My left eye has been hurting all day. It feels like there's something in it, stabbing my eyeball every time I blink. After dinner tonight, I had had enough. I was going to St. Joseph's Health Centre to find out what the heck was in my eye.
I figured I'd have to wait a few hours while more serious ailments jumped ahead of me in emergency. You can't get a Blackberry signal inside St. Joe's, so I decided to write myself a note. Here's what I wrote while I waited to see a doctor.
I have a long relationship with St. Joes. I was born there, my first born spent 10 days there in the NICU ward and another 5 with pneumonia, and I've had several broken bones and one seperated shoulder treated there. Its my go-to hospital, and luckily I haven't needed it more often.
It seems I always need emerge at night. I'm almost never here during working hours. At night, the colourful people collect in the halls of St. Joe's and I watch them as if watching a glorious symphony.
There's always a handful of drunks sleeping one off, and the later at night you're here, the more of these folks you'll see. St. Joe's is located in Parkdale, a magnet of sorts for the colourful people. I prefer to think of it as a neighbourhood with character.
The wait to see a doc can be lengthy, but the staff are always caring and professional with just the right sense of humour. They know their stuff, and they do everything possible to make your wait as short as possible.
I'm settled in now, it's been 30 minutes and I'm ready to wait a few more hours, but I don't mind. My left eye is killing me, and I know a good diagnosis and proper treatment is imminent.
Less than 5 minutes after writing that last sentence, a doctor had put orange dye in my eye and was examining me for lacerations. He found several, assured me there was no permanent damage, prescribed ointment and pain killers and encouraged me to return on Thursday for a follow-up examination.
35 minutes.... the shortest emergency room visit of my life. It's like ordering a pizza.