Speak Up or Forever Hold Your Peace…

After the echo, approx 2 hours later, I had a meeting with the Cardiac Surgeon at the Heart Centre.

The Heart Ctr is not on the hospital grounds proper, but about a block away. So rather than leave the choice parking I got at 6:30, I just sat in the car and read, closing my eyes occasionally.

I left the car to head up the block for my appointment and found I needed to use the bathroom. Getting off the elevator and walking to the Heart Ctr, down a short hallway before you get to the Clinic, there is a bathroom, I turned the corner to go in and there was water pouring out from under the door, along with about an inch of water already soaking the carpet. I tried the door – it was locked, but you could still hear the water running.

Really, do people even do that anymore, plug the sink, lock the door and leave. I don’t even think they do that in High School anymore, maybe elementary school but it’s just not cool, kids are way more sophisticated and have more elaborate pranks, so I figured that leaves some disgruntled patient or a vindictive staff member.

Who is even in this medical building that would do such a thing? I left and went into the clinic, asked if they had another bathroom and told them about the growing water damage next door, slowly creeping out to meet the main hallway. I went to the bathroom and about 2 minutes later as I was coming out – full-scale emergency, all these doctors and nurses are blowing down the hall with all this equipment.

Turns out it wasn’t so dumb punk that flooded the bathroom, it was some middle-aged guy – a patient at the heart centre – well, basically his heart exploded in the bathroom and he was lying passed out for almost 2 hours, based on when he left his appointment earlier – his head hit the sink, blood all over – the whole scene…. firemen, paramedics, doctors, nurses, chaos…

Who knows how long he would have been in there before someone noticed him, as luck would have it, it was me. There were some pats on the back and thank-you’s sent my way and to be honest it felt pretty darn good, even something as simple as drawing attention to the water situation was enough involvement.

Some days I might not have even mentioned it, just cursed the idiots who did it and let someone else worry about it. For whatever reason I said something that day and it saved a guys life. Later in the waiting room, several people mentioned seeing the water in the hallway and just assuming a pipe had burst or something but they never said a word to anyone. I did and it made me feel pretty bloody good, knowing I was the reason he was discovered when he was…



Then he died.

The mood in the whole office shifted, it was like the air in the Clinic was slowly being sucked out… and in its place a somber tension seeped in to replace it, a not so subtle reminder that any one of the patients in the Heart Centre could easily be in similar distress at any given moment.

It changed the doctors and nurses moods, even the secretaries and certainly all the patients waiting in the lobby – normally, you get a bit of a feeling like you are just a number, the patient at 10AM or whatever – but this seemed to bring into sharp focus to all the staff that we are actual people walking in there everyday to see them and hopefully avoiding the same fate as that poor guy.

It was the most compassionate, caring and focused I had ever seen the staff. I’ve been to the Heart Centre probably 15 or 20 times – not to say they don’t care, I’m sure they do, but the whole episode just made everything – different.

OK enough for today, tomorrow we’ll talk about my actual appointment and what’s up in the next few months for me… two words, new drugs!!!!

Have a great day.