2-20 The Continuing Saga

That’s the arrow pointing the way…

I landed in Brisbane around 6:30, Brisbane time. Then I started going through immigration. That went pretty quickly, though honestly I read my book through most of the line. I stopped in Duty Free shopping and bought a cheap digital camera. I didn’t bring one and some things just require documentation.

When I got out to Customs, I was appalled by the number of people. Please try to understand that the island of Vanuatu has about 8,000 people on it. The line for Customs was probably 400 people long. It went out of the zigzag and wrapped back around the baggage carrousels. I haven’t seen that many people in one place since I left New Zealand’s airport 6 months ago.
I got through the line, again I read my book for most of it. (Young Warriors edited by Tamora Pierce, if anyone cares.) I stopped at a mobile phone kiosk and bought a new phone. It was an expensive night. From there, I caught a taxi to the Brisbane Royal and Women’s Hospital. This place is huge. There are more people staffing the hospital than live on Pentecost. For those of you in the Cities, this is the HCMC of Brisbane and sprawls like it, too.
I checked into the ER around 8 or 8:30. Around 9, I was seen by triage. I was put in the fast track waiting room. I stayed there until 12:30 or so when I was brought to X-ray. I waited in the X-ray waiting room for another half hour, got an X-ray and went back to the fast track waiting room. I didn’t break any bones. Around 2:30 in the morning, I was put in a consultation room. I stayed there for another hour.
There were lots of signs, that one is above the bus station
Remember how I got up at 4 after about 4 hours of sleep? With that time difference, I was pushing 24 hours without sleep. I was in a place I didn’t want to be, worried about my hand and frustrated by being caught in the system. I was lonely and miserable.
By the time the nurse came in again, I was crying. She decided something had to be done with me, sooner rather than later and left. I sat by myself for another half an hour. The doc came in. I cried at her, too. They told me that the ortho doc would be in a 7 am and I had the choice of staying in the ER until then or going and checking into the hotel. It was 3:30 in the morning, I had to be back in under 4 hours. I figured I’d stay.
Then they took away my bed.
The ER was too busy to let someone like me use a bed when there were other people still waiting to be seen. I changed my mind. I checked out, they pulled the IV and I caught a cab to the hotel at 4am.
At the hotel, I took a shower and fell into bed. I slept off and on for an hour and a half. I got up a little after 6 when it was clear that I was too keyed up to sleep and it was time to get back to the ER.

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