Monday Morning Musings

Posted on March 18, 2019 under Monday Morning Musings with one comment


Missed step misstep (with thanks to DMD).

The anatomy of health care.

I had a firsthand look at the health care system this week. Unfortunately it was as a participant. From all accounts, health care across Canada is not all that healthy. Many people don’t have a family doctor. There are long lineups at Emergency departments and long wait lists for many procedures. It is increasingly difficult to attract GP’s and specialists to rural Canada. An aging population will continue to put enormous strains on the system for at least another thirty years until the Baby Boomers “go gently into that good night”.

Last Wednesday, I was coming down a set of stairs. I had my guitar on my back, my songbooks in my hands and my mind in the clouds. Stairs are one of those many things that challenge those of us with progressive lenses. I missed the bottom step. My left leg (with a surgically repaired knee on three occasions) extended, planted and my knee went sideways. It was indeed a missed step misstep.

That evening, I ended up at the Emergency Department at our local hospital. My wife piled me into the back seat of our car like a 50 pound bag of spuds. You know you’re in for a long haul when the reception area and triage room are both “full to the gunwales”. We knew we were in for a long evening.

For two hours, it resembled the Brierly Brook jammed with ice. Nothing was moving. More people were arriving but no one was being called. Some people had already been there for several hours. I have a cursory understanding of the Emergency department. I fully realize that it is not a first come, first serve operation. They take the most serious cases first which is what you would want if you arrived with a serious problem.

We met some lovely people including a mother with a five year old daughter who were superstars. They waited five hours before being seen and neither uttered a single complaint the entire time. You could sense the frustration mounting around the room.

At 11:30 p.m. and with no end in sight, we finally bailed and went home.

The following morning, I called my family doctor’s office and they were able to take me immediately. There are many things I don’t take for granted. Having a family doctor is one of them. In the next few years, there’s going to be a huge exit of family physicians in our town and everywhere across the country. In many cities and towns, having a family doctor is a luxury.

My family doctor was able to get an appointment the next morning in Halifax with arguably one of the best orthopedic surgeons in Canada, Dr.Bill Stanish. Bill did the three previous surgeries on my knee. We had a great chat (he’s extremely personable) and I was relieved to hear that I had only ruptured my quadriceps muscle. Of all the possible outcomes, this was probably the best I could have hoped for. I have a partial tear. I couldn’t believe my ears when he told me that the best physiotherapy was walking! He believes I will heal in time to do the Camino in early May. He also suggested that I use a cane for support. I wish I had been quicker when he mentioned this. I would have replied “I will use a cane if I’m able.” If you’re not a Christian you might have to ask somebody who is.

Despite the understandable wait at Emergency, I would rate the overall service I received as exceptional. As battered and bruised as our health care system appears, it is still better than most.

I mentioned this in an earlier post. I am going to do a book give away at People’s Place Library from March 25-31. My first three books will be available at the main desk. For those who are able, you can make a donation to the library. On Saturday, the 30th. I will be at the library from noon until 2:00 p.m. to do some storytelling and music. I’ll also talk about book publishing. I’m no expert but after self-publishing four books, I know some of the dos and don’ts… especially the don’ts!

Have a great week. Watch where you’re walking!!!

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Highland Hearing Clinic

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