Issue 16, February 8 - February 21, 2017
Firstly my apologies for missing out on the last issue. Our team was still in the holiday mood and some things are just unavoidable. But we are back in February, with the newspaper on track to publish every alternate Wednesday henceforth.
Few things have happened since the last time we talked. Most notably, the US has a new President. With all the sentimental send offs that Barack Obama got, somebody forgot to point out that maybe, just maybe, he should have done more for blue collar America. How disfranchised did they felt that they had to elect somebody like Trump as their leader?
New Zealand will have its own general election in eight months time, and immigration will prove to be a hot-button issue, no doubt. My wish is that we come out much saner and wiser after September 23, than what our friends in US did!
Hopefully all of you had nice holidays. I certainly did. Except for one unpleasant experience, which I feel obliged to share.
On January 3, our family took a trip to the West Coast via Arthur’s Pass. The idea was to spent few days in Greymouth and Westport, and see the famed Punakaiki Pancake Rocks and Blowholes. As luck would have it, by the time we reached Greymouth in the evening, I had started showing symptoms of conjunctivitis. By 12.30am, it became so acute that I just couldn’t open my eyes.
Unable to bear the pain, I told my wife to call 111 and ask if there is any emergency department open near by. The operator promptly connected her to the A & E at Greymouth Hospital.
To our surprise, the nurse at A & E told my wife that it’s better that I take a panadol and try sleeping as the waiting time at the hospital would be at least six hours. “And by that time, it will be morning and the GPs will be open as well. So why to come here and wait. It’s better he tries sleeping at whatever place you are staying,” the nurse said before putting the phone down.
Now for a six hours waiting time, we thought, the A & E must be having at least 25 patients in the queue right now. With the ongoing holidays and the small population of Greymouth, it seemed highly unlikely. Also since our holiday park was only five minutes drive from the Hospital, we decided to take a chance and go to the A & E nevertheless.
And surprise, surprise, when we reached there, the reception had no waiting patients at all. We were the only ones. The same nurse who had just talked to my wife was there though. “Oh, you came. Ok, since you are here, I will call the doctor,” she said while going inside to call the doctor.
Since we had a long day and I was in too much pain, we didn’t say anything. The doctor came, saw the eyes, gave me the medicines, and by 1am, I was back in bed with the treatment already started. So much for the six hours wait!
Now, I do understand that hospitals need to discourage people going to the A & E for minor illnesses as it may result in compromising those who need urgent attention.
I am not sure what happened with me falls into that category.