First taste of the Canadian medical system

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Wednesday was an interesting time for me. I am deeply, deeply grateful
to Leigh Honeywell and Jed Smith, who took me to the hospital and
stayed with me. Here's what happened:

I fell while trying to get off my bike. I must've slipped or misjudged
the height because this was my first time to ride it wearing black
school schoes instead of hiking shoes. Fortunately, I was near
Graduate House when this happened, and I limped to my room to pick up
something I'd forgotten.

I headed back down and decided to brave the bike again so that I could
go to the bank. After a block of much pain, I decided that biking was
probably not the best way to travel. I headed back, found out that I
was bleeding, and did my best to deal with it. It wouldn't stop,

I texted Jed to tell him that I couldn't make it to samba because of
the bike accident. I also told a couple of friends who biked, just in
case they had any advice. One of those was Leigh, who turned out to be
on campus taking a class on Java exceptions. Upon hearing of my
distress, she left the class and headed to Graduate House in order to
help me get to the hospital.

I left out the specifics of the accident because it was a rather
embarrassing thing, but Jed insisted that I keep him updated. I told
him that Leigh was taking me to the hospital and that everything would
be fine. We took a cab to Western, and Jed met us there after a short

The Canadian medical system is good, but the lack of doctors makes
things a bit slow. That said, I was glad that I didn't have anything
serious enough to make the triage nurse increase my priority. Having
company certainly helped pass the time. =)

The examination was a bit brutal, though. I cried and hyperventilated
from the pain, losing a contact lens in the process. They gave me a
painkiller afterwards. (Hmm, might have been a better idea to do the
painkiller before the examination…)

The resident doctor told me that it was a routine injury and nothing
to worry about, although he referred me to a Mount Sinai Hospital so
that a specialist could make sure that everything was all right. The
doctor told me that the next few days would be rather painful, though,
so I texted Quinn Fung, asking her to e-mail all the people I had on
my schedule.

We took a cab to Mount Sinai and waited for a few hours. The
painkiller helped, and the company of friends made it easy for me to
pass the time.

I got admitted to the emergency room at around midnight. I talked to
one of the ER staff about what happened, and then I dozed on and off
while waiting for the specialist. I woke up when Jed came in. He said
that Leigh had to leave already (it was way past midnight then!), and
he also brought some food. I didn't have much appetite, though.

The specialist came at around 3:00. The preliminary exam was still too
painful for me, so they stuck an IV into me and gave me a stronger
painkiller. It made me drowsy, and when I woke up again they had
finished with everything and reassured me that nothing needed
stitching or patching up. Jed stepped out when they did the
examination, but remembered the instructions that the ER staff gave
him. That was good as I couldn't remember the examination at all.

So that's my first experience of the Canadian medical system. I'm
really, really glad that friends were there to help me navigate the
system and to hold my hand throughout the process. Big shout out goes
to Leigh and Jed, who saw me at my worst and stuck around anyway… =)

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