Rightly or wrongly, I like to think of myself as a tough biatch, but last Thursday saw me at breaking point.
A foot injury that had caused me to become almost incapable of walking drove me to a late night visit to Whanganui Hospital's Emergency Department (ED).
I was seen fairly promptly by a nurse and told that a consultation with a doctor could be as long as three hours.
Such was the excruciating pain and swelling, I let it be known that I was prepared to wait it out.
OMFG ... five hours later and with days of reflection since to ensure I was not writing out of sheer anger and a sense of entitlement, I'm still bloody miffed - and with very good reason.
Yes, I made mistakes and accept full responsibility. In hindsight, I should have bought along twigs, a Bunsen burner (to toast marshmallows) and a thermos of coffee but my grotesquely deformed limb and subsequent pain clouded my judgment. Go figure.
The waiting room was all but empty ... just 10 or so chairs filled with the ailing and their supporters.
An actual doctor (yes, they do exist) appeared and called the name of a patient who had long since walked out, in disgust, desperation and exhaustion, after a four-hour wait.
My son let him know he had long since flown the coop.
Logic and common sense would dictate that he would return to his desk and pick up the next patient file - ie me - but NO.
I'm still left wondering if he spontaneously combusted, was abducted by aliens or dropped dead from exhaustion. Shame, he was drop-dead gorgeous.
Not PC, I know, but after four hours of waiting, I couldn't give a toss!
I chose to persevere.
In my five hours at ED, six patients, including me, presented. Four walked out before being seen.
Could this be their game plan? Making you wait so long that you simply give up?
My son, in his many roamings, noted the "feedback box". I gave him a pen to fill out his issues, while loudly exclaiming his exercise as futile as they clearly had no staff to empty the box.
My son eventually lost patience and complained to the mostly inactive front desk.
Feeling perversely victorious that we had outlasted the weakest and most vulnerable, we were told the wait could still be another two to three hours.
I left with more than I arrived with - a DVT in my left knee from the hours of waiting and PTSD from the entire experience.
WAM, bam, thank you, mam ... I wish.
Thanks could only be possible had I been treated. #unhealthyw8times
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EDIT: This article has been edited to correct an error which incorrectly identified the name of the emergency facility.