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22 November 2009

Elective Week Four and Eddie is Destroyed

I am almost finished my elective here in Bundaberg. Both Rob and I are counting down the hours...70 to go.....
I have finished working with the Palliative Care team, and I spent a week in the Emergency Department. Most of what you see in emergency is NON-Emergencies. But some of the cases are quite exciting. We've had a few car crash victims, a few drug overdoses, and more than a few alcohol intoxications. They have a very slick system to bring people in from all over the Wide Bay area (it would take 3-4 hours to drive from one end to the other of the area this hospital services). They have a helicopter pad right next to the emergency department, and the Royal Flying Doctors uses the airstrip next door.
A lot of people have the same problem they have back in Alberta- no family doc, or can't get in to be seen in a timely manner. So we deal with a number of things that could be taken care of by a GP, but if ignored could become very serious, like bladder infections, debris in eyeballs, stitches, etc. Today I learned to use a slit lamp (to look for things stuck to the surface of the eye. We had 5 cases Thursday morning of sore left eyes. Weird.) I have had a good run here, but I am finding it increasingly difficult to stay in the moment. I just want to be off that plane and back with my sweetie and family and friends.

I arrived back in Brisbane on Friday. I ran a few errands and gave myself the night off. Saturday had a few more errands to run: pick up some ebay purchases, pick up my lost mobile phone, drop the cat off at the kennel in Logan (about 30 km away) and get down to packing. Life had other plans. Rounding the corner from Ann St to Brunswick street, I braked to meet the red light. Nothing happened. NOTHING! Eddie's brakes had failed. I did not want to hit the car in front of me and give him or myself whiplash. The sidewalk next to me was clear, so I figured jumping the curb and hitting the signpost would slow me down, as I reefed on the handbrake for dear life. Scariest 10 seconds ever. The car did stop, with no one hurt, and the only casualties being Eddie's driver's side light and a flattened no parking sign. The irony. Royal Auto Club of Queensland (RACQ) to the rescue again. The tow truck driver agreed with my conclusion that there were no brakes when he loaded the car up. I found out that it is only illegal to leave the scene of an accident if someone is hurt. If no one is hurt, and they come to the scene of your accident, they charge you a $370 on the spot fine, 3 points against your licence, charge you the towing to their holding facility and $44 a day to keep the vehicle there. Hence the tow truck driver got me out of there as soon as possible. Then I told him that I had just had the front and back brakes redone before I left for Bundy. At this he became irate on my behalf at the mechanic, and insisted on towing the car there, and that the mechanic reimburse me the Q transport fine of $272, fix the car and the damage free. He was very convincing to the garage staff....He also then gave me a free lift back to my flat. Very kind of him!
So on to the next problem: cat to the kennel. I phoned Translink to see if I could take her caged on the train. No dice. So I had to call a cab. The driver got lost twice (for which he still charged me) and by the time we got to the kennel the fee was $100. YIKES!! I didn't have another $100 to go home with, and he was being a jerk, so I just asked him to drop me off at the nearest bus stop. I was now sans cat, so it was a much cheaper, friendlier option. So he dropped me off at a shelter on the side of the road. Turned out it was merely a sun shelter, and had nothing to do with transit. Great- I'm now in the country (I can hear the sheep and cows) in the middle of nowhere, not even sure where I am. So I start walking in the general direction of Brisbane, in 30 degree weather with no hat or water. About 5 km later, I came to a school zone. I figured a cab could probably now find me. Whipped out the Vodaphone. got on the line with the cab company..and the prepay ran out! AAAAAAAAAAAARRRRRRGGGGGHHHHH! OK, calm down, just use your credit card to buy more time. Except it would not accept a credit card that had not already been set up, and as it was Saturday, no one was available to do this for me until Monday. I have to admit, at this point I had an arm flailing, screaming tantrum in the middle of nowhere. Once that tension had been released, I started walking again, until I found a house, where a nice person let me borrow their phone and call a cab. The cab took me to the nearest REAL bus stop. And I was on my way back into the city. I was supposed to meet my friend Anne at LaDolceVita (again, the irony) at 7 pm. I thought this place was on the 199 bus route, so I switched buses at the appropriate spot and was only a smidgen late. LaDolceVita is not on the 199 route. At this point, I was holding back tears as the driver came to the end of his route and stopped the bus to wait before turning around. So I just rode the bus home. I felt like all I needed now was to find a poisonous snake in the toilet to make the misery complete. Once at home, I grabbed my (now charged) Optus phone to see Anne had called 5 times. I felt like a heel, and called her back. She had had an equally challenging day, with her car being hit on Brunswick Street that afternoon. So I invited her over for supper, with (Bundaberg) Rum and Cokes. We talked geek about our electives and commiserated on the day. She agrees My day wins. But we had such a good conversation, the time flew until midnight. Aaaahhhhh, thank goodness for friends. And thank you, friends, for letting me rant online about it.

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