I've been to casualty, the next series

On Monday, it was raining - again - and I had to get to work. Up to now, the scooter has been very stable on wet roads so I got a surprise when braking at a roundabout, the bike flipped and landed on top of my foot. Luckily scooters are light and I could lift the back end off my foot and get back on and go to work. It was going to be a long day... after I arrived I hobbled up the road to get painkillers but by 3pm I'd had enough and told the boss to get a replacement. The foot was hurting nicely and my left hand had swelled a lot and looked like I'd been punching doors.

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I didn't immediately go for medical treatment because I always avoid our hospitals if possible. I got home, ate, fed the cats and went out to face the casualty (ER) process at 6pm

The sign outside the triage dept was still there:

Waiting is good, it means you are not dying. The person you should feel sorry for is the one that we rush to treat

Or something along those lines. By 7:10 I was triaged code yellow and told to go an open a file and take myself off to the trauma room. The filing clerks told me to fill in a form, even though I have a file at the hospital, and if I needed a pen, I should go outside and buy one... Luckily some kind soul at the door lent me hers. In the meantime, a bunch of gangsters in a group were swaggering through the waiting room to go and smoke outside and one with gold teeth, gold chains and large ugly rings on every finger decided to sprawl in the chair in front of the filing clerks window and eat his lollipop. I was fairly surprised that he moved when I asked him to. Filing done, off to the trauma unit.

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Triage codes in the wall: Orange: waiting time ~10 minutes, Yellow: ~1h, Green: 1-4h

The trauma unit looked nightmarish, sick people in beds along the walls, all the chairs full and plenty of exhausted people on the benches and in wheelchairs all hooked up to saline bags. A sure sign that they were supposed to be admitted but there were no available beds in the hospital

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The waiting room was dirty with stains on the floor that I preferred not to examine too closely.

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probably a mix of Ringers lactate solution and blood

Around 8pm a rather harassed doctor told us that they were extremely busy, we should be seen within 4 hours and that she was sending a bunch of us for x-rays based on our triage forms. My hand got X-rayed and the night wore on. I took a look at the x-rays, couldn't see much and strongly considered leaving...

In the meantime some irate patients and relatives started fights and
were escorted out. Then a young man who was was wandering around aimlessly, started leaving trails of blood everywhere and collapsed.

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Time for the doctors to start panicking and get him stitched up before he bled out. It took a while for the blood trails to be cleaned.

All patient dignity had vanished: patients were being treated in the beds along the walls in full view of everyone else, I heard someone falling out of bed in the Resus room, a woman threw up all over herself in the back row. It got cleaned eventually.

How did it all get so bad? There was a fire at the main hospital down the road 6 moths ago so a lot of patients were being diverted to this hospital and others and apparently, some nights are just mayhem.

Around midnight I asked the doctor whether there was in fact any chance of being seen and she said that it would be soon and by 12:30 I was told that I had fractured one or possibly two bones but didn't need surgery. However, I would need to wait to have a cast put on and was given strong painkillers.

Around 2:30 I saw the Orthopedic surgeon who told me that we'd have to wait for instructions from her supervisor, who was in surgery but should be done soon. I dozed off at that point and at 3:30 I got woken up to put the cast on.

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such a tiny, annoying little fracture: @adamada, 1 HBD for your thoughts - is it one or two fractures?

I finally got out of there at 4am, the birds were already singing and got home to feed the poor cats and fall into bed.

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It's clear that our public healthcare is on the verge of collapse, thanks to covid and corruption. The best part of this is that I have to go to the hand clinic in 3 weeks time.... maybe OT... I wanna run away or win the lottery and pay for private healthcare



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Oomph hope you heal up soon. Waiting rooms are the worst.

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They are indeed but this is the worst that I have seen it

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I think public health is collapsed all over the world. Many years ago (I noticed, I was still young and handsome) I worked in a hospital and I know what emergencies and collapses are and also the meaning, back then, of some colors, such as red, which indicated carriers of AIDS. I understand your anguish, your uneasiness, but I am very glad that deep down it was not serious and although it is annoying, that they are just a few simple fractures, which after all, will allow you to continue enjoying life to the extent possible. I wish you a speedy and happy recovery.

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That's true. I'm lucky I was not in a worse state

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Oh, I am sorry what happened with you and your hand, and even worse was this waiting period and all the things that happened in that waiting room. Hope you heal well, and we'll, wishing you a lot of patience and strength for the times you have to go to the clinic.

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Reminds me of some ER's in NYC hospitals... My symphaties, of course with a prayer for fast recovery.

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(Edited)

OMG, so sorry to hear/read that! Hope you'll recover very soon!
In the last days, a case has been uncovered in Bulgaria about a 44-year-old woman being left to die in front of the emergency room while a nurse asks her husband for identity documents. I really thought that there is no worse health care system than in Bulgaria. But now I am beginning to think that this is the case everywhere, and it really kills my hope and faith in humanity's future.

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Thank you!
It's not looking good for humans, our political systems are eating us alive

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Oh that sounds horrible. Medical care everywhere, even at the best hospitals, is now awful, but this wait of yours sounds particularly gruesome. I hope you heal quickly, and don't even feel the need to ever go back.

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Thank you, it never used to be this bad. Unfortunately I do have to go and get the cast removed

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Goodness...

How are you feeling now?

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I don't even need painkillers right now but I know from experience that these things don't heal if not splinted and immobilised

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That looks like a Boxer's fracture you've got there. Not the worst but certainly a bit of a pain in the butt! Should heal nicely if you keep the cast on and don't get into any more bike crashes lol glad you're okay otherwise though!

Sadly, that's hospitals throughout the world. I know that first hand!

Love the way people go nuts in waiting rooms like that. We get that you're in pain, uncomfortable etc. but so isn't everyone else. lol

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Yes it's a boxer's fracture and a pain in the butt. What amazes me is that somehow, the doctors and nurses still manage to be mostly cheerful and friendly, even though they work under those conditions day in and day out

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Yeah I hear you. There's comraderie in the staff and laughs shared to make the best of a tough situation.

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Wow. What a night you had but glad you got the help you needed and wish you a fast recovery @nikv

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What a horrible experience. I hope you get better very soon! Cat purring is said to heal wounds faster! Just saying. Maybe you should put your cats to work!

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Thank you! I like that suggestion!

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Wow! my friend.

It is unfortunate to read about your experience and to see the terrible care you received at the hospital. I think it is a common situation in many parts of the world today.

It is probably a consequence of collapsed care capacity and poor public management of health.

It seems so familiar to me, that I would say it is in my country.

Well, I wish you a speedy recovery, and may the pain subside.

Greetings.

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Thank you and yes, things are on the verge of collapse everywhere

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I hope your hand gets better soon. I've noticed that almost all healthcare services have something like this, but where I'm at, it's worse.

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Thank you. Luckily we are past the covid hospital admissions peak, I can't imagine what it must have been like then.
Where are you living?

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You're welcome. Yes, at the height of COVID, it must be very scary. I can't imagine it. I live in Aceh, Indonesia. Where do you live?

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I'm in Johannesburg, South Africa

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Oh, it's a place far from where I live. I hope your hand gets better soon.

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Reading xrays was a basic skill I forgot but if I had to guess where the fracture is, it's that tiny chip in between the pinky and ring finger, proximal area.

Sounds exactly how you'd get treated if you were here too. It's unfortunate and relatable. You'll live. What about the foot?

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Yes, you are right. The foot seems ok but it wasn't x-rayed because the doctor ordered them before seeing me. They said I could come back if it seemed necessary but fortunately, I think I can live with it

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Other than the long wait and cost for a foot x-ray, I think it's worth getting one for your foot for extra measure. Some fractures are small enough not to mind but the foot is a place of tension that carries your body weight, it may be bearable now but hope nothing breaks during the wait and see phase. Yey HBD~ thank you

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Pleasure! Just what I didn't want to hear but I think you are right. Now to figure out a time to do that

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(Edited)

It still is a bit painful,don't let be depress. We all are with you.👍❤️ We all wish you good health.

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Oh, dear... I really hope you're much better now!

I think there is corruption everywhere. Just the scales are different. Our health system was a sh*thole even before the pandemic. Just one example - I recall my mother was treated for her cancer with a new drug and it costed here about EUR 8500 while the same full course of treatment costed USD 1400 in USA (US drug though). Those "clinical paths" should be called "cynical paths"! Covid just brought more light upon all these milking schemes called public health systems...

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I'm getting better now that I caught up my sleep, thanks.
That's disgusting! Our public health has always been a hopelessly underfunded shithole too but the theft revolves more around infrastructure, we have laws against drug price profiting

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Good to hear you're getting better!
Same story here, unfortunately. I think here only a part of the drugs have regulated prices. Also, a very limited supply of drugs is given to the retired people for free by the state. So I hear the retired who have health issues usually spend the most of their pensions for food and drugs. We have the smallest pensions in EU and that's due to the well known fact that during the years of the communism to democracy transition, 1989-90, the communists in power then stole all the money from the state pension fund and moved them to their private funds in Canada and Switzerland, mostly. Nobody went to prison for that, moreover, their children and grandchildren and still in the parliament today, creating laws and ruling the country. A long sad story :)

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Glad you are on the mend.. and eventually got home that morning. Looks like it wasn't your dominant hand with all the pictures you took. Heal quickly..

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Thank you! Luckily it is my left hand although having only one functioning is still a struggle

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I bet, nasty looking. Surviving accident one thing. Surviving ER hospital seemed worst.

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Oh @nikv, I am so, so sorry. Sorry that you had an accident and had to spend all that time waiting for the straightforward care you needed in a facility of nightmares. The biohazards in that room alone paint a tale of a system and people in crisis. Damn.

I'm glad your are safe at home, bandaged up, and hopefully have a cat or two chillin with you while you recover. Hope you heal fast!

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Thank you, I'm just grateful I could leave there. And yes, me cats are around.

I hope that you are going from strength to strength although my experience with severe flu a couple of years ago reminds me that it takes a while before you can do anything without getting totally out of breath. Take it easy!

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Oh... I'm sorry!
Get well!
I hope that your hand hurts less now, be careful!
My son spent the whole day yesterday and today in the hospital.
A ligament in his arm was torn and he will undergo surgery on February 15th.
Therefore, he had to be examined and take all sorts of tests.

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What a nightmare. When you hear stories like this you come to realize just how fortunate you are to have quality health care.

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Yes it is fortunate. Our public hospital was never so bad in the past

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Wow, how terrible the situation is.
I'm just not impressed anymore because here in Brazil it's no different.
It looked like the public hospital in my neighborhood.
The situation is really complicated around the world.
Our governments have to focus on health and education. The basic needs met.
I'm rooting for the recovery of your hand! When you brake in the rain, do it slowly!
To avoid aquaplaning and skidding. Health! hugs from Rio de Janeiro Brazil!

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Thank you. Yes, I would like to have the world's politicians shot

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Oh friend how sorry I am for your accident. I can see your fracture but with that cast in 21 days the fusion of the fractured bones will consolidate.
I hope you rest with your arm up so that the fingers do not swell.
Your hospital looks like my hospital used to look like 15 years ago. Now it doesn't look like anything anymore.

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Luckily it's not swelling much. I'm sorry to hear that things have become so bad in Venezuela, it seems like our neighbouring country in the North, Zimbawe. That place is also completely broken

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Yes, my friend, as long as the same people are rotating the positions responsible for the activities of running this disaster, nothing is going to improve here. Everything will be detrimental. My son is about to finish his studies and then, God willing, we will have to move to another country.
What good news that your hand is not swollen, I wish you the best.

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That seems to be what everyone has to do in the end. I wish you luck with that

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It is difficult, my friend, very difficult to do, but for my son's sake I must help him to move forward in a place where he will be stimulated with the possibility of living in a dignified way. Thank you.

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Oh my fucking god, excuse my language...

Tell me you didn't go to the public hospital in Joburg, you know there are still some good private ones, smaller though, and a few bucks more, but damn... I mean, if it's almost like they were all hired to discourage you to ever come back to the hospital.

I hope you're recovering fine, I am sorry I missed out on your post!

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(Edited)

Right now, I do not have money for X-rays and private care and public hospitals like HJH have always been more or less doable. The problem is the chaos caused by the fire at Charlotte Maxeke, which still doesn't have working casualty and no effort has been made to help the other hospitals cope. Some people deserve to be shot... I also feel really bad for the staff being forced to work under those conditions, they do actually try their best.

It's getting better thanks. Next week is round 2: cast removal. Should be fun, I'll take some books

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The problem is the chaos caused by the fire at Charlotte Maxeke, which still doesn't have working casualty and no effort has been made to help the other hospitals cope.

Shit you managed to stay calm in all this, I am sure it was a bit unsettling to say the least. I was showing your post to my wife, and we can relate because it was pretty much more or less like this a few times. We also got lucky a few times to come during calmer times, if there is such a thing in a hospital.

Good luck cast removal!

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Thanks! Yes, I'm sure can you relate although the sight of people sleeping in casualty because there are no hospital beds is new. I also expected that I'd be done in 4 hours, not 9.5. That was bad...

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