COLUMN: Hip, hip…delay

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As decent as the hip recovery began, I ran into a bloody hiccup recently.

It was my first day of physiotherapy at Peach Physio. My wound was still leaking a little blood, something that was aggravated by my car ride home from the hospital. I knew another car trip would bother the wound on my left hip. The 33 staples were fine, but the wound just had a couple of small points where it continued to seep blood.

We changed the dressing, packed in some paper towels to soak up any anticipated slight leakage, and I went out the door.

Armed with my health card and the physiotherapy sheet from my hospital discharge papers, we arrived at Peach. I walked in and was immediately taken down to a room to fill out paperwork and then see the physiotherapist. 

Mary filled out the paperwork (legible handwriting versus my chicken scratch) as I sat on the edge of the physio bed, and then we met Yolla.

Not a minute into our conversation, we noticed something. I was leaking. I actually bled onto the bed and onto the floor.

You see, despite the fact I had a wound with 33 stables holding it closed, there was no pain. In fact, the nerves are still growing back, so there is very little sensation recognition.

I had no idea I’d bled like that.

Everyone scrambled to clean up and then examine what the heck was happening. Owner Steven came in to assist. He applied a lot of gauze to soak up the blood and advised that we go to the hospital.

Off we went to the emergency department.

Take a number…

Wait…

After about 25 minutes, we were seen by a great triage nurse, who pulled down my shorts, took a look at the wound, cleaned it up and packed the area with gauze, taped it up nicely and sent me back into the waiting room…to…wait.

We waited…for about three hours. I was seen by an incredible nurse practitioner named Curtis. He was polite, patient and efficient, cleaning up the wound, checking to make sure it was not infected, and explaining everything he was doing.

Finally, we headed home.

Three days later, I bled again, this time in the bathroom at home. My wife joked she’s a crime scene clean-up technician now after dealing with that mess.

A day later, Doc Turnbull, the fellow who did the surgery, saw me, and was not too concerned. He made sure I was off the blood thinners and got me home care, for which we are very grateful.

The treatment I received at the hospital both times, and the staff we encountered were great. But it is rather obvious during my ER visit that our provincial system is short-changing hospitals of personnel and we are at a time where the CKHA held a job fair just last week to try to fill a myriad of positions.

When you next are forced to wait in the emergency department, a word of advice: hate the situation, not the people. Again, we received top-notch treatment, delivered with compassion, and that was appreciated.

To Steven Peach and his team at Peach Physio, sorry for the scare and the mess. We’ll see you again soon.

UPDATE: The complications get even more interesting. Read next week’s column for more info.

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