April 12th, 2016
I began experiencing increasing pain down my leg and foot- was diagnosed with deteriorated L4/5 - suggested cortisone injections - told that the wait was 3 months in public sector - went private and had injection within the week - unfortunately not effective - told that I need decompression surgery which could be done with two weeks - I am retired and do not have unlimited funds, however, the money seemed a reasonable trade off for immediate relief - unfortunately, I do not meet the profile for receiving an anesthetic in the private system - told I must go into the pubic sector and that I would be put at the end of the line - 9-12 months - no cancellation lists - no triage - just go to the back of the line.
I cannot take major pain medication as I become agitated and confused- now taking nerve blockers which has exacerbated a mild tremor I have in my hands and made my leg feel numb and unsteady. I cannot walk more than a few feet before I am in terrible pain and at this point have a cane in one hand and either of railing or someone else steadying me as I attempt to walk. I am turning 80 in August and have done my best to stay healthy participating in sports ( once a PE teacher and Basketball player and coach), have tried to exercise regularly and have always watched my weight. I now find myself unable to do anything active which is impacting on my heart and respiratory health as well as my ability to do all the things which I have enjoyed all my life.
At 80 without the ability to exercise I can only see my general health declining while I await "my turn". I notice that ICBC, WCB and Pro athletes have access to immediate care. Perhaps there lives have more value to society than those of us who worked for 40 years, paid taxes and expected nothing in return. Now when we are in need, we are treated like second class citizens who may or may not receive care in time for us to receive any benefit from it. Could the goal be to shorten the lists of us common folk with deaths of people who could not survive the physical challenges associated with forced confinement? Surely not.