Off The Grid

Living off the Grid on a west coast island

Ready to go


I have spent a lot of time in hospitals waiting. Waiting  for doctors, for nurses, for admitting and discharge. I have waited in the emergency ward of four hospitals with three different patients. I have waited for day surgeries, night surgeries and a long time ago we waited for a heart. I have learned to occupy my time alone.

I realize this is supposed to be a blog about living off grid on an island. Today it will likely sound more like Ellie May Granny Clampett’s trip to the big city. I don’t remember Jed ever having kidney stones but if he did……

E was admitted for day surgery at VGH at 7:15. It is 7:34 and I have settled into a corner of the hospital with my coffee and purse…There is an Asian man beside me who has taken the attention of the older Caucasian woman beside him. His first question for her was “How much do you pay for one chicken”… Apparently she pays too much. After he told her where she should be buying her chicken he went on to explain the best way to cook the chicken and indeed all meats… He is on beef right now..

It seemed like a good time to both clean out my purse and discourage any attention he may want to turn on me. I found the new nail polish AW gave me at Christmas and my iPad. Painting my toenails should probably wait until I get home.. I have chosen instead to bring out my iPad and talk to you.

As I was waiting for my coffee I browsed the pamphlet/magazine rack beside the admitting desk of the cities largest hospital. Beside useful offerings like This Could Save your Life, Living with Hep C, and Living with COPD was an unusual choice….. Today’s Bride.

E just called from downstairs he will be ready at noon.. It’s 7:49… The Asian man beside me is now analyzing his new friends cabbage roll recipie.. He thinks she needs a bay leaf.

I play scrabble on line with three friends.. I took my turns but in truth I was distracted with the whole cooking pork in mustard discussion beside me and I didn’t give my words enough thought. I am losing all three games.

Went for a walk around the hospital.. If there is ever a good time for an emergency it is Wednesday morning. This cities largest emergency room is empty.. Empty… I kept walking. I bought a newspaper for the NY Times Crossword and a gardening magazine.. Back to the coffee lounge. It is 10:04.

The woman beside me is talking on the phone with a friend trying to track down a cauliflower.. Apparently there are none in the city. It seems Kins sold out yesterday in two hours.. She is going to try Oakridge.

Stuck on the crossword… Sweet white wine from Bordeaux. I drink dry reds..

Men and women in scrubs surround me. ID badges and stethoscopes adorn their necks while they eat their snacks out of Tupperware containers from home. It occurs to me that scrubs would be a comfortable option to wear when I work in my garden… I turn to my gardening magazine… Two excellent ideas for our property.  Money charged for magazine well spent.

Well it is 11:30.. I will head down and wait outside day surgery. Thanks for visiting with me. E might be early and I want to be there when he is ready to go

Author: Off Grid Islanders

We are a retired couple living on an off grid island on the West Coast

9 thoughts on “Ready to go

  1. Been there. Done that. Hate every minute of it. Hate it more than I should. Why is the service so slow? Doesn’t emergency mean the same to them and me? Where is the care? But, I have been in their shoes, too. A never ending flow. It never stops. I burned out. I quit. I didn’t care either by that point. Treat myself now. Whenever remotely possible. Not stones, tho. Some things need help. You and especially E have my empathy, sympathy and best wishes.

    • Thanks all well and good.. We have only ever experienced incredible care… From the nurses to the surgeons.. He is a testament to the system working…. I don’t mind my waiting game.. Beats the hell out of being the patient 🙂

  2. No beuno on the kidney stones. I hoe he gets out early and you both get back to the island to recoup.

  3. Keeping my fingers crossed for an excellent outcome. Give him my best. You guys rock!

  4. Ha… I think my percentage is 38 in the win category… :). See you soon……

  5. How is it you can make even a boring trip to a waiting room in a hospital sound interesting? You are a great writer. I am glad to hear everything went well and hope I has enough to morphine to keep him happy for a bit! See you soon.

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