On Monday, I fell and injured my wrist. After a few hours at the hospital to get checked out, I returned home with a splint on just like countless others who had similar injuries that day. Waiting in the hospital Emergency Room at any time is never fun. Thankfully, I had my phone to capture some notes.
Typing on an iPhone with your dominant hand is a tolerable experience at best. Typing with your non-dominant hand is even worse. The number of mistakes I keep making really slow this process down. Thankfully, the predictive text is working fairly well. I’m really enjoying the fact that Scratch gives me quick access to common functions, like making a list, which allows me to type out thoughts quickly.
It has been a while since I’ve stepped into Kelowna General Hospital. I made several trips here when my daughter was born, and another trip when my ex had some pain in her mouth. This was the first time going into the new wing.
Walking in the ER entrance, first two thoughts that cross my mind:
1. You can definitely tell it is new.
2. You can definitely tell it is a hospital.
Maybe the process is the same in other Canadian hospitals, but you check in with a volunteer who takes your information and then passes it to a clerk. The clerk checks your blood pressure, allergies, etc. then passes you off to another admin person. They check you into the hospital, giving you an ID wristband, and putting you into the queue. It’s quite the process, made worse when the student volunteer is not even aware of what he is doing. Having to explain I injured my wrist twice within a few minutes? Not exactly right.
After sitting down- I should say first that the ER was busy so it took a moment to find a seat- you do the automatic scan of the room to see how you compare to the others. It’s almost a game: Who Has It Worst? Seems like an ideal show for Colin Mochrie to host since his other Who’s Line Is It Anyway are hosting game shows.
Right away, I can tell I’m nowhere near enough pain to be here. When people are slumped up against others’ shoulders or are holding a bowl in case they throw up, I’ve certainly in better shape. Anyone who is using a phone in the room is automatically disqualified too. One woman had an iPad with her, which seems both incredibly smart and stupid at the same time. I’m not sure whether I would bring such an expensive device like that here (ignoring the fact that an iPhone 5 costs more than an iPad.)
Second, I tend to look at who is making the boldest fashion statement. Hospitals at this hour usually have at least a few people that stand out for one reason or another. There’s a woman in tights, talking to someone on the phone, bawling her eyes out and yelling a bit, then when she hangs up, she is smiling while texting. Odd. I’ll forgive the people who are sweatpants, and give a pass for people who seem to be showing off too much muffin top. The real winner is the lady wearing a baggy tie-dyed shirt and matching pants. I haven’t seen an outfit like that since probably the Dawson City Music Festival. Bit blinding.
The staff at the hospital are incredibly patient with people. With the length of time it takes for people to get processed, no one openly complains and staff are in good spirits. Turns out, it was the shift change. People were happy leaving, others had nothing to complain about yet.
Time seems to move very slowly in the hospital. I have always wondered why when we want something to happen, it takes forever, but when we want something to last (a date, party) it goes by quickly. After nearly an hour, I move on to the minor treatment room. More waiting, but there is more movement.
Down the hall I’m sent to visit the x-ray technician. When I get there, more waiting is to be found and no seats. There’s a young family there. The oldest injured her wrist. The two younger ones under 8 are ready to pass out at this hour. The mother of the oldest (who is the aunt for the other two) has come to ER three weeks in a row. I consider myself lucky that I only have one daughter who could bring me down there.
A few others going ahead of me are rolled in on stretchers. They seem real old and in bad shape. I start thinking about how strange it is that they get priority over the young girl. Before they are rolled in, they end up waiting around the corner with no one with them. A lonely experience. Another older mother is in a wheelchair and has a rather hyper teenager with her. The teen is too focused on playing her DSi and not aware enough to move her mom out of the way when the people on beds are rolled in.
After all the X-ray, walking back into the second waiting room, I hear a lot of noise. It’s practically a party with close to eight people waiting for one person, who looks like they got hit with a baseball bat in the face. After a short wait, I am called in to get the splint on. Ahead of the little girl again. Hospitals prioritize in strange ways for me.
After nearly three hours at the hospital, I was on my way home to face the other challenges: how to undress and dress with one useable hand, how to prepare meals, and keep myself occupied during the day. Using a mouse was impossible with my right hand, and couldn’t use the keyboard at all.
The second day out of the hospital has found me in better spirits and with the patience to try something different. This post and the others this week have been typed and edited on my iPhone, using solely my left hand. Scratch was used for writing, Byword to edit the links (using the markdown language) and format, then Poster for images and publishing. A trio of apps that have worked incredibly well.
One hand blogging does have the ability to produce sound.