Monday, August 8, 2011


Without boring you with all of the details I can tell you that there is some question as to the success of the back surgery that was performed on me in late April. As with all surgeries you cannot rule out the possibility that the surgery may not be as successful as one would have hoped.
Since I had not had back surgery before I was not sure what to expect afterward. More pain? Less pain? Total relief? A nerve in my spine had been pinched off for nearly eight months so the possibility of immediate relief was pretty low. However, I was expecting that I would eventually have less pain and numbness in my leg and I was prepared for a long but successful recovery.
What I wasn’t prepared for was the possibility that, eight weeks after the surgery, there would be no relief at all. Neither was my surgeon, who immediately sent in a request for, yup, you guessed it, another MRI, (just as my hearing was starting to recover from the last one, no less), to see what the deuce was going on in there now.
All of that aside, it’s the timeline that is, once again, almost more irritating to me than the pain in my leg. Considering the fact that the injury happened late last August I thought that I would be fixed by now. So here we go again…another six-to-eight-to-four-to-twelve-weeks waiting for another MRI, and then depending on the results, who knows how long until we can figure out where to go from there.
I was telling an old friend, who had worked in the health care system for years, about my nearly one-year odyssey through the system and how frustrating it was and is. She gave me the name of the “Health Advocate” at Sun Country Health Region and my friend told me that I have to call and nag and nag and call the CEO of Sun Country and the Premier and my MLA and the Minister of Health and the Ombudsman and anybody else that I could think of to get quicker results. “Squeaky wheel gets the grease, you know.”
Really? That’s what it takes? I know that’s how it works, but seriously? Do we all have to lie on the floor and kick our feet and cry and whine like a spoiled child who’s been told he has to wait for his candy? That’s the key to getting looked after? Only angry people get the fast service? Unfortunately it’s the truth, but should it be?
I was in the retail lumber business for over twenty years and I can tell you that the last person I wanted to give the five star service to was the guy at the end of the counter who was demanding service over all the other people ahead of him in line. His time is just so much more valuable than anyone else’s time you know.
Ask any waitress or waiter how they felt about the customer who whistled or rattled the ice in their glass, or yelled “Hey You!” for more service? I’m sure they were just sooo eager to run right over and attend to that customers demands. Ha!
I have never wanted to be that guy so up ‘til now I’ve been the dutifully patient patient and have been standing in line calmly waiting for my time to come up but now the patience has run out of this patient, if you know what I mean? I want some service and I want it now! I guess it’s time to get the old anger on if that’s what it’s going to take to get some service around here. I’ll stamp my feet, I’ll hold my breath ‘til I turn blue, I’ll scream and scream, I’ll cry crocodile tears, too, if that’s the program that we have to adhere to. It’s not how I WANT to handle the situation but, unfortunately, it’s how I HAVE to handle the situation.
“Abused patience turns to fury,”-Thomas Fuller (1608-1661)

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