Tuesday, June 19, 2012

On the road again ...

We left home on Friday for our Blue Jays weekend (and some peripheral travel around that trip).
First, we stopped en route to Toronto to visit MFN and her newborn daughter.  What a cutie patootie she is!
Amelia was perfectly content to cuddle with me for the duration of our visit (which was longer than I had anticipated but I just couldn't put her down!).
Eventually, her mother insisted that I give her back (she said she had to take her upstairs to change her bottom -- likely excuse, I say!).
We arrived in Toronto at about 4:45pm, having left home at 9:30am -- long drive, that, for what is normally just under four hours.
Our routine for these Blue Jays weekends is that we watch the Friday evening game on television with our host (he always makes pizza for dinner).  The next morning he serves a full-on breakfast and we go to the ballpark for the afternoon game (what a fabulous game it was too!).  Our host then serves us a bbq dinner before I turn in and he and John continue to reminisce (their friendship goes back some 50 years).  On Sunday we do it all again.  My boys won that game too (we swept the Phillies!).  Since this was Fathers' Day weekend, we enjoyed joining our host for his traditional Father's Day bbq with his family.
All in all, it was a wonderful weekend.  Clouded only by the ear infection that I was dealing with.  My left ear is prone to problems, since the canal is very tiny (baby-size, the doctor described it) -- doesn't take much inflammation to close it completely.
We left Toronto at 10:00am and headed for Barrie, where I had plans to meet up with a cousin whom I haven't seen since I don't know when.  We checked into the hotel at around 11:15am and asked where the nearest medical clinic was.  Right!  Turns out that clinic didn't open 'til noon and it was lined up out the door with patients waiting for it to open.
We sought out another clinic and walked into a very crowded waiting room.  I registered anyway and was told it would be two to three hours.  However, a gentleman offered that he had already been waiting three hours (this was at noon) -- indicating that we might be six or seven hours!  We left to run an errand and perhaps have lunch while we waited.
En route to our errand (I was going to Oro Township to pick up a book for my good friend, RLR), we passed the Barrie Hospital.  Why don't we try the hospital instead?
After getting the desired book, we headed for the hospital.  Wow -- not too many people here, we thought.  Very organized routine -- register, see the triage nurse, then wait to be seen by a doctor.
Right -- turns out they "hide" all the patients who have been through those stages of the process.
The registration and triage went very quickly.  Then I was directed to the waiting room.  Where we waited.
And we waited.
And we waited some more.
At around 2:00pm, I called the hotel to see if anyone had called looking for me (I anticipated that my cousin would be trying to contact me).  I left my cell number for her to be redirected, should she call.
An hour later, my cell beeps at me, indicating that I had a message.  (I had "missed" two calls -- both from my cousin.  Yet, the phone had not rung.)  I called her back and left her a message, apologizing for the screw-up and explaining that I was waiting at the hospital for medical attention.
At 3:15pm, I was called from the waiting room and placed in an examination room.  A nurse rushed in, asked numerous questions, and determined that I needed to be seen by a doctor.  (You think?  Give me the damned prescription please!)
At 3:45pm, an orderly came by, asked if I was Catherine Fowler and was stunned to find out that I was -- he had been looking for me and had thought that I was in the waiting room.  (Seemingly, I had been lost in the system and had missed an opportunity to be seen by the doctor.)  Back in the queue I went!
At 4:30pm, John asked if there was any chance that we might see a doctor that day.  (They were doing their best with what they had -- their doctor had been called away to Trauma -- they are sorry for the delay.  Yada, yada, yada.)
At around 5:00pm, a doctor finally came in.  It took her less than two minutes to determine that I had an ear infection (no kidding Sherlock!).  Because of the size of my ear canal (I have a "baby size ear," as she put it) she would have to put a wick in my ear to enable the drops to get in.  (Been there, done that.)  The wick has to be removed in 48 hours.  I should see my family doctor to have that done.  
We will be in Waterloo in 48 hours' time so I can either spend time sitting at yet another clinic (or a hospital ER), or John can attempt to remove the wick.  We bought the appropriate tool so John can retrieve the wick tomorrow night.  I have to continue the drops twice a day for seven days.
From the hospital, we went to the pharmacy to fill the prescription.  We finally went up to our hotel room at 5:45pm -- six and a half hours after we had actually checked in!  We settled into the room and promptly left to find dinner.  We had not eaten since breakfast at 8:00am that morning.  We were just a tad hungry.
By 7:45pm we were back in our room and I had another message from my cousin (again, my phone had not rung; it just beeped that there was a message).  I called her back and she very nicely agreed to make the trip back to Barrie so we could lunch today (it is an hour's drive for her).  
I can't hear worth a gosh-goll-darn.  It's amazing to find out just how much I rely on my left ear for the bulk of my hearing.  With not being able to wear my hearing aid in that ear (coupled with the wick that is currently plugging it), I only have my right ear available.  But my hearing is so poor in my right ear that even with the hearing aid, I still have a great deal of difficulty hearing.  I know there is sound but I can't quite process what I'm hearing -- it's really just a whole lot of noise.
John is gone photo-hunting and I will finally re-meet my cousin whom I haven't seen in very many years.

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