Friday, October 15, 2010


My children like to chatter...a lot. I have come to learn that they are verbally advanced for their 2 years, but I assume it's because they are twins and constantly have someone else to talk with. And because they are so ridiculously adorable they always attract attention when we are out and about. Being the flirts that they are they respond to this attention by saying "hi" and "bye" to everyone. But since they don't know everyone's name, the general public will hear "hi man" or "hi lady" as we pass by. This becomes a bit awkward when you see individuals whose appearances don't fit into the typical gender classifications. For example, a person with long hair will sometimes have a penis making them a man. A two-year old doesn't always get this concept.

We were at the grocery store the other day and heading through the checkout. I should have looked a the cashier first because I could sense a very awkward situation approaching. The person was very slight with long hair and feminine feature...and a large adams apple. Yep. A dude. A girly looking one, but a dude nonetheless. And being the friendly person he is, my one son smiled, waved and called out "hi lady!". Great. I leaned over to him and quietly whispered "that's a man honey. He sort of looks like a lady but he's a man". My son thought for a moment, smiled again, waved and then called out "hi ladyman". Wow. Awkward!

Tuesday, October 5, 2010

Is This An Emergency?

I love how people view the emergency services in our health care system.

If your doctor calls ahead - then it must be an emergency. Wrong! It just means that your family doctor is too lazy to treat you properly or is sick and tired of you whining about your problem and is dumping you off on us. Your belly pain for 3 months is still not an emergency even if you doctor has sent you in with a note or called ahead. The same principle applies to TeleHealth. Believe it or not, having a headache does not mean you have an intercranial hemorrhage and having a cough does not mean you are on the verge of respiratory distress. And I don't care if the TeleHealth nurse said they were going to fax something to me. I still need to triage you, assess you and 99.9% of the time you will have to wait just like everyone else.

If you arrive by ambulance - then it must be an emergency. Wrong! It just means that you are hoping that you will be seen by a doctor sooner. And can you please explain to me why your five other family members who followed you in with their cars were unable to bring you and your sore leg (that you incidentally took Advil for after the ambulance arrived) were unable to bring you? Sorry, but you will now spend the next several hours being babysat by paramedics who could be out dealing with individuals having chest pain or getting into serious accidents which your entourage waits for you in the waiting room because the doctor is too busy dealing with real emergencies like children who can't breathe and...wait...what's that? Your leg feels better? As in "the Advil I took after the ambulance arrived is working" feels better? Well there's a shocker!

If you come in with a problem that has been bothering you for two years and you had some time to kill this evening - then it must be an emergency. Wrong! This is something that your family doctor should be dealing with. This is obviously not a life threatening problem if it has been going on for two years...and tonight you are here because it just won't go away. So please stop asking me how long the wait is (you are obviously very patient if you have waited two years to have it investigated), don't assume that we are going to do MRIs, CTs, ultrasounds, etc. in the next two hours and diagnose you because those tests are reserved for patients with true emergent problems and when the doctor orders you a needle full of something to temporarily help your problem, don't freak out on me and tell me how much you hate needles. You should have thought of that over the last two years when you had the opportunity to take the white pills known as Tylenol sitting in your cupboard at home.

There. Rant done.