Of CT Scans and Kings....

(Special Feature 3: Lost in the Maze)

February 27, 2004 AD: Welcome to the maze. I spend so much time roaming about the various buildings that compose the Victoria General that I could navigate from place to place blindfolded. Since I can't seem to tell the buildings apart by name, blindfolding oneself at least means one can't misread the signs.

But I've decided to put up some pictures showing you how it looks, to give my words a bit of context.

First up are annotated shots of the Centennial, Victoria, and Dickson buildings.

The most obvious first thing you'll notice - besides the fact that the two images were taken at least six months apart, verdant summer greens and white winter snowbanks not being common partners - is my scribbling. It will help and hinder you throughout this short tour. The original images are available on the pages devoted to the Dickson and Victoria/Centennial buildings.

Centennial, Victoria, and Dickson buildings. It's rather plain why there's a 12th and 13th floor. Just at the elevator nexus: the bulge just below the word "Victoria". There's about three floors more just in that area. (Above the 13th, I'd presume, are the things like the elevator's ceiling supports and are only accessible via stairs.)

You can also see the approximate locations of the exam rooms (the asterisk is a bit low) for the 11th floor. (They're on both sides of the hall, so it's only during half my visits that you can see my marvellous nekkid body through one of the windows. The other half, I have a view that's similar to the one in the second shot, just from a lot higher up.)

Other areas of interest include the CT scanner. In retrospect it's probably a little more to the left. If the trees weren't in the way, I'd be able to tell better, since there's a chapel a few doors down that has stained-glass windows.

The waiting room for the scanner is a few more windows to the left, right near the corner where the Centennial starts. The registration room for the CT scans is in between the scanner and the waiting room, only on the other side of the hall.

The one thing this top image fails to show is how the Dickson is attached to the Victoria. Well, there's a third, branch off the elevator area that you can't see, going away from the camera. (The building thus is T-shaped, and this shot is of the top bar of the T.) At the end of this third arm is the Dickson building and the portion of the Victoria you can see in the second image.

In the second image, you can see such features as the Long Hall I travel down to get a chest x-ray. (Or, more accurately, the offices on the left side of the Long Hall. The hall itself is, I think, part of the taller structure just behind those offices.) It should be part of the Victoria from the looks of it, since it's in the Victoria's third arm, but I guess that they call it part of the Dickson because you have to go through the Dickson's second floor to get there. Where the hall looks like it should open up to the elevator nexus, there's just a blank wall. There might be a way around that through some door I haven't seen, but for all intents and purposes your average person can't get from the third floor of the "Dickson" to the third floor of the Victoria. (June 9, 2004 AD: Now you can. They've done some work. Unless I just went nuts....)

Harder to see is that the upper floors of the Dickson are suspended over a road. That red car in the lower-left isn't parked, it's driving. You go around that small parking area and you can drive under the building and let patients off in the shelter of the upper floors. From there, just walk in the main entrance and the blood collection area is to your right. Elevators are ahead a bit and to your right.

Of less interest are some of the bricked-up windows I mentioned in one update, above the N in "Long Hall". In that same area, though obscured by the structure, there's also the door I mentioned that was hacked out of a window to provide access to a newer addition's roof.

Perhaps a cross-section, again from the Capital Health website, will help further illustrate some of my misadventures. But first....

You know, their site bugs me. I've never been to the infirmary except when I escorted others, so I don't need maps of that building for this page. But they have several on their page! Perhaps there's logic to what they do, but I don't see why they can't even show a map with the Centennial's exits on it, but they can show the infirmary main floor in fancy-ass isometric views, with another map for the 4th floor and the Robie North entrance* and even maps for a floor with no ground-level exits and a large area the public isn't even allowed in, but I gotta make do with one ground-floor map.

(*Yes, there's an entrance on the 4th floor, just like the Dickson and Victoria's ground floor is the second floor while the Centennial's ground floor is the first floor. Just like the Victoria's right arm (on top photo above) has an entrance on its end that slopes upward half a floor's worth so it'll be even with the rest of the building by the time it reaches the ground floor exit at the elevator area.)

Deep breaths, deep breaths.... Okay, rant over.

This overhead shot is perhaps more helpful. It's half-sized, so the text will be hard to read - if you don't mind alt-tabbing back and forth, click here for the full-size version. You can see the Nova Scotia Cancer Center - where I used to go before my doctor moved up to the 11th floor - takes up a large portion of the Dickson's main floor. Walk straight forward from the entrance - the doors are about where that coffee cup is on the diagram - and you'll pass through the waiting area, with the exam rooms branching off a U-shaped hall to your left. Keep walking past all this, hang a right and you'll find the radiation scheduling desk, and presumably the offices of a few radiation oncologists. This portion, if I remember correctly, has some natural light coming in. I can't think of where from though, so it's either on the back end of the building and has windows or an extension that doesn't have more stories above it and thus can afford to have skylights.

Yeah, South Park Street. I'll pause for the giggles. Done? (Pause.) Done? Good. Continuing on....

I'd also like to show you the basic motions a body goes through when roaming the building for my various tests, in the form of animated GIFs. Wonderboy (from the game Wonderboy 3: The Dragon's Trap) has been kind enough to volunteer as my avatar. Other than his simple walking animations, there will be a few other symbols that will pop up to show something important. Most are self-explanatory, but I'll show you a few now:

Ouch. Poor Wonderboy just got jabbed for bloodwork.     Ah, the bane of all patients: Waiting.     Elevator use.

The three GIFs are just below. Click on a link to view. Also, note that each one starts and ends at the main entrance of the Dickson, at the "you are here" note. (They also run once, not repeating. Ooops. Well, saving to the local HD and watching through an image viewer, or reloading, fix that....)

Bloodwork: (Clinic patients only.) The simplest. Go into the clinic waiting room, wait for my turn, get jabbed, leave.

Chest x-ray: A little more complex. Go up the elevator one floor to the 3rd, wait in registration, go down the long hall until it ends, turn left around the desk, wait in the x-ray waiting room, get the x-ray, head for the elevators and leave.

You'll notice that most of the corridor vanishes when on the third floor. That's because it does terminate like that to the west. (See previous comments on the Dickson.) South it might continue into a U-shape - I've never been down that way, though I've been on the 4th and that's what it does.

CT Scan: Head into the Victoria building, wait in the registration office, go to the waiting room and change, wait some more, go get scan - I omitted the part about getting the IV and waiting more - go back to the waiting room to change back into street clothes, leave.

Go back! Back I say!
Run along home.
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