TURNABOUT IS FAIR PLAY!
In case you wonder how I got to be a Grumpy Old Dude – let’s take a quick…. Uh, slow trip through Bureaucroland.
I had three operations on one eye last year – a retina tack, a new, plastic lens installed because of developing cataracts, and a laser scrub when the new lens went cloudy.
Worsening cataracts on both the wife’s eyes were making reading and knitting difficult, and they’re a big part of her life.
Shortly after my third treatment, late last year, the wife finally got an assessment appointment with my specialist. It was decided that she rated an operation on each eye. When COVID19 erupted, what should have been a 3 to 4 month wait for a surgical theater, stretched to almost a year.
Finally, recently, we got a call from the Ophthalmologist’s office, giving a date, but telling us we’d have to wait for a time-of-day scheduling. After another 2-week wait, they called again to tell us that the wife would be the first operation of the day at 9 AM, and to have her to the hospital by 7 o’clock.
For a guy who normally goes to bed at 5 AM, this was not optimal. Don’t you have something after lunch?? We had some discussion about me sitting in a waiting room for 3 to 5 hours, during COVID. The day before the operation, the hospital called and said that I would have to remain outside somewhere, until I was called.
The second wave of COVID has rolled into the Region. We had a one-day count, higher than any day in April. We worried that the surgery might get cancelled. It was to be on Thursday. As of Monday, the Region went to Red-status.
In the first wave, many of the most vulnerable – the elderly, the youngsters, and the breathing-impaired – had died. In this wave, while the numbers were up, most of them were hardy young partiers who could tough it out in quarantine at home. The hospitals were actually less busy. Everything was still a go.
I dropped the wife off shortly before 7, and went back home and got another hour or so of sleep, before they called at 9:40. I went back to get her, and parked in the pickup lane, by the front door. 👿
The Provincial Government has ordered that masks must be worn to enter any business. I put mine on, and approached the door, to be met by a Security Guard who insisted that I douse my hands with antiseptic gel. Then I had to stand back six feet from the woman who entered directly behind me, but who couldn’t seem to operate a pump dispenser.
Next I was ordered to use my newly-sanitised hands to remove my Government-mandated mask, and install a single-use paper one, issued by the hospital. Finally, I was able to break free and head across the lobby towards the elevators. Suddenly, a young woman, not wearing a hospital uniform or identity tag, stepped in front of me – well within my 6-foot (Cdn. 2 meters) safety distancing space. I almost knocked her over.
She said something. I thought she asked why I had come to the hospital. I answered that I had got a call to pick up the wife. Oh, no, this is the safety interrogation – the special extended hospital version.
Did I have….
any fever – No
a cough – No
shortness of breath – No
aches or pains – No
loss of taste or smell – No
In the last 6 months – 6 weeks – 6 days – 6 hours…. Did I leave – the country – the Province – my home – my bedroom? Did I travel to – Hong Kong – Bora Bora – Yucatan – Iceland? Had I ever had toenail fungus? Was my Mother left-handed? no, No, NO, NO!, NO! Finally, she came to a stop…. I thought. I stepped past her and headed for the elevators….Sir? I’m not finished. YOU ONLY THINK YOU”RE NOT FINISHED!
I went up in the elevator to the surgery floor and got off. The ‘can’t-be-used’ waiting room was to my left, and the surgery suite was behind a locked door to my right. Perhaps they’ve put a clerk in the waiting room. I poked my head around the corner. Three men were sitting in it??! Two of them simultaneously asked me. “Are you George?/Are you John?” “No, I’m confused, and grumpy, and it’s getting worse by the second.”
A passing nurse let me into the recovery area. I collected the wife, and headed back out. In the hallway to the front door, the wife asked if I would get her a Tim Horton’s Coffee. There’s an outlet directly beside the main door…. Behind a slalom obstacle course of bollards and straps and signs. ENTER HERE, EXIT HERE, despite the fact that there was no-one at the counter.
I managed to get to the order window, and the perky little perk-server said, “Sir, please use some hand sanitizer,” The stuff I slathered on, eight feet away, and five minutes ago, still hasn’t dried on my hands. I said, “I just did!” “Sir, please apply some more, to enter the coffee shop.” You know, the wife didn’t really want a coffee that bad – at least that’s what I told her when I went back. “Have a nice day, sir.” OH…. It’s Wayyy too late for that. 👿
And I’ve got another one to look forward to in January. 😯