Tuesday, September 13, 2011


There's a scene in one of my favourite films, Star Wars, where Indiana Jones is describing how clueless his colleague is by saying, "You know Marcus.  He once got lost in his own museum".  Well - today I got lost in my own Emergency Department.

In my defence, it was only my second day.  Plus, there are extensive renovations happening so there are temporary walls being flung up that seem to move on a daily basis, opening up mysterious corridors haunted by bull-headed freaks (sorry - by surgeons) or sealing up unwary strangers inside wall cavities to be entombed forever. 

Also, when I was given a tour yesterday I got the impression there was (currently) only an A side and a E side (don't ask me what happened to sides B,C and D.  Perhaps a mad geometer proved them to have zero length, or perhaps they got together with Type 3 renal tubular acidosis and ran away to join the circus).  But it turns out that the A side has two halves which look really similar, like the Olson twins, so I went to the wrong one and walked around it several times looking like someone on one of Escher's endless staircases.

Plus, I was tired.

It's not the first time I've gotten lost (or as I prefer to think of it, afflicted by momentary topographical ambiguity) but it was the most embarrassing.  Not only did I run into two of my Esteemed Colleagues who had to free me from where I had become wedged behind a vending machine, I had in tow an unfortunate and quite distressed woman whom I was attempting to take to her husband who was a patient.  So at first I got just a bit sheepish when I couldn't find his bed number.  Then I got to side A part 2 and located his bed, flung back the curtain with a dramatic flourish, only to find it occupied by a complete stranger.  Awkward!

I recruited the help of some bemused nurses who checked the compooters and showed me that while we'd been careening around in circles in the wrong area, my guy had been transferred to the E side, which is where we'd come from.  It didn't take me too long to find our way back but I could only do it leaving the ED and starting again as if I was arriving in the morning.

Tomorrow I'm taking in a bag of breadcrumbs.


JdR said...

Good plan. Once you're lost, you can eat the breadcrumbs.

Vonbon said...

They killed off D side? That makes no sense! There was an A side for probably admissions and a D side for possible discharge. Where do the not so seriously broken people go now?

PTR said...

I don't think they actually killed off D side. I suspect I just had no idea.

Or maybe they did kill it. It could be a whole new season of Dallas - Who Killed D Side?