Tag Archives: St. Paul’s Hospital

Fired

Today I got some good news.  I went into ambulatory care today at St. Paul’s Hospital.

St. Paul's Hospital in Saskatoon

Normally I go in there about 9:30 a.m. and there is 50 other patients in there but today I went in at 11:30 a.m. and there were four patients waiting.  I knew enough not to get excited.  There is no chance a surgeon would not be running late by 11:30 a.m.  Laws of nature prohibit it. 

So I waited for an hour.  Then another 30 minutes.  It was what I expected.

I used to be bothered by this but people are incredibly sick in there and I have overheard some of what nurses and doctors say to patients and caregivers.  It is life and death.  The other thing is that surgeon is really efficient.  Finally the hospital has sent down more nurses on busy days but I think the problem is a lack of surgeons and beds, not staff.

Finally I got to see her and she looked at my foot for like 20 seconds and then we chatted about the infection (not her department but there was a resident in there with her so she was explaining part of it) and then we chatted about walking.  That got her excited and she had some questions about that, nothing serious but more about why that far and the impact.  She then said “You’ve healed yourself” with that walking which I don’t know if I believe, I think my doctors and nurses have done a lot and I still have that infection but it was encouraging to hear.

The big news for me was that she let me know that while there are problems with the ankle, there isn’t anything serious going on with blood flow and circulation that will cause me problems down the line.  While she wants me to watch it, the other suggestion was to start wearing New Balance shoes.  Apparently those are the shoes more of us should be wearing so I will check them out when I need new shoes this summer. 

There is still the infection and cellulitis which I wish would go away but the ulcer is staying healed and that is a reason to celebrate.  So basically I was fired today as a patient and I was never so happy.

Some good news

So that gaping massive ulcer that I have been worried was going to cost me my right leg?  You know the one where I have to wear the Coban Wrap and go to City Hospital multiple times a week over?  It’s gone now.  After 15 months, it is finally healed up enough that I don’t have to go for treatment any longer.

Of course it isn’t quite perfect yet.  Marley jumped on my foot and broke the fourth toe the other day.  That was fun explaining to people.  As the doctor said, “that sure does look like an impact wound” which pretty much describes much of what Marley does. 

They are still worried about inflammation in my ankles so I get to wear $150 pair of compression socks.  That’s fair enough.  As long as I don’t have to go back and wear those horrible Coban wraps.

Now all I have to worry about is the infection that still lives in my leg but that is under control with antibiotics. 

Today

After three days of sleeplessness, fevers, and chills I went back to St. Paul’s Hospital.  The cellulitis had gone from my ankle up my calf and almost to my knee.  As of 5:00 a.m. this morning, the infection was winning.

So the plan was to be at St. Paul’s by 6:00 a.m.  We walked in, saw triage and was given a bed right away.  I was quite pleased with how fast this was going.  I expected to be home by 10:00 a.m.  Since the teaching is done at RUH, it meant no interns, no residents and just a doctor.

So the nurse saw it, gave an expected course of action.  The doctor saw it, affirmed her course of action.  He ordered blood work.  The blood work came.  I was rolling along.

The white blood cell count came back as normal.  Which was kind of odd since I have this chronic infection.  The C-Reative Protein test came back.  I did well in it.  It was supposed to be around 7.  Mine was 150.8.  Beat that folks.

So they gave me a dose of IV antibiotics and then I wait until 3p to leave.  I had to see Home Care to get me to agree to give myself an IV.  Then they made me sign off on giving me my own medication via IV.  Then they taught me to give myself medication via IV but not really because I already had it.  I did get an instruction guide. 

Oh yeah, they put the IV into my hand.   Not only do I look like a hardcore addict but you type with an IV in your hand (of course I can inject heroine into my hand if I ever decide to take up drugs).

I think that was the biggest frustration, I asked them several times to keep the needle out of my hands for work and they stuck into my hand because it was the easiest place for them to jab a needle.  Actually they seemed amazed that I would be working and not at home.  Like I have written before, some of us need to work, especially with an illness that has no end date right now.

Then I was allowed to go to City Hospital where they gave me boxes and boxes of medication.  I have more gear then a safe injection site (and with my hand, I look the part).

Some thoughts.

  • Since the start everyone has been saying that my leg is a vascular issue despite the vascular tests being largely normal.  I have been saying it is an infection.   It’s weird, I have had a few doctors look at my leg closely and none of them have thought it was cellulitis when it clearly was.  I am sure this happens lots but doctors appear to “thin slice” to use Malcolm Gladwell’s term.
  • I have a problem with what the hospital charge for parking.  It cost me $18 for a day of parking and it wasn’t like it was I was there for a party.  That is obscene and taking advantage of people.
  • Here is something else that blew me away today.  Everyone in emergency today was on a waiting list for a specialist and their condition had deteriorated to the point where they were sent to the E.R. (we had time to chat).
  • I am not really that comfortable injecting myself with an IV medication everyday so I asked if I can come in and have it done.  Nope.  My choices were inject yourself or have a nurse come in on their hours (which doesn’t work for my schedule) and they can do it for you.  I can’t go to a clinic or hospital to have it done.  I just want a time and I’ll be there early but nope.  I don’t know why this can’t be done.  So this is patient centric care in Saskatchewan.  Do what you aren’t comfortable doing because it’s cheaper and you have a piece of paper.
  • Cellulitis hurts.  Badly. 
  • I don’t know if this is going to work.  Every treatment they have tried so far “is going to work”.  It’s been 8 months and I am getting sicker.

Evening Under the Stars

Evening Under the Stars

Every dollar of profit raised from the inaugural August 21st event will be donated to the Foundation’s purchase of Saskatchewan’s first digital electron microscope that will dramatically advance diagnoses for renal, cardiac and neurological patients. The evening presents Jeans n Classics fascinating marriage of the music of Queen accompanied by the classic sounds of the Saskatoon Symphony Orchestra. The setting is natural outdoor prairie at its finest, lit by a full moon and the power of first nation’s culture at the Whitecap Sports Centre located approx 30 kilometers south of Saskatoon on HWY 219, turn right on Sports Centre Road. Come casual, come hungry, come for fun with family and friends at Saskatoon’s first Evening Under the Stars!