Tuesday, June 8, 2010

Canadian Health Care Adventures

Time always seems to race by and this past weekend was no exception.  Before it all hit the fan........I did manage to squeeze in my annual birthday pedicure.  What promised to be a weekend with a relaxing pace quickly turned into a frantic balancing act to juggle volunteer time and cooking commitments with two visits to emergency followed by 2 days of back and forth to visit poor DH for his hospital stay.  Finally after  2 years of continuous back pain, 4 weeks of curious abdominal cramping and unusual bowel habits, the abdominal pain reached levels which brought DH to the door of the emergency room.  On Thursday there was a visit to the family doctor who set up some initial tests.  Then the next day (night actually...2am Saturday more specifically driving like an idiot through every red light with wailing DH) was the first visit to emergency  which resulted in some pain management and an appointment within hours for a CT scan.  The second  emergency visit (also on the weekend more crazy driving and less substantial wailing) thankfully resulted in a consultation with a urologist to assess the results of the CT scan.  Within two hours in emergency, the culprit (a 3mmX 9mm kidney stone) was identified, his pain was managed, DH was admitted, and his name was added to the emergency OR list to have the stone fractured with a laser.  The most inconvenient part for him, I think, (aside from the initial pain that brought him in) was fasting while waiting for his turn in the OR to come up. While he did not make it to the OR that first night, he did make it the next day at 7pm, resulting in a second night stay.  This is poor little DH's second experience with kidney stones and as his symptoms this go around were less typical , was not diagnosed with the same speed as the initial stone 2 years ago.  As with anything, I suppose, we encountered some excellent and some not so excellent doctors and nurses........but overall I think our experience with the health care system was quite positive. Through this whole experience we will see no bills and will spend no money.  The hospital stay was just long enough.........plenty of ipod entertainment, family visiting, Ike's night time homework to do, and all kinds of action in the public ward room he was in as the 3 other patients were fairly entertaining.  Although we do have extended health care through work.......we did not bother to see about having a semi private room.  He most likely would not have been nearly as well entertained.  The care we received is that which is given to any who find their way into the hospital system here.  We live in a country with universal health care, and while it may not be perfect....... for the most part....it's pretty damned good, and we are very luck to have it.  While no doubt there is waste within it, (as with anything government run) it is well worth the effort to be diligent in working towards reducing it so that these services continue to be available to all who need it, regardless of their ability to pay. Now we wait to see if the back pain, which he had assumed was a separate issue, is cleared up as the kidney stones make their exit.   Life is pretty good:)


Alison said...

I'm glad all went well: must admit, had a little start when I saw the hospital bed! (((hugs)))

Merry said...

Oh no! I hope he's feeling better soon. Two trips to emerg...ugh! I totally agree with you that we are very lucky to live in a country where all get health care. Since I come from the US, I have seen what happens when you can't afford insurance & can't afford health care. It's not pretty!

LittleRed said...

Thanks for the well wishes:) He is doing fine and has been back to work for a 1/2 day so far (although he is supposed to be home for at least a week)We'll see if he makes it in today. The stent is driving him crazy and the T3's are helping. Tuesday he gets the stent removed and should shortly after be able to pass the kidney stone bits.