Someone asked a question on Reddit today about local UCC’s – in medical terms, that means Urgent Care Centres. Our wait times are so bad here that if you have a minor ailment, you can call a UCC centre or just walk in. They can do things like Xrays or check to see if you need to go to the ER.
In the last ten years, I had to go to the UCC centre twice – and they were both terrible experiences. I typed out my response in my local sub but deleted and decided to share it here instead.
The first time I went – my doctor thought I had a blood clot. I had all the warning signs. She said to get thee to an ER. Not wanting to spend six hours while doubled over in pain (leg swelling massively, shaking, pain in the leg) – I took myself to the northside UCC. Anyway, it turned out NOT to be a blood clot but I spent twelve hours in the bloody ER so they could run every test on me – including STD checks even though I had been with the same partner for five years.
They were clean, by the way. For anyone wondering.
Fast forward to a few years ago at my old condo. It was the last year I was at the condo – maybe it was an omen. My neighbour started a grease fire the day before New Year’s Eve and our building was evacuated. Me and smoke do not get along well. Within a couple of days, I had a bad sinus infection.
We’re talking ears plugged, severe vertigo, the whole nine years. I spent that first night at a friend’s house – thank god. It was minus 30C out. That’s right. Minus 30 degrees. I couldn’t even pack up a toothbrush or anything.
A few days later, I’m back at home. Sick as a dog. My vertigo is just shot to hell. I’m barely able to stand. I stumble to the kitchen and fetch myself some Sinutab and a gallon of water and head back to the bedroom.
Well, this is where I fuck up.
I stopped at the bathroom which was next to the master bedroom – a few feet away. My head is so foggy, I am seeing double. I hug the wall and find my way blindly to my bed.
At least, I thought it was my bed. It was instead, my bedside dresser. A two drawer thing from Ikea that I assembled myself. So, it wasn’t very sturdy at all.
I leaned down and pressed my weight on it. That’s when I realized my fuck up. Excuse my language. I felt the thing wobble but it was too late. My legs turned to jello and I felt myself falling to the ground in the dark.
It was like one of those slow motion things where you see it happening but you can’t stop it. I cried out. I’m sure my neighbours heard my scream. Everything sounded muffled in my own sinus fueled world. My brain felt ten times its normal size.
I went crashing to the floor. My dresser came with me. And it landed right on me. That’s right. The whole thing – lamp and clock came tumbling down with me.
I cried. Whimpered. Wiped away my pride and crawled into bed and passed out. But shit. When I woke up the next morning – I felt the pain. There was a massive bruise along my funny bone and a huge almost gashlike bruise on my leg.
Should I go to the ER? I thought to myself. Nope. I’d rather die. I put it off for a few days.
A week later, my head is still fuzzy. I’m still seeing double. My brain feels like it’s going to explore. My ears are ringing. And my arm is throbbing like nothing I’ve ever felt. I was convinced – I had broken it.
So, I hauled my ass, and my credit card, hailed a taxi and went down to the northside UCC. It didn’t take long to get in – just like the last time. But the nurse came up to me, looked at my size and said.
“You must have diabetes, you don’t just fall for no reason. Hold out your finger,” she said. I did without thinking and she pricked my finger for a blood test.
I legit freaked out on her. “I don’t have diabetes. I never have. I fell because I’m sick with a sinus infection.”
I never saw her again. I was escorted to the tiny bed they had for me while I waited THREE hours for an Xray. That’s right. THREE hours.
The doctor finally came into see me. I was taken into this tiny little room with a privacy curtain. No bed. He sits down in front of my. I can see a woman across from me who looks as frustrated as I do talking to another nurse.
“How did this happen?” he said.
“I told you,” I was mad by this point. “I have a bad sinus infection. I got dizzy. I fell. Can’t you hear it in my voice?”
He stared at me blankly.
“How did this really happen? You can tell me. You don’t just fall for no reason.”
This is where I lost my shit. I worked for AHS at the time and knew he was out of line and acting very unprofessionally.
“I’m single. I live alone.” (Sort of true, my ex and I were in an off phase)
He took a step back from me and I raised my voice again. Which is hard to do when you’re sick.
“I’m not here because of domestic violence. If you just did your damn job, and listened to me, I fell because I’m sick. I have vertigo. I got dizzy. What other damned proof do you need? I’m not pregnant. I don’t have a STD’s. And no, I don’t have diabetes. You shouldn’t judge someone based solely on their weight.”
And that wasnt enough because I felt violated at this point.
“I work for AHS and I know that this is not right. This is unprofessional. And you bet that I’m going to put in a complaint. Now, can you check to see if my arm is broken or not?”
I’ve never seen a doctor move so fast.
An hour later, an Xray later, he came into my room very quietly with a tensor bandage. No apology though.
He wouldn’t look me in the eye. Just wrapped up my bandage and gave me meds for the infection.
“No one falls for no reason,” he said quietly to me.
I just looked at him with disbelief and said, “Maybe your ears are plugged like mine. Because you haven’t heard a damn thing I’ve said.”
And so, that is my experience with UCC’s centre.
Would I go back? Nope. Not even if I was dying.
I’d rather wait in an emergency room for twelve hours – because at least for the most part, in my experience, the doctors there act professionally.
I get that many of his patients were victims of abuse – or domestic violence. But seriously. How many times do you have tell them the truth for them to listen and take you seriously?
I definitely reported him for being unprofessional. Nothing was ever done about it though.