waiting room blues

none of the doctors i saw yesterday were as cute as himYesterday was The Longest And Dullest Day Of My Life!

But since it ended up being all about doctors and waiting rooms and medical procedures, consider this a warning!

After all my ranting on Friday about the issues with my ear, I had a horrendous night's sleep and woke up to find that my ear felt completely blocked and kinda painful.

Which made my efforts to tidy up the apartment somewhat complex...

Anyway, when Ma got here, I gave her the whole story and then we went off to do the usual shopping stuff.

And as always happens when I'm not feeling completely well, I didn't end up getting very much shopping at all... which is fine, but it'll just mean some extra trips to the shops during the week.

When we got back here, I called my doctor's office (and got The Weekend Receptionist... who was quite literally dumber than a box of hair) and made an appointment for a little later that morning.

But because shopping had been kind of light on, we made it back here really early, so there needed to be a whole lot of sitting around here before we headed down to Melbourne Street to see my doctor.

I sent Ma wandered off while I went in... and didn't really have to wait all that long, or at least it didn't feel that way.

So I poured out all of what had been going on since I last saw the doctor, and he poked around in my ear a bit and said that the mild swelling in my ear canal on Thursday had gone seriously hardcore and essentially had blocked my ear.

I'm pretty sure he said it was "Otitis externa" and given the description on Wikipedia, it sounds about right...

But then he said the words that didn't particularly thrill me... "hospital"... although they were more in relation to going to see someone with specialised skills and tools rather than having to be admitted, which didn't make it seem so bad.

He also called the Emergency Department to let them know that I was coming in, which I thought was nice... although given the rest of the story, it obviously didn't make the least bit of difference.

Anyway, he wrote me a referral letter, gave me a prescription for Panadine Forte and sent me on my way.

Ma was waiting for me outside in the car and I just pointed her in the direction of the Royal Adelaide and off we went...

I'm pretty sure that the last time I was in the Emergency Room of the RAH was around about the turn of the millennium... I have a feeling it was when my knee got some weird infection and I had to spend a few days in hospital as a result... after having to spend a stupidly long time waiting around the waiting room, only to have the orthopedic specialist come down, take a look at me for 30 seconds and get me admitted...

Anyway, I went in while Ma went off to park the car... I reported to Triage, showed them my letter, they took a bunch of details, then I had to speak to one of the clerical officers to book myself in (or something)... which is about the point at which Ma showed up.

By about that point, it was around 11:15am (or at least that was the time on the parking ticket Ma had).

And then we sat down to wait.

And we waited.

And the first hour went by kind of without me realising it...

And we waited.

And I amused myself tweeting and fiddling around with my phone.

And we waited.

And everybody who had been in the waiting room when we got there got seen to.

And a whole new batch of people showed up.

And the second hour dragged somewhat...

And we waited.

And we waited.

And the whole new batch of people all got seen to.

And we waited.

The third hour was incredibly trying.

Partly that was because some time around the end of the second hour Ma went over to ask the Triage nurse if we had any kind of ETA (personally I didn't see the point and knew they wouldn't tell her anything really useful, but she wanted to)... and found out that I was classed as Category 5...

So everybody who came in after me was higher priority...

Yes, I'll grant you that the woman who appeared to be in unspecified pain should have gone before me... and the woman who can in about chest pains... and the 15 year old who hopped in from a taxi after falling off his skateboard with some sort of busted ankle... and the woman with the "bug bite" on her leg... and pretty much anybody who came in via ambulance...

But to continually bump me back to the end of the line all the time? And to take the guy in his twenties with the arm tattoos who came in with his parents and didn't seem to be in any immediate danger or pain or anything? Surely I could have gone before him.

I do understand the meaning of triage... really... but to make me wait for three hours when I only ended up taking up about 15 minutes with an actual doctor (and a lot of that was her wandering around looking for things), it seems a little bit fucked.

Anyway, like I said, after more than three hours a female doctor came and got me and took me around to a cubicle with a dentist chair... and you would think, right, that if I have to go through all the drama of telling the triage nurse what the problem is, that they would actually write that down and put it on a file so the doctor doesn't have to ask "what can I do for you today?" or something similarly inane...

Fortunately I could just hand over my letter and didn't have to go through the whole entire story.

But then there was a lot of prodding and poking of my ear... not especially pleasant. And equally large amounts of the doctor looking in cabinets and drawers in the cubicle and then wandering off for a while...

Part of that was so that she could fashion a tiny little vacuum cleaner from a syringe body, a blunt bent needle thing and a suction tube. Kind of impressive really.

Although having it in my ear wasn't particularly pleasant... although it was somewhat satisfying when she pulled out a big lump of something and my ear felt clear suddenly... which was great, right up until the point she packed it with cotton wool soaked in antibiotic drops... and suddenly it was worse than before...

Worse because I'd been able to hear, and now I couldn't... plus the cotton was kinda irritating and probably rubbed against all the little abrasions inside my ear... urgh...

Also, I'm sure it looked very attractive, with a big lump of cotton wool in my ear...

So by the time it was all over, we were well into Hour Four... not really how I'd planned on spending my Saturday.

We decided to wander up to the Mall, since that had been our intended destination before all of this shit started... but we only really managed to string that out for about half an hour... even including a trip to the chemist to get my Panadine Forte and some cotton balls... so I'm really not sure what the hell we would have done with yesterday anyway.

And as a side effect of having the cotton in my ear, everything seemed excessively noisy... urgh...

Anyway, we came back to my place, went off to get some dinner since neither of us had really eaten since before we went to the hospital then headed out to see The Complete Works of William Shakespeare (Abridged) at the Festival Theatre.

It probably would have been better if we hadn't had to go out last night... I was kinda exhausted after the lack of sleep and the rest of the day, but if laughter really is the best medicine, then I got myself a nice big dose.

But because I was so exhausted by the time we got back, I pretty much just fiddled around with my phone for a bit and then went to bed not long after 9:30...

Unfortunately I didn't have a particularly great night's sleep again... mostly because I'm a side-sleeper and end up laying on one ear or the other... and when one side isn't comfortable to lay on, it's a problem.

I also woke up with both ears feeling a little weird... it kind of feels like when you have the flu and your voice echoes in your head and everything sounds kind of a bit muffled... but I'm not freaking out about it... partly because it doesn't feel like it did yesterday... and also because I just don't have the energy. I'm guessing it's possibly because of the amount of poking at prodding they've had of late... and the fact that I think both doctors looked from one ear to the other without swapping little protective covers on the ear thing, and if what I've read about otitis externa is right, I think it found it's way over to my other ear.

But I'm just going to start using the drops in both ears...

I think if any day of my life can best be categorised as FML, it's yesterday.

On the up side, I least I know what the problem is...

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