31 May 2017

Review: Los Robles Hospital ER

Good afternoon friends and fellow bloggers. Hope everyone has had a great memorial day weekend and are excited about what's to come in the month of June.

I want to share a review of my experience at Los Robles Hospital (4 May - 10 May 2017). Today we will dive into what happened at the Emergency Room.

In the Ventura County, Los Robles Hospital is considered one of the best options. However what I experienced on the 4th of May was a huge disappointment and raised several red flags.

First: The Wait Time.

They say that their "ER Wait Times" text message service is approximate and represents the time it takes to see a qualified medical professional (not including a triage nurse). When I texted for the wait time, as we were pulling up to the curb, it said 15 minutes. Not too bad, I thought, but boy was I to be disappointed when it took several hours before I was finally rolled into a room only to wait another long while before the doctor himself appeared.

"ER Wait Times": 23000

Wait Time: D
ER Waiting Room. (c) Los Robles Hospital.

Second: The Waiting Room.

Backing up... my dad pulled up to the curb outside the emergency room and went in search of a wheelchair since I could not walk. He found one in the foyer near the entrance and wheeled me inside. A volunteer (very kind) walked us over to the self check in station which was very easy and prompt. Then we were instructed to have a seat until a triage nurse called us in. The waiting room was about 1/2 full at the time so we pulled up a chair for my dad and he wheeled me up next to him.

The triage nurse called me after about 5-10 minutes and after taking my details, they sent me back into the waiting room. Now began the longggggggg wait. I kept seeing patients come in and pretty soon the waiting room was completely full.

A triage nurse (Asian male) came out and started my IV and asked me to give a urine sample. But that is where he failed miserably... I cannot walk and cannot even lift my feet but an inch or so and he offers no assistance to the bathroom and just tells my mom "she has to do it". There was no kindness or compassion, just matter of fact coldness. #MajorFail

Later, I asked a passing volunteer (very kind young man in high school) if he knew an approximate time. He was going to comply graciously when a stuck up female volunteer (middle aged blonde) walked over and scolded him and haughtily told me that they didn't do that and I would be seen after all the important clients. #WhatTheHeck

After a couple hours we were finally wheeled into a cubicle/room and more waiting commenced.

Waiting Room Staff: C-

(c) Los Robles Hospital.
Finally: The Doctor.

After being wheeled into the curtained cubicle, it was probably 15-30 minutes before the male nurse (Grand Canyon University graduate) arrived, said the doctor was going to be in soon and scurried out so fast I didn't get a chance to ask for a drink.

Finally the doctor (Dr. Ramin Raven) breezed in with his students (?) in tow. He asked what was wrong and I specifically pointed out that I couldn't walk and my legs weren't moving. He proceeded to exam me and when he got to my abdomen he said I was constipated and sent me for an ultrasound. I was shocked! Constipation??? I was there for my LEGS!

After the test results confirmed constipation, he said that was my problem and that he was releasing me!!! I said but wait a second and reminded him that it was my legs and feet and he 'threatened' me that it was either 'be admitted overnight or sent home'. We tried to get off the gurney but I couldn't even sit up. He must have realized it was worse then he thought and finally agreed to admit me. He was definitely not pleased with this decision but walked out and I breathed a sigh of relief.

A half hour or so later, an African American woman stepped into the room, muttered something under her breathe about being required to give us a paper, dropped the paper into my mom's lap and walked away. Again, I was shocked by the blatant disrespect and lack of courtesy we were being shown at Los Robles Hospital. And this form she had 'given' my mom had some very important information that required explaining and since it was near two a.m. at the time there was no one available to talk to at the phone number on the form. Thanks a lot, lady!

We were in the ER from 7 p.m. - 2:30 a.m. (7 1/2 hours) when they finally brought us to my room on the fourth floor.

Staff: F

A further review of my experience in the hospital will follow soon... In the meantime, if you have to go to Los Robles Hospital's ER do yourself a favor and try to avoid Dr. Raven at all costs.

25 May 2017

CA Strawberry Festival: Accessibility Review

This last weekend, the much anticipated California Strawberry Festival in Oxnard took place and boy was it the happening place in town!

Thanks to Lisa Carey Public Relations and the California Strawberry Festival, I was able to bring you first hand details about how comfortable and realistic it is to attend the festival as someone in a wheelchair.

Accessibility Rating: B+

To start off, you are given the option to park and use one of their courtesy shuttles (thanks to Sleep Number) at one of 5 locations. Thanks to a recommendation from Yelp I chose the closest parking lot (Santa Clara High School) where there was ample parking on Sunday at 11am (an hour after the festival had opened for the day).

We parked and headed to the shuttle bus where the driver told us she would radio for a handicap bus and it would be a 20 minute wait. Since I had previously mentioned the possibility in my earlier post my family and I were not surprised. What did surprise us was that at the shuttle stop at Santa Clara High School there was no volunteer to answer questions and direct folks. Also, there was no canopy or place for folks to wait, without sweltering under the sun, during those 20 minute waits.

Finally the accessible shuttle pulled up and it had room for 6 wheelchairs if necessary and 6 additional passengers. Another man and myself were in wheelchairs and our families took up all 3 additional bench seats. Our fabulous driver, Rene, explained that sometimes he has to ask families and friends to ride in the regular shuttle and meet everyone at the shuttle stop outside the festival.

A special shout out to our driver, Rene, who was extremely friendly, helpful and an all around great driver. This was his first time volunteering at the Strawberry Festival but he also drives at the Ventura County Fair where he drives one of the larger non-accessible buses.

Finally we made our way inside the festival where we were happy to see that there were wide walkways (pavement), an abundance of volunteers picking up trash, numerous trash and recycle cans, and several long rows of port-a-potties that each included a couple large facilities for handicap individuals. The port-a-potty alleys also included wash-up facilities.

The only downside would be that you have to use your foot to turn on the water to wash-up and that can be a problem for folks who are in wheelchairs and/or using walkers.
There were quite a few bumps in the road due to wiring, etc. but thankfully there was a single accessible ramp in the center of each bump for wheelchairs. Unfortunately, because it was crowded and folks were impatient and/or not looking where they were going, often the ramp was being walked on by folks who did not need the additional assistance making it impossible to use. My dad often enough had to turn my wheelchair around so he could maneuver me over the bump (sans a ramp). Also at one point, we even saw volunteers had set up a table right on top of the ramp! Whoops, obviously that was a mistake but very frustrating for folks who would benefit from said ramp.

Before we wrap this post up, can't forget to mention the strawberries! There were several well-marked stations where you could buy organic and regular strawberries from local farmers. Oxnard is certainly known for its strawberries so I doubt anyone who bought a flat was disappointed.

Also there were plenty of different strawberry food and drink options. The consensus among my family was that the strawberry lemonade was too watered down, the strawberry Moscato wine from Herzog Wine Cellars was A++ delicious, and the $5 Make Your Own Strawberry Shortcake was a fun way to end the day.

Next year will be the festival's 35th event so I cannot even begin to imagine what great things are in store for 2018. Be sure to keep an eye out for information about the festival when it comes around next May and for those who were scared away by the crowds rest assured that the festival committee has done a good job of expanding the boundaries of the festival to allow for more foot traffic.

And for those who are wheelchair-bound and/or need to use walkers and other ambulatory assistance -- you can rest assured that they are thinking of us and have tried to make it as comfortable for us as it is for our families and friends. Hopefully though they will consider a better way of marking ramps for accessible use and perhaps also another way to pedal the water at the wash-up stations near the toilets?

All in all though it is a fun day out with the family or gaggle of friends! Many thanks again to Lisa Carey Public Relations and the California Strawberry Festival for the chance to visit the festival and for making it an accessible festival for all.

x Joy

P.S. All photos and opinions are my own.

19 May 2017

Accessible: California Strawberry Festival

HI folks! Happy Friday...
Who is excited about this weekend's California Strawberry Festival? Me, me, me! :D

(c) CA Strawberry Festival.
For those of you who are concerned and curious about whether the festival is accessible, here is the information I have found thus far. [Please keep in mind that this is my first time too so I am going off of information I searched the site for.]

According to the website:
The festival is handicapped accessible.
Wheelchairs are NOT available for rent on the premises.
(c) CA Strawberry Festival.
Handicap accessible shuttles are available.
I have learned that if a patron needs a handicapped bus they go to the shuttle stop and the bus will radio for a handicapped bus to come. They have handicapped buses but they are on various routes. If one is not on that route they will radio another one to accommodate.

According to the "festival policy", the park area includes grass, wood chips and dirt pathways.

Don't forget your sun protection, cash, and a fun going spirit and I am sure we'll all have a fabulous time. Enjoy xo

(c) CA Strawberry Festival.
Dates: May 20 and 21
Times: 10am - 6:30 p.m.
Location: Strawberry Meadows of College Park in Oxnard, CA (3250 South Rose Avenue)
Tickets: For more information go online to see prices and buy your tickets in advance
Parking: Free Park & Ride “Strawberry Express” shuttles from multiple convenient locations off the 101 freeway makes getting there a breeze. There ARE handicap accessible shuttles!!!
Amtrak California offers a special Kids Ride Free promotion Festival weekend.
Parking is also available on site for $10.

16 May 2017

#ChronicPain: Must Have Pants

(c) Champion.
are you in chronic pain like me? do you suffer from trouble walking and getting your legs in pants? if so, I have an excellent option and it's fairly inexpensive so win -win!

Champion's women jersey banded knee pants have two pockets, are made of cotton (some colors do have some polyester in the material), have a draw cord for adjustability, are machine washable, and fall on me (5'2") right below my knee similar to the stock photo.

I love these pants and have them in both Oxford Gray and Black. They are comfy enough for lounging around the house, wear well to physical therapy, and not tacky enough when I have to go to the doctor's office or am joining a friend for a cuppa.

So if you are in the same boat as myself, do yourself a favor and check out Champion's jersey banded knee pants.

Salivating: CA Strawberry Festival

It's May and here in Southern California that means time to start salivating in time for the California Strawberry Festival happening May 20-21!!!!!! I know I personally cannot wait to visit my first California Strawberry Festival on Sunday...

For my fellow foodies...
(c) California Strawberry Festival.
Imagine with me (if you dare)... strawberry funnel cake, strawberry crepes, chocolate dipped strawberries, strawberry nachos, deep-fried strawberries, strawberry smoothies and margaritas, the “build your own” strawberry shortcake tent and strawberry popcorn!!
(c) California Strawberry Festival.
Indulge guilt free, because with each bite the non-profit food booths reap 100% of sales for their causes. The formula has proven to be a fruitful enterprise. Over the past three decades more than $4.5 million dollars has benefitted more than 20 southland charities including The Salvation Army and Ventura Teen Challenge.
(c) California Strawberry Festival.
So mark your calendars in case it passed your attention, grab a wad of cash (food tents only take cash; there is an ATM on site) and your appetites! See you there! xo
Dates: May 20 and 21
Times: 10am - 6:30 p.m.
Location: Strawberry Meadows of College Park in Oxnard, CA (3250 South Rose Avenue)
Tickets: For more information go online to see prices and buy your tickets in advance
Parking: Free Park & Ride “Strawberry Express” shuttles from multiple convenient locations off the 101 freeway makes getting there a breeze. There ARE handicap accessible shuttles!!!
Amtrak California offers a special Kids Ride Free promotion Festival weekend.
Parking is also available on site for $10.