Sunday, October 25, 2015


I must begin by telling the reader that I have received excellent care from doctors and nurses at the Jewish General Hospital through the years. I owe my life to my oncologist who has cared for me for 21 years.

But I must also report that I have been abused at the JGH, Yes, abused. 

During the month of October, 2015, I became very ill. I suddenly started vomiting and I couldn't stop. I called 911 and the ambulance took me to JGH, my hospital since I was about 15 years old. Tests were done and I was sent home. 

The second time I returned to the JGH because the pain in my hip was very bad. I have had bone cancer for years. It was decided that I should have a CT Scan. 

Since I am allergic to iodine, I must take certain medications before iodine is used in the test. I was given cups of barium which tasted different from those I had always been given in the past. 

Then the doctors decided that I should have the CT test without using contrast (iodine).

When I was in the ambulance, the tech asked me if I had any allergies. I gave him a short list including iodine. At the hospital, I told the triage nurse I was allergic to iodine. When a  young doctor came to see me, I told him I was allergic to iodine. When I was going into the CT machine, the tech said, "I'm going to start injecting the iodine into your IV now."  Woops!

After the test, I was returned to my room in Emergency. I had watery diarrhea non-stop. A nurse came to tell me that I was going home. Going home with non-stop diarrhea - in a taxi?" "We will give you a diaper." And they did. They gave me a big fat, bulky diaper that made it even more difficult for me to walk with my husband's cane.

Back home, I found my toilet full of blood and a big, jelly blood clot. I called an ambulance and returned to JGH. I was soon sent home again.

At home, the pain in my hip was worse, burning. I fell into a deep sleep and woke up suddenly with a terror attack. I called an ambulance and returned to JGH and asked to see a psychiatrist. A very nice doctor came to see me and I told him what had been happening. He gave me an RX for pills which I did not take. 

But the pain in my hip became unbearable. I called an ambulance and returned to the JGH. You again!

Tests were done. X-Rays. Examinations. Pills were given. I guess a couple of days passed. 

Suddenly a nurse with straight blonde hair down to her shoulders came into the room and said, 

"Get dressed. We need the bed for someone else." 

I was weak, in severe pain. I asked the nurse to help me get dressed. 

She said, "If you can use the commode, you can dress yourself or you can go home in your hospital gown." 

I managed to pull my slacks up under the gown. I couldn't get my T-shirt over the gown - only half way - with the gown sticking out.

Another nurse with very curly brown hair tied in a pony tail suddenly appeared. She started pushing the wheelchair very fast. I told her I had to go to the main lobby at the Cote St, Catherine entrance to fill my Rx at the Proxim Pharmacy in the lobby. She said she would push me to a taxi in the Emergency lobby.

"But I need the medications". 

"The taxi will take you there."

"But the pharmacy is in the same building, just next door. How can a taxi take me to the place we're in?"

She pushed me right to the door and started walking away. 

Then she turned  back and waved and said, 

"Have a great day !"

I managed to wheel my chair back into the lobby and I asked a receptionist to call transport for a porter to wheel me to the main lobby. At least an hour and a half passed. I asked another receptionist to call for a porter because I was afraid the pharmacy would close. It was late afternoon, Sunday. I was told the pharmacies are all closed.

Somehow someone talked to someone and someone phoned the Proxim Pharmacy. Suddenly a young man appeared behind my chair and said he was from transport and Proxim was opened for 20 more minutes. He rushed me to the pharmacy and they filled my prescriptions.

I called for my taxi. I always use ATLAS because they provide excellent service to seniors.

The driver pushed the wheelchair to the taxi and helped me in.

When we arrived at my place, I found I couldn't walk. The pain in my hip was unbearable. The driver carried my bags and literally carried me into my building.

I was in agony and in a nightmare. I didn't know where to turn for help. I had been, literally, thrown out of the JGH. What could I do?  Where could I go?

I started making phone calls. 811 Info Sante is supposed to have a nurse answer your call. Only in French.

I thought that a radio station might know of some agency that could help me. I called Bell Information 411 for the number of CJAD. "No listing". Really? No listing for CJAD Radio in Montreal.

I called the number for CTV. Only machines answer.

All I could think of was to go to another hospital. I called for an ambulance. They took me to the new Montreal hospital in the glen. At last someone was listening to me. They examined me, and I think they took X-Rays. It is all a blur now.

A doctor came in an said it would not be wise to start a whole new study of my case. He suggested I be returned to the JGH, I agreed, but I said "They threw me out. How can I go back?"

He said he would phone my oncologist right away and speak to him himself. Ah! Thank goodness.

At last, I was returned to the JGH where things finally got serious. I was referred to a pain specialist and admitted to palliative care while the doctors tried to figure out what was wrong. 

I had a PET scan. My oncologist checked it and he checked my CT scan. 

I was so relieved and so grateful to learn that my disease is stable. There have been no changes.

But nobody knows why I suddenly started having such severe pain after all these years.

The mystery continues. The new meds are helping a lot.

While in palliative care I received the most wonderful treatment.

But someone stole my husband's cane while I slept.

End of Part One.


Phyllis Carter said...


Phyllis Carter said...


Phyllis Carter said...


Phyllis Carter said...

As I was being wheeled out of the palliative care ward at JGH on October 23, 2015, I heard a voice calling after me, "GET HER OUT OF HERE."

Phyllis Carter said...

I had an appointment with my oncologist of 22 years on October 14. But I was in the Emergency. I asked again and again to be taken to my appointment in a wheelchair. I was refuse.I was told that I was not allowed to see my oncologist. I was not allowed to keep my appointment because I was in the Emergency. Finally I was told that I would have to be seen by "the oncologist on call." I refused. On that occasion, I managed to get into my clothes and I demanded to be released.