Tuesday, July 22, 2008

Current Read

Angela's AshesAngela's Ashes, Frank McCourt

Another reason that I don't like going to the doctor

While I'm sure they're all very nice people, I don't like going to the doctor. In order to get me there, I must be afflicted with something that I know, without question, cannot be solved, soothed or healed by anyone else.

Today was one of those days.

Today was also one of those days where I was reminded why I don't like going to the doctor.

Almost two hours (and 3 magazines) after walking into the walk-in clinic, I was finally ushered into an observation room, which, I might add, looked like it could have used a cleaning and likely was home to more bacteria, germs or viruses than I brought with me. The nurse tells me to sit down then closes the door. I'm left to consider the fact that it's called an "observation room" and wonder if someone really is observing to see what this poor patient will do if left for much longer without actually being "observed" by a doctor.

Here's where it got good, though. The doctor walked in and the following conversation commenced:

Doctor: So how are you today?

Stacey: thinking - "that's a stupid question. Would I be at the Dr's office if I was fine?!"
out loud - "fine."

Doctor: And what can I help you with?

Stacey: I have a bit of a rash around my left eye and both eyes are burning.

Doctor: What kind of burning?

Stacey: Like you're really, really tired and they're really, really dry.

Doctor: So you're tired?

Stacey: No, my eyes are burning LIKE they're tired. (thought: oh forget this, let's go back to the obvious) There's a rash around my left eye.

Doctor (looking at my eye now): Yup.

Stacey: And?

Doctor: There's a rash there.

Stacey: Yup.

Doctor: Well, it's not serious.

Stacey (feigning shock): So my eye's not going to fall out?!

Doctor: Nope. (apparently he didn't catch that I wasn't serious!)

Stacey: Well, that's good. What is it?

Doctor: A rash.

Stacey (feeling somewhat exasperated): And? What can I do to make it go away?

Doctor: I'll give you some cream. Only use it till the rash goes away. Not all summer.

Stacey (wondering why he was now talking to me like the idiot): Okey dokey.

And, with prescription in hand, I walk out. Approximately 4 minutes after he'd walked into the observation room. Seriously.

As I was driving home, I thought of this Brian Regan sketch and found a transcription of it so that you, like me, could get a chuckle from it. Here goes nothing...

I actually just recently had to go to the Emergency Room, though and… I had some stomach virus thing. I almost called an ambulance. It’s weird if you’re considering calling an ambulance for yourself. You know? You call ambulances for other people. What are you supposed to say for yourself? Can you come get me? Yeah, I don’t feel so good. Just come on in, I’ll be lying on the floor.
I was looking at the phone thinking, “I don’t know how to do this.” I didn’t know what to do. It was at night, so I drove myself to the Emergency Room. That’s a nice relaxing drive. *whistles a tune* Noooo, after you. Merge, everybody merge. I’m only imploding.
So I pull up at the entrance to the Emergency Room. No valet parking. I mean, if that’s not the biggest oversight in our solar system… if there’s ever a time when you want to go, “can you park this because I need to collapse immediately?” But no, I’m circling around the parking lot trying to find a spot. “Can I park there, I think I’m gonna die?” “I’m dying too.” “OK, go ahead. I’ll go up a couple levels.” Unbelievable. I don’t care if you’re driving yourself or someone else to the Emergency Room, you still want to get out and run in with them. Are you supposed to drop somebody off and go park the car? “OK, you go in! Tell them you’re SHOT! Ask them if they validate!” Unbelievable.
So I finally park, you know. I go in to check in. They ask the most insulting question when you check into a hospital. “What seems to be the problem?” “What seems… ? Well it seems… it seems like everything in all my inside wants to be on my outside. But I’m no doctor.” What kind of condescending question…
So they check me in to my luxurious half room. There’s a curtain down the middle with a mystery patient on the other side. And he’s moaning over there. *Moans* I’m thinking, “man, they’re never going to help me with him moaning like that.” So I gotta out-moan him, you know? *moans louder* *answers with a louder moan* *moans even louder* *screams out a moan* “Quit moaning! We’re all hurting!” The whole floor is like a haunted choir. *moans again* It’s gotta be hell to work in this environment.
So I’m killing time writhing. The nurse finally comes in. “How are you doing tonight?” “I’m on a gurney. Do you have a pain killer or something? This is killing me.” So she goes, “how would you describe your pain?” *pause* “It’s killing me. I don’t know if you remember that part. Ouch.” What, are we playing that pyramid game? “Um. Excruciating. Horrific. Would rather have shards of glass in my eye. How do I convey this to you?” So she asks, “how would you rate your pain?” “Four stars. Two enthusiastic thumbs up!” She goes, “how would you rate it on a scale of one to ten with ten being the worst?” Well, you know saying a low number isn’t going to help you. “Oh, I’m a two… maybe the high one’s. If you could get me a baby aspirin and cut it in half, maybe a Flinstone vitamin and I’ll be out of your hair. You can go tend to all the threes and fours and such, if anyone’s saying such ridiculous numbers.” I couldn’t bring myself ten though, because I had heard that the worst pain a human can endure is getting the femur bone cracked in half. I don’t know if that’s true, but, I thought, if it is, they have exclusive rights to ten. Now I’m thinking, “what was I worried about? Is there like a femur ward in the hospital. They would have heard about me and hobbled into my room.” “Who the hell… had the AUDACITY… to say he was at a level ten?!? You know nothing about ten. Give me a sledgehammer, and let me show you what ten is all about, Mr. Tummy-ache!” How could I possibly… I can’t. So I thought, “I’ll say nine. Then I thought, no, childbirth. I better not try to compete with that.” And then I’m thinking, “you know what must be hell? Giving childbirth when your femur bone’s cracked in half.”
So I said, “I guess I’m an eight.” She goes, “OK, I’ll be back.” I’m like, “aw, I blew it. I ain’t getting nothing with eight.” But she surprised me, she comes in, she told me, “the doctor told me to give you morphine immediately.” So then I’m like, “morphine?? That’s the stuff they gave the guy in Saving Private Ryan just before he died… OK, I’m a four… I’m a zero, I’m a negative eleventeen.” So they gave me morphine. Wow, all I know is about fifteen minutes later, just for the hell of it, I was like, “I’m an eight again! Guess who’s an eight?” When they finally check me out, I’m walking down the hall, I’m going “say eight! Say eight! Say eight! Say eight! Happy eight day! Did you get some eight? Did you get any eight?” What am I throwing? I can’t throw a number… like Johnny Appleseed, “did you get any eight over there?” I don’t understand my own visuals. I’m here throwing numbers around. I’m fine now, I think, I dunno.

Friday, July 11, 2008

Another motivational poster...

Today was the final day of Journey's week long day camp. While I was only there for 2 days, I have to admit, I loved it. These last couple of weeks, between instructing swimming and doing things like daycamp, I've really been reminded just how much I love working with kids.

I love the energy and the innocence.

I love the way they try to please and are excited to learn new things.

I love how they live in the moment, free from grown up stress.

I love just how cute they are and all the funny things they say.

I love the way they love without judgement.

I love being able to be a positive influence on their lives.

It makes me excited for what this year, particularly working at Journey as Children's Minister.
This article was sent to me this week, right in the middle of Stampede. Seems like a "part 2" to my last post!

Stampede food gets a bad grade
Provided by: Sun Media
Jun. 24, 2008

There's the Stampede's brand-spanking new casino -- and then there are the food vendors on the midway.

The connection? Both offer Stampede-goers a chance to test their luck.

In one case, gamblers may lose their money; in the other, there's the potential to lose their lunch.

A Public Health Inspection report posted online paints an unpalatable picture of food safety at last year's Stampede, suggesting those who ate at the fair in 2007 may have been gambling with a queasy gut.

It wasn't just the odd violation or two: The report, on the Calgary Health Region website, shows a whopping 97% of the food kiosks visited by local inspectors were cited for food health infractions.

The health region conducted a total of 606 inspections during the 2007 Stampede, with 589 infractions recorded.

Of those, 148 infractions were for food temperature violations and improper handling, both harbingers of harmful bacteria such as salmonella and E. coli, which can cause diarrhea, fever, and vomiting.

"Temperature is a pretty critical infraction," said Chad Beegan, the health region's co-ordinator of Environmental Health.

"If food is left out at improper temperatures, that's when pathogens can proliferate and make somebody sick."

In 119 cases, health inspectors recorded poor cleaning methods, involving dish washing and surface sanitizing.

Another 73 cases were connected to hand-washing, including lack of proper facilities, and 54 infractions were related to food storage.

The remainder of the infractions were for miscellaneous issues, with no specifics given.

The inspections, conducted by four full-time Public Health Inspectors and a team of helpers, resulted in one closure order and 16 cases of food being destroyed, after it was deemed a danger to the public.

The report sounds grim, but Stampede officials say the number of complaints from the public is actually a better reflection of how midway food is sitting with people who chose to eat there.

In 2007, only three public complaints were made to the Stampede: One for improper temperature, one for a stench near a food booth, and one for illness allegedly caused by a tainted corn dog.

Stampede spokesman Doug Fraser says three complaints out of 1.2-million visitors is an outstanding record.

"Three complaints is a better number to look at -- three complaints over 10 days is not bad," said Fraser.

But Fraser said the Stampede takes the health inspection report seriously, and is working with the Calgary Health Region to keep all food sold on the grounds safe.

"We take the safety and well-being of the public as a high priority," said Fraser.

"They could bump the number of inspections up to 1,000 and we would welcome that."

In 2006, 450 inspections were carried out and 250 infractions reportedly found.

The health region holds mandatory two-hour food safety seminars for Stampede workers each year, training nearly 1,400 people in 2007.

And this year, in a bid to reduce food-temperature infractions, the Stampede and CHR will require kiosks to fill out a temperature log, on which thermometer readings will be recorded every four hours.

"The high number of temperature infractions highlights the need for a new strategy," said Beegan.

He says the inspection report is posted as a service to Calgarians, and similar infractions can occur in restaurants throughout the city, not just at Stampede.

The important part, said Beegan, is ensuring mistakes are corrected.

"If there is any concern, our inspectors address them on site, and we work with the operators," said Beegan.

"We co-operate with them to correct the problem.

Despite his assurances of health inspectors keeping a close guard on public health, the real test is whether Beegan risks eating the midway food himself.

"Absolutely -- I can't get away from those corn dogs," he said.

So, with that in mind, which deep fried delicacy will you test your luck on?