On Tuesday August 5, 2008 at 4:30pm, I walked into the emergency department at Trillium Care Centre on Queensway Avenue. I was suffering severe pain and pressure in my lower abdomen. I explained to the triage nurse that I was Type 1 diabetic with a renal transplant and was concerned that it was being rejected. I also confirmed that I was dehydrated, vomiting, had diarrhea and a fever. I proceeded through the registration process and was told to wait. After 2 hours the pain was unbearable and I asked my husband to notify the staff. He was told to go the triage nurse. He waited in line again, only to be told there was nothing that could be done. I was crying and shivering uncontrollably. I asked him to wheel me to the triage nurse once again, where I was denied any pain medication was told I would have to wait. Another hour passed, when I asked a staff member why it was taking so long to be seen by medical professionals. I told him I was in serious pain and was possibly experiencing kidney rejection. As he pointed to the triage team, he stated “they” believed this was not a case of rejection. I asked how they knew my creatinine levels. He replied that I had received my transplant 6 years ago, so therefore, it wasn’t rejection.

Nearly 6 hours after entering the emergency room, I was called to the “walk-in” side of the emergency department, where a doctor was shocked I had been sent. She considered my case serious and didn’t understand why I had waited so long and then was sent to the wrong area. I was severely dehydrated, in immense pain and shivering uncontrollably. Several nurses tried to take blood and insert an intravenous. It was difficult to say the least. I was admitted and spent 4 days in hospital undergoing intensive treatment for kidney infection among other things.

After all has been said and done, I want to understand how I was downgraded on the “waiting” list to see a medical professional. With my history of renal transplant and my symptoms, there should have been no hesitation to expedite my wait for medical care.

Gail Shipclark on 8/12/2008