Between a Covid rock and a Covid place
January 25, 2021 9:06 AM   Subscribe

I need an endoscopy - do I get it done at a specialty clinic in a month or at a hospital in a week? (Toronto edition)

I've had mysterious abdominal pain for a few months, it's impacting my life in that I've had to subsist on an extreme low-FODMAP and low-fat diet and some days it's painful to sit, which stops me from working. The pain is slowly getting worse.

I've been referred to two doctors, both of which recommended doing a gastroscopy and colonoscopy on the same day. One of them is at Michael Garron Hospital and she can see me next week, and the other is at a specialty endoscopy clinic and is only available in a month. Which do I choose? Some considerations:

- the hospital doctor has mostly good reviews, a few reviews that she's too focused on filling in slots, one review of a colonoscopy gone bad
- Michael Garron Hospital itself doesn't have the best reviews - it's old, cramped, seemingly disorganized
- the clinic doctor has entirely outstanding reviews
- the clinic itself has pretty good reviews, lots of people saying it's the best colonoscopy they've had lol

- with a gastroscopy, I will be unmasked with my mouth open
- the clinic requires that all patients take a Covid test 4 days before the endoscopy, the hospital doesn't

- right now Toronto has had declining Covid cases for a few weeks, we've recovered from our holiday bump but it's still higher than mid-December. ICU numbers haven't declined yet, so the endoscopy goes wrong, I'm worried about needing space.
- if I wait until February, however, I'm worried that the combination of the new international variants and the possibility of schools opening back up will lead to another third wave

- I'll need a friend to take me back home after the procedure, and this is another worrying variable. I recently moved to Toronto, and I only really have one friend, who I don't really know that well.
- I haven't discussed this issue with him yet, but I assume some considerations for him are overall city covid numbers, and that he's within walking distance to the clinic but he'd have to take an Uber to Michael Garron
posted by facehugger to Health & Fitness (4 answers total)
Best answer: My parents have both had colonoscopies at Michael Garron Hospital, one multiple times, and they have gone very well. I am frankly not a fan of the hospital at. all., For Reasons, but I do think that clinic is solid.

One thing to keep in mind is that everything is a bit slowed down, so faster might be better. I agree with you that with Ford's policies February could well see another bump.

Do you know which hospital the specialty clinic refers to if anything goes wrong or is really wrong? That might impact my decision especially if the specialty clinic is in Scarborough - we're really slammed out here.
posted by warriorqueen at 9:39 AM on January 25, 2021

Response by poster: The specialty clinic is in downtown Toronto, so they wouldn't be referring to any Scarborough hospitals.
posted by facehugger at 9:57 AM on January 25, 2021 [1 favorite]

Best answer: I have been to the ER at Michael Garron this summer, a good friend went last month and has gone for followups with an internal clinic there over the past few weeks, and another friend used to be a nurse there. It's not shiny but it's not like falling down or anything. Because of COVID, they've removed a lot of furniture so it has not seemed cramped. We have all felt safe there, if anecdata helps.

Is either the hospital or the clinic easier for you to get to? I would try to make this as easy on yourself as possible.
posted by phlox at 1:22 PM on January 25, 2021

Your pain is getting worse and you can't work. Get the procedure next week.
posted by bluedaisy at 2:12 PM on January 25, 2021 [2 favorites]

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