Friday, August 22, 2008

Hurry up and wait--Guest blog by John Dowson


A lot of good stuff comes into this space. I was just thinking of E A. Monroe's sketches about childhood in Oklahoma, and on re-reading, I was still charmed.


Meanwhile, I have been getting stuff from one John Dowson whom I have inveigled to read some works of another, Alfred Warkertin, an old publisher turned writer. John, unsertandably is very busy as he has an insurance business to attend to while not writing for a local magazine.


Myself I have not always been a very good editor. You gotta finangle, finesse, sometimes manipulate to have your publication look good. I am kind of a simple guy whose tangled webs can be seen right through, but I really am trying to lean on John Dowson a bit to get him to edit Mr.
Warkertin's stories.


So partially, I am putting up John's blog here to perhaps score brownie points so Alfred Warkertin's submissions can be edited by John.


Egad. The word transparency is improperly used in politics.


To me, transparency is just a peek at the other guy's simplemindedness.


Never lay your cards on the table, I say, though, heh, with this act I am laying my cards on the table.

The way out of tragedy says Dr. Lionel Trilling, is intelligence and right intention.


I am not sure if I have intelligence, but I think my intention is right to put the works of both John Dowson and Alfred Warkertin forward.


I identify with Afred Warkertin. He is just a few years older than me, but, as in the case of Norman Mailer, Alfred, (I opine anyway) has come across "The Great Bitch", which Mailerl calls ones unattainable novel. The Great Bitch tends to elude and stymie us.

Well, I once got a piece out of The "Great Bitch" and I wish both John Dowson and Alfred Warkertin all the luck in the world when it comes to novel writing.

I know what it feels like to have ones novel "go to naught"; been there and it takes a lot of fixing to get back on track, to get that feeling of artistic power back.

Thank God I went to a technical university and I knew some of the ways...Like disguising a short story within an editorial. What the hell

The Tragicall Hip: "Don't worry what the poets are doing".


Do your stuff. You might even get paid.


Hell, John Dowson. If you can find the time to fix Alfred's work...you might even get paid.


So without forther perigrination, here is John's column, originally publishedby York North News, Newmarket ON.





Hurry up and wait
By John Dowson January, 22 2008

In January I fell and injured myself so I went to the Emergency Ward at Southlake Regional Health centre for treatment. The building is no longer called a hospital it’s a “Health centre”, yet everyone still calls it a hospital and to everybody the emergency ward is in the hospital not the health centre. No one says “I’m going to the Health centre”, it just doesn’t sound serious. If you said ‘I’m in the hospital” then it must be serious, but if you said “I’m in the health centre” it just doesn’t sound serious, it could mean you’re in a sanitarium or rest home it’s just not the same as being in a hospital. People who are seriously ill or injured people don’t stay overnight in a” health Centre” they stay overnight in a “hospital”, but I digress more about that later.

It was late in the evening when I fell so we decided to go to the Emergency ward to see if any bones had been broken. I expected the usual 8 or 12 hour wait and was going to bring a 1000 page book to read, but I was in to much pain to think of it. We got to the “hospital” at 10.40 pm. I was quickly interviewed and x-rayed and the diagnosis was two broken ribs. I was discharged at 12.10 am two and a half hours after I arrived. My wife had paid the $12 maximum parking fee in anticipation of the long wait and we just couldn’t believe it took only two and a half hours. Three days after the accident my doctor suggested I return to the emergency ward, where my records were, to find out if there was air between my lung and ribcage. During the admittance process another patient told the nurse that she had been referred to the emergency ward by her doctor. I discovered that many of the emergency ward patients, and there were a lot of us, had also been referred to the emergency ward by their doctor or medical clinic. I was told that this is standard practice. It’s no wonder the emergency wards are so crowded and the waiting times are long. This time my wait time was up to standard. I was discharged seven and a half hours after I arrived. The staff was very considerate though, and every two hours we were called to admittance for blood pressure and pulse readings, which we compared between ourselves. In addition, to my surprise, a week after my release I was contacted at home by an emergency ward staff member who inquired about my condition. My major concern with long wait times in the emergency ward is the lack of good reading material. I noticed that old hands who were use to emergency ward waits had brought books to read.

All this was in stark contrast to the private health clinic where my wife had her colonoscopy, which is a pain in the rear end. Calming music was piped into a reception area doted with comfortable recliners, free coffee/tea and plenty of good reading material. Unfortunately her procedure did not go well. In spite of the medication she suffered extreme pain which we later found out was a medical condition she was unaware of. During her recovery none of the doctors, attendants or staff offered her any sympathy or concern for her condition and we didn’t discover the medical condition until we forced the clinic to read the results of her medical report to her. You see the clinic only tested for cancer, polyps and bowel conditions, nothing else. That’s like getting a lube job for your car, and then the front end falls off after you leave the shop and they say “oh we saw that problem, but we only do lube jobs not front ends, so we didn’t tell you” I’ve seen the face of private medicine and all I can say is that it’s pretty ugly.

17 comments:

Charles Gramlich said...

I've read a lot of books in hospitals, emergency rooms or otherwise. Only occassionally was it for me. And often when it was for me I didn't feel a lot like reading.

ea monroe said...

I'm delighted you are still charmed by my small town capers I used to post, Ivan! ;-) I'm still working on a plot to pull them together. Maybe it's lurking in the "treasure maps" we used to make and stash about town?

My dad's idea of kid-sitting was setting us loose in the hospital while he went off and made his rounds. ~Liz

benjibopper said...

accompanying an injured woman to the hospital is a great way to win her heart.

ivan@creativewriting.ca said...

Charles,
Yep. That je suis mauduit feeling when it's you who's having the procedure.

Spells in doctor's offices offer a slightly better library compared hospital emergency waiting rooms.

In doctor's offices you get the Atlantic and Harper's while in the waiting room you might get the National Enquirer or People Magazine.

...I don't give a sweet *&^* about Jessica Simpson's entry into real estate or someting... Or whom she's banging, male or female.

Donnetta Lee said...

Comment on the story: Amen.
Donnetta

ivan@creativewriting.ca said...

Donnetta,

John Dowson will like that.

ivan@creativewriting.ca said...

Liz,

Yeah. Those treasure maps. :)

ivan@creativewriting.ca said...

Benji,

Or women accompanying us when we are sick.

But we men are more often thick than sick. We don't immediately get it that the woman accompanying us will be subject to hospital and local gossip, her husband will find out, and one is a horse's ass not to figure out that the woman rally likes you.

Lana Gramlich said...

To me, transparency is just a peek at the other guy's simplemindedness.

Ain't it the truth! <:\

Anonymous said...

problem is,far too many vampires come into emergencies,treating the whole scenario like some private/personal health spa...go home,drink plenty of plasma,and lay off the garlic...by the way,vampires in Wilno?...there used to be lots of scary, tight Polish buns with long sharp claws...vampires over Foymount for sure...actually,am convinced there were even some living there...you did get your teeth into some wild ventures,kid...next project is to find out if any vampires work in emergency sections...help,I'm being triaged by a vampire!...

ivan@creativewriting.ca said...

Anonymous,

Hi A.E B.

Vampires at emergency looking for plasma? The mind boggles. :)

ivan@creativewriting.ca said...

Lana,

Through thick and thin.

I have had too many bangs on the head to be too superior, but can you believe the stupidity of some people?
How do they live?

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