, oh yes, there were still a few minutes left on the parking meter. What a wonderful day.

I have heard weird stories about long delays in the emergency sections of hospitals. Like, the janitor who pushed a patient into a broom closet to wash the floor in the hallway and forgot her there; the doctor who had to remove the cobwebs off of a patient who had been waiting to be examined; another patient supposedly got a cast on the wrong foot.

It can't possibly be true about the man suffering from acute appendicitis and ended up in obstetrics, could it? Hope I never have to visit that branch of a hospital.

Happy Thursday.