Canadian Medical Story About My Mom

By Joyce Ravenwood
I have been a member of #WalkAway Campaign since there were only about 2,000 members, but have never posted my story before. Today is the day.
As I write this I am in a hospital in Canada, fighting for my mother’s life in the nightmare of socialized medicine. Mom is not ill, she has spinal compression fractures but the lack of care options in this often praised medical system is killing her. She would have been a candidate for surgery but it has taken so long to see the spinal surgeon, her fracture is no longer operable but still too unstable to have a life. She has been in excruciating pain for 7 months. A patient cannot be in the hospital without an advocate to carefully watch over them. The facilities here are extremely 3rd worldish.
I was born and raised in Canada. As a good Canadian, firmly attached to the government teat, I believed the government was benevolent and there for the good health and prosperity of it’s people. There was always a social program available to better your life, (if you fit the criteria, I never, ever met anyone who actually fit the requirements to be included into one of these “wonderful” programs.) I was dazzled by the propaganda that told us how we are free, and such warm and polite people, revered by throngs around the world. As a Canadian, my poop would never stink. The national pride, our claim to fame, our very identity was: “we are not American.”
Then I met my wonderful American husband and moved (legally) to America. Even though our two countries are so close, I suffered some significant culture shock. My first marvelous discovery is how very polite Americans are. Then I discovered how incredibly self reliant most Americans are. What do you mean you just up and did it on your own? You did it without a government program? How is that possible? Slowly, the blinders of the socialist propaganda began slipping off of my eyes and I marveled at the relative unconditional freedom there is in America. Not only am I allowed to try and fail, I am allowed to try and achieve even beyond my wildest dreams! I can say anything I want and not have to fear being thrown in jail. I can worship as I choose and no one cares. There are countless marvels of freedom to be explored in America.
I began to pay attention to the politics of the country I was falling in love with. Were Republicans really as horrible as portrayed by the left? Is there really that much racism? I had not seen any racism, I met a bunch of Republicans and they were wonderful people. The pride of country I saw at my first Independence Day parade moved me to tears. In Canada, displays of pride of country is shunned.
I was so HOPEFUL when Obama became president. Despite my husband’s misgivings, I believed Obama would be able to finally wipe away the final vestiges of any racism in the country, America would be unified like never before. How bitterly disappointed I was that I had to admit my husband was right.
I began to question everything I was hearing. After living under a high tax, and ever increasingly restrictive, nanny cradle to grave government, the way of the Democrats are on a fast track down the road to what it is in Canada and honest to goodness we DO NOT want to go there.
I became a very proud and patriotic American almost exactly 4 years ago. I don’t know if I am a walk away or a walk with, I just know that I am so proud of this group for walking away from the lies, division and hate from whatever party. I love all your testamonials. I love being in your company.
Thank you ❤️
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Update on my Canadian Medical Story About My Mom:
I cannot keep up to all of the requests so respectfully asking to share. By all means, share away. We must get the word out!
First of all I want to thank EVERYONE for all of your kind, thoughts and prayers private messages, offers of all manner of help. I have read Mom hundreds of your messages and it has indeed lifted our hearts. I tried to respond in person to each comment and PM, but there are just so many, I cannot keep up! Thank you, we love you all.
So, just as I posted my testimonial, Mom’s “hospitalist” (new word for attending physician) came in and said he consulted with the spinal surgeon about Mom, since her fracture is more than a month old, there is nothing they can do for her and that she was to be discharged. (Now Mom cannot bear to have her bed at any higher than 15 degrees. She cannot even sit up without extreme pain.)
I told the doctor that I was confused because when I brought Mom into the hospital the first time, (actually her second trip out of an eventual 7, to the ER, the first ER doctor did not do 1 test, just OD’ed her with pain meds and sent her home) the ER doctor told me that Mom would not be a candidate for surgery until at least 3 months and if she was still having troubles then they would look at possibly surgery. But now, because the injury is over a month old, there is nothing they can do? Basically leaving my Mom to suffer until she dies? Well, isn’t that nice.
Mom’s personal doctor changed his practice in August to dermatology only and dropped her. I called 811 to get some medical advice on where to find a new doctor and was told that there is not a doctor in all of British Columbia accepting new patients and that my only medical access for my Mom was now walk in clinics. She cannot even sit up, how am I going to do that? The other option is to put her into a private nursing home with their own staff physician at $$$$$$$.
ANYONE who thinks Canadian healthcare is top notch needs to look again! I am sure there are some really good hospitals, but those are the only ones kept as shiny ponies for the press to see. The rest, not so much. I am sure there are many people that have good experiences, or is it they just think they do because they have nothing to compare it to? A dog will love the master that beats it because it knows no different either.
I cannot count how many nurses and hospital staff have slipped over to me and whispered in my ear that unofficially, the medical system only offers “end of life care” for the elderly and they will probably try to deny Mom the care she needs. Mom and Dad have paid into this system their whole lives. Dad only ever saw a doctor twice in his life, and when he needed them, they were too slow to respond. Up until now, Mom has been very healthy and between the two of them, have definitely paid in far more than they have taken. Now they are working very hard to make her go away. They have government numbers to call to report elder abuse, but who do you call when the government is the abuser?
Mom’s room has cracked and peeling paint, big chunks out of the ceiling, broken trim. The vertical blind on the filthy window one day started dropping it’s blinds and the whole thing fell on the floor by morning. The drywall was cracked from one end to the other and the impossibly tiny room had to accommodate 2 beds.
For any patient unable to advocate for themselves due to extreme pain, heavy doses of pain meds (mom), stroke or other medical issues, it is imperative that there is someone there to advocate on their behalf. I cannot tell you how many times I would come into the room and find Mom incorrectly and/or unsafely put into bed. She could not bear to sit any higher than a 15 degree angle than for longer than it took to tinkle and she could could not move in any way without assistance. More than a few times I found her flat on her back with her meal tray way out of her reach. I have found her uncovered, cold and shivering. I cannot tell you how many times I found her call bell either on the floor or out of reach. Once, I found her stuck in a wheel chair for nearly 3 hours “to eat”, no call bell in reach, and clearly marked on the white board it said HOB (head of bed) no more than 15 degrees. The white board also says “push fluids” (Mom does not drink enough because then she has to pee and getting up to do so hurts like the Dickens.) No one EVER, other than me, has encouraged Mom to drink anything. Mom has never had a bath in the hospital so I hired a private nurse to come in and bathe her 2 times a week. Mom’s first room mate had suffered a stroke, he was unable to hold a spoon so he ate his soft food with his hands and the nurses would scold him for making a mess. He laid in his bed, soaked in urine for hours. In the 6 weeks he was there, he never once was given a bath.
In the hospital where Mom was, no general practice doctors have hospital priveleges anymore and patients are attended by “hospitalists”, and you get a new one every day or two. So there is no continuity of care. Every day it is a new plan. Some doctors are good, some you never hope to see again. Same with the nursing staff. You never feel like you know what is going on or going to happen next.
So, now that Mom has been told she must go, I have hired a private patient transport company to take Mom to a private nursing home in the city where my sister lives. We will see if we can get a second opinion, and barring that, I will load Mom up and bring her to America. I know there simply must be a better option than the 1720’s treatment for spinal compression fractures than what she was getting here, it is almost 2020 after all!
Again, thank you all for all your kind words and thoughts and especially for the prayers, looks like we are going to need every single one.
Much love ❤️❤️❤️❤️❤️