A little friend, and change of (medical) plans

While picking cucalmelons this morning, I found a little friend!

We’ve been seeing LOTS of frogs about this size, every time we to go through the garden beds. Usually, they hop off too quickly for me to get photos, but this one didn’t move!

He was even okay with the cucamelon leaves being pulled aside.

I am very happy to see so many frogs in our garden beds. I’m sure they’re doing a great job of eating up things that would be eating our vegetables!

On a less cheerful note, the original plan for today had to change. This was the day I was supposed to bring my husband into the city for an appointment at the cardiac clinic. They want to discuss the possibility of implanting a defibrillator in him.

Unfortunately, about a week ago, my husband discovered cats had peed under his hospital bed, and under the small table with the mini fridge he keeps some of his medications in. He cleaned it up himself, rather than asking any of us to do it.

He still hasn’t completely recovered.

When his pain levels didn’t improve by Monday, he called the cardiac clinic about his appointment. The letter he received said to expect to be there for at least 2 hours. He explained his situation. The choices were to either cancel the appointment, or they could find some way to accommodate his pain levels and disability.

The appointment got cancelled.

They way he put it, the response was along the lines of, how dare he mess with their system.

They will send another letter with a new appointment (I find it interesting that they make these appointments with zero input from patients), and after he gets the new letter, he can talk to them about accommodations. Of course, he has no way of knowing if he’ll have a good day or a bad day – or even a good week or a bad week – that far in advance. That’s why he was stuck phoning them only about 48 hours before today’s appointment. No matter; even if he’s having a good day, being able to lie down on a stretcher of something would probably be needed, just after such a long drive.

I understand why the province has a single cardiac clinic in a central location. It is probably much more efficient, and allows for things like better access to equipment. The problem is, like almost all Canadian provinces, we are geographically huge, and not everyone lives in or near this particular city. We’re just an hour away from the city (though it can take another half hour to reach the clinic, depending on traffic), and it’s difficult enough. I can’t imagine living in one of the fly-in communities and needing cardiac care. Sure, the small communities don’t have the population base to warrant their own cardiac clinics, but there are large towns and other cities that could serve these more remote communities.

The fact that it’s such and inconvenience for them to accommodate my husband’s disability is also frustrating. They’re in a hospital, for crying out loud. And with so many hospitals cancelling care to make room for all the pandemic hospitalizations that never materialized, there are plenty of stretchers and beds available that could be used for someone like my husband, without having to prearrange it weeks in advance.

Another unfortunate thing with my husband is that his pain levels have forced him to cancel a number of appointments. He has also done things like walked out after being forced to wait well past his appointment time, due to pain caused by the wait itself, and basically has stood up for himself. He is likely now considered a “problem” patient. I don’t think they realize that, when it comes to his list of health problems, his recently developed heart condition is actually not at the top of the list. Not even close. With everything else going on, this new development doesn’t even phase him, and certainly doesn’t frighten him, as it probably more typical. His pain needs to be gotten under control first. Some of his other health problems are caused by the pain itself, and will improve on their own, accordingly. They have not been able to figure out why his heart failure developed in the first place, and we’re pretty sure it has more to do with the large number of medications he is on, and has been for such a long time, than anything else. We already know that there is no surgery or treatment that can “fix” the physical source of his disability, and it will continue to cause further degradation of his spine. The only real thing that can be done is treat the pain. That’s the foundational thing. Without that being addressed, treating his other problems are little more than stop-gap motions.

This has been explained at heart clinic appointments a few times. I’ve watched notes get taken for his file, that the whole team looks at. There is no reason for them to not be aware of his disability, and what that means for his appointments. Even the fact that we have to drive so far and the affect that has on his pain levels has been duly noted.

Yet when he tries to address this with them, he’s made to feel like he’s inconveniencing them somehow?

Not impressed.

Well, next week he has his first appointment with the pain clinic. Hopefully, that will get the ball rolling on more effective treatment.

The Re-Farmer

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