January 6th, 2017
My husband, Ron Weber, had episode of very strange behavior late august. No physical stroke signs. After about 4 days, saw GP who diagnosed "transient global amnesia". I was not convinced that was correct diagnosis, with previous amaurosis fugax 2 years prior. Since GP is gatekeeper in our system, no way of getting to neurologist through him. Found Specialist Referral Clinic in Vancouver, got appt with neurologist, Dr. Chahal, who diagnosed stroke, sent us immediately for head CT which confirmed R side Stroke. He also followed up next day at our home in nanaimo, with appt at nanaimo hospital for CT angiogram of head the next day, and holder monitor several days later. Dr. Chahal's report recommended carotid endarterectomy R, and quick referral to Dr. Bailey, the nanaimo specialist in complex care who Ron had seen after his prior Amaurosis fugax. Our GP refused to get an expedited appt with Dr. Bailey. When we finally saw Dr. Bailey, an appt with vascular surgeon was expedited, and within 4 weeks Ron had his surgery.
If it were not for the private consultant, Ron would probably still be at risk, and possibly have had another stroke. I cannot express our relief at being able to bypass the "gatekeeper" GP system, who, in this case, utterly failed us. My alternative was to use the alternative private health system, available to all Canadians for a price....the USA. I much prefer to keep my $$ in Canada, and be able to coordinate between the two care systems, when necessary.