Monday, October 27, 2014

Dislocation, Dislocation, Dislocation Trip.

Winnipeg to Fort St. John and back to Edmonton - 2697km.
 ____A Monday morning departure with six drops of furniture and four of them are in Grande Prairie, Alberta. They'll be for Wednesday followed by Fort St. John and a tiny bit of Alaska Highway. the re-load is a trailer swap in Edmonton; straight back to the 'Peg. E-Z-P-Z-lemon-squeezy.

Heavy-haul CAT with small sleeper.
 ____I thought I had better retrieve my load-straps before the swap; so did it when killing time in the Flying'J at Sherwood Park. I was just climbing down when WHOOSH; the trailer door whipped round and smacked me on the elbow as I held up my arm to protect myself

At the roundabout; Dawson Creek, British Columbia.
____ I phoned my despatcher; who put my through to the Fort Saskatchewan depot and they sent round Kevin in his pick-up truck. Within an hour, I was at the brand new, state of the art, Strathcona Hospital. Only problem; the place wasn't kitted out with a doctor who knew how to fix dislocated shoulders! After three enthusiastic attempts; they gave it up as a bad job and left me laying in an examination bay for 24 hours. I got given something for pain; but no sleep. I was strapped to an automatic blood pressure testing machine that kicked in every hour with a violent squeeze of my right arm.

Open-sided hoods and three drive axles; all the rage in the oil industry transport sector.
____Eventually an ambulance arrived on Friday night; to take me to the University of Alberta Hospital in down-town Edmonton. I felt bad about throwing-up in the ambulance; but I did tell them that I got car-sick and still they wouldn't let me sit in the front. Since the injury happened; I had been given nothing to eat or drink as they wanted to anaesthetise me as soon as they got a chance. At this time; I felt about twice as bad as when it first happened. It did cheer me up when half a dozen ambulance crews sang "Happy Birthday" when the check-in nurse announced  that I had done it on my birthday.

The Everything Truck
____Finally I was admitted to hospital for the first time in fifty years. An I-V drip, the humiliating gown and the snoring of the other guys on the ward. Still no food or sleep; but plenty of morphine. Still nobody to say when my ball and socket joint would be re-united; but plenty of circulating hospital staff to ask the same questions. Again and again. Any allergies? Any heart problems? Any previous dislocations? Drug-user? Diabetic? Alcoholic? But looking at the state of some of my fellow patients; my troubles were minor. I thought I had a good chance of being last-in and first-out.

Cab-over at the Acheson Husky, Alberta.
____Six o'clock on a Saturday afternoon and I had given up any hope of my number being called. Death looked like the only possible release from the pain. Don't believe anything you see in the movies concerning dislocated shoulders. Clint Eastwood in Thunderbolt and Lightfoot: you can't reset bones by tying your arm to a car and slamming the door. Lethal Weapon; the one where Patsy Kensit gets her tits out: Mel Gibson dislocating his shoulder and resetting it just for fun: bull-shit. The pain is horrendous!

____But just before the theatre staff went down the pub; they managed to fit me in. I don't know what the fuck was on the bits of paper I signed. All I know is that when I came round; they had all gone and so had the pain. The cleaners were in charge; with just a porter to push me back to the ward. I spent most of Sunday trying to escape. Getting yourself dressed and walking out is not an option. Eventually I persuaded them that me, going back to my truck in a taxi, by myself was better for them than having me in their hospital. You're supposed to have some one to look after you; that'll be a first.

____So that is the story so far. I'm back at the J with "something for pain." There is a double-manned truck coming up from Winnipeg; I should be on my way home as a passenger in this truck on Thursday; a week later than I thought.


  1. Hi Chris, I'm reading your blog since years but never left a comment, shame on me!
    After reading your last blog entry, I was really angered about another example of the famous free health care in Canada! Yes, it's for free but often useless...
    People are treated like animals in the emergency room (oh no, if you were an animal they would have shot you) and are dying before they get any treatment.
    I had an accident on the road two and a half months ago and I know, how it feels far from home alone.
    Hope you will be home soon and I wish you a speedy recovery.

    1. Thanks for your best wishes. It is true that my treatment was not the best but if had just dialed 911 and not my despatcher; I would have been at the main emergency hospital 24 hours sooner. Not having needed hospital treatment for 50 years; it was all new to me and not knowing how the system worked, I didn't know if my treatment was typical or not. Maybe it's a plan they have that makes you want to leave hospital early and think twice before coming back.

      But on a positive note. There are some very good people working in these places. Also there were a lot of patients with bigger problems than me and they weren't complaining about things.