I can’t say dumbest EVER! because I am sure some facility somewhere, sometime will top it. This one has just been grating on me a while so…here goes…

I love Lyndhurst. I really do. I wish we had found them for my rehab after my 2011 surgery. Maybe things would have been a bit easier with all the resources we’ve had available to use from them since then. They’ve been just that much help with everything about the transition to wheeled life. However, despite their specialties, they still tend to be prone to a few of the “DOH!” moments that all large medical establishments seem to suffer from.

Lyndhurst and UHN slogan
Lyndhurst and UHN slogan

For those who might not remember, Lyndhurst is the best (and really ONLY) spinal cord rehab centre in Toronto, and one of the best in Canada. They do amazing work there, and I’ve written about them before. I’m basically now a permanent outpatient with them for many different reasons, but I had an appointment yesterday to see my physiatrist, who basically acts as my centralized doctor there. A few months ago (I think could be longer than that) Lyndhurst joined with the University Health Network, putting them in touch with a series of other hospitals for sharing of bureaucracy, management, etc…and since then…well they’ve been having some rather odd changes.

For instance, they’ve changed the visitor parking to “pay by the machine” system. Not a big deal, almost every lot has done it and their rates are even reasonable by hospital standards (max $10 per day ain’t bad). However…remember this is a spinal cord rehab centre…they decided that they would still only allow people 15 minutes to get to their cars and out after paying. Now that might seem like a lot to you but…these are spinal cord patients! Even me, with my newly modded car, and upper body in good shape, it can still take me 10 plus minutes to load up depending on the weather! Ok, fine, I can deal with that.

This one though…seriously, if I could have a quarter for every medical questionnaire I’ve had to fill in over the past five years…well I wouldn’t be worrying about car mods! For some reason, Lyndhurst has decided to start a “fall prevention” program. As far as I can tell, that program basically consists of answering some questions when you check in.

1> Have you fallen in the past year. (my legs don’t work…what do you think?)

2> do you believe you have a heightened risk of falling? (MY LEGS DON’T WORK!)

3> Do you believe you will fall here today? (SERIOUSLY I CAN’T SHOUT LOUDER IN TEXT! MY LEGS DON”T WORK)

I have had to answer this the last five times I’ve been there. This time, I just looked at the poor receptionist with that perplexed face of “really?”. She looked back at me with the full knowledge that this was unusually stupid. I looked around the waiting room. Five other people, 3 in motorized chair, one other in a manual and one person who was obviously family and could walk with no issues.

So in response to question 3, I finally wrote: “As my SCI did NOT infer some ability to see into the future I can’t predict this. Why? What do you have planned for me?”

Look I get that they want to reduce risk, and falls are an issue for anyone with an SCI, but they are an issue for ANYONE. Seriously, in a period of a year, how many of you have tripped over a crack in a road, fallen off a step stool, slipped on some ice. It can happen to anyone, anytime. The chances of it happening to the 90% of patients there who are in CHAIRS is probably far less! It’s useless bureaucratic nonsense that will be collected, collated and then have nothing definitive done about it.

You want some advice Lyndhurst? Cut the crap and smooth the sign in and booking times for outpatients so your waiting room isn’t overflowing. Filling out constantly repeated paperwork doesn’t do anything but distract us with annoyance.


/rant done, we return you to our regularly scheduled geekery