Monday, November 22, 2004

"If equal means sh!tty, then count me out."

I got this email from good friend Darian, who decided to rant about Canada's Health Care.

"It’s long, but there is a point to it.

Yesterday around 4pm I felt like I had something in my eye. I said no biggy, I’m sure tat it will flush it’s self out soon. I headed into Toronto for the weekly jam and it was still there, but is was not bothering me much. During the jam my eye started watering profusely, I washed it out with water and things seemed well again.

Later that night I am still in discomfort so I went to the drug store to get some eye drops. When I am putting the eye drops in I see the culprit…. A little black dot on my retina. I try to flush it out, but mo luck. I am still in Toronto at this point I try to I look up on the web which Hospitals in Toronto have emergency services. This is not an easy task., It is not listed on the hospitals home pages and I eventually find it no some lame ass Toronto best of webpage. I think about it a bit, and I decide to head back to Kitchener and go to the hospital; there. I arrive around 11pm. I wait. And I wait. The the waiting rooms air was evry dry and was irritating my eye. So I waited most of the time outside in the cool fresh air. It was about -10 and I only had a wind breaker, but it was much better to freeze then have my eye bothering me. I eventually start talking to a few of the people there. One guy has been there since 9, another 9:30. It is around 1:30 at this point. I’m thinking this is not good. I eventually get in to the inside waiting area around, check this …5:15am… , that is over 6 hours of waiting in excruciating pain I was cold, in pain, hungry, and tired. It was everything I could do to keep my eyes open. If I closed my left, the pain was too much to great to stand. When I got in I waited for another 45 min or so for the doctor. He looks at my eye and tried to dab it out with a cotton swab. No luck. Then he breaks out this dremmel like device and tries to drill it out. He gets most of it and then says “the skin on the eye is starting to over grow it”. “It is because you waited too long to get here.” I’m thinking what? I was here for seven hours. If we looked at it then I’m sure we could have fixed the problem. He tells me to comeback in 24 hours and they will try again to get the rest. By that point perhaps the object will have lifted it’s self to the surface more. I’m not sure how that works, but is that not the opposite of what he said before? Skin growing over it makes it deeper, no? So I am off tonight to wait for another 7 hours or so to see the doctor again.

Because of this experience I have been thinking about the health care system in Canada. I am a firm believer that everyone has a right to free health care. But is waiting seven hours to see a doctor health care? Especially because of the long wait the doctor could not fix the problem..

If I had known that the wait would be seven hours last night, and there was a private clinic available, I would have forked out $500 or or more to get this thing solved promptly. Even after waiting for 2 hours and seeing the progress in the waiting room I would have opted for that option. So why can’t I do that?

Well everyone deserves equal health care. I agree to that. But why can’t equal also mean “prompt”, “the best”. If Equal means “sh!ttly” then count me out.

Thanks for listening,

That's some good stuff.

I had the same thing happen to me. In October 2002 I partially tore my Anterior Cruciate Ligament, and in March 2003 I finished it off for good. I had to wait until August for an MRI, and then I had to wait until December to see a knee specialist. Then I had to wait until the following August (we're talking 2004 here) to actually have the knee reconstructed through surgery.

Now, more than two years later, I'm finally on the road to playing hockey again. If equal means sh!tty, then count me out.

For people who like really gross stuff, here's a step-by-step description of the surgery, complete with pictures.


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