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I haven’t been feeling well for a while now. I went to a walk-in clinic on Septemer 21, cos I had an increase in mucuous production plus an increase in sediment — a definate sign of a UTI. At the clinic the doctor asked me how I knew that I had a UTI – I said my stoma hurts. He gave me a double-take, said “excuse me” and I said “yes, my stoma hurts”. Normally one does not need to drop their trousers to expose their abdomen when complaining about a UTI, but he wanted to see the stoma. Anywho, I pee’d in a cup and the GP gave me a script for some Septra.

This week I got a phone call late on Monday telling me that the results were in from my urinalysis, and that I was to come in to the clinic. I went on Tuesday, and the GP said that the Septra I was on wouldn’t work as the E.Coli was resistant to Septra — told him I already knew that as I had some abdominal pain now, and the mucuous was getting quite dark. I also told him that I found it unacceptable for a lab to take nearly 8 days to get results to a patient, as a UTI if gone untreated can spread to the kidneys.

GP begged me to go to the  ER, so I paged Urology at Sunnybrook and they told me to try Macrobid (one of the few drugs the e.coli was sensitive to). I went to the ER yesterday cos there was more blood in my urine, and boy did I have an experience…enough of one that I am drafting a letter to Sunnybrook’s Patient’s Advocate Office.

I got to ER and was triaged adequately. My vitals were taken, details were written down, and I was registered … all quite quickly. I sat in the waiting area for about 90 minutes, which isn’t too bad. As I am still on the MRSA-Danger List they had to get a cubicle ready that could handle such a dangerous creature as myself.

Got into Green-ER (Sunnybrook has different areas of ER, each colour indicating the severity of the emergency) and onto a stretcher at 19:30. At about 20:30 I asked one of the nurses at the nursing station if someone was going to come and check in on me, as I had been on the stretcher for an hour. I was told that they were quite busy, and that they were handling patients in terms of their severity.. I kept my mouth shut, but only about a third of the beds in Green-ER were filled, so there was no chaos going on. Just before 21:00 a nurse walzes over, takes some blood and starts an IV. I had asked the nurse earlier for a kidney dish as I had to cath, and that seemed to cause some problems as the poor woman actually had to get off her arse to get me a container to cath into (I had to give a urine sample, ergo my concern about pee’ing into the requisite cup).

At about 21:30 a Dr Horowitz, a 1st year Urology Resident (who I had spoken to earlier) came into ER and he & a medical student were taking care of me. A dip-stick test of my urine confirmed the UTI, but it will take a couple of days to get the culture results back. In the meanwhile we were waiting for the blood cultures. I had a slightly elevated WBC, but still within the acceptable range. At about 23:00 Dr Horowitz said I could go home, that he would be signing the discharge papers immediately.

At 23:40 I was still on the stretcher, waiting for the IV to be removed. I asked my “nurse” if I could go home. She said she’d check on the work orders to see if there were any discharge orders. 10 minutes later she’s chatting with a co-worker over some training issues, not looking for the discharge order. I went over to the desk and she said rather firmly that I was not to leave the cubicle, to which I indicated that I had been waiting for 45 minutes to get the IV out.

The nurse huffed and treated me as if I was some mean-spirited, demanding and belligerant patient. I can’t remember the name of the nurse, and to be honest I really don’t care. But if anyone does recognise this description I would suggest you avoid her as she’s got a major attitude problem – she’s about 5’7″, chin length very straight blonde hair, slender (almost skinny), wears glasses & fine bone structure.

What has shocked me with regards to this visit to the ER are several factors:

-I indicated that I had MRSA, so when I got into Green-ER there should have been a hazard sign put up… it didn’t go up for nearly 2 hours while I was on the stretcher

-when I spoke to the charge nurse (I assumed she was such, not once did she get up between 19:30 to 23:30 to see any patients, she just sat at the station plucking away at the keyboard) she seemed to act as if I was a huge burden asking for a kidney dish and having the unmitigated gall to suggest that there was a lack of care cos I was not seen for over an hour

-the nurse who “took care of me” (and I use that phrase loosely) had a serious attitude problem, not once taking note that if a patient has been discharged that they should be released in a timely manner.. no one was being resuscitated, there was no heart attacks, no vomitting, no one being placed on a ventilator…nothing like that in Green-ER, so the place was very quiet.. why ignore the patients?

As I said, I will be writing a letter to the Patient’s Advocate Office to share my concerns over this lack of patient care. The triage nurse was great, kudos to her, but the rest… they are a disgrace.

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