Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Let us pray ...

... for my friend Judith: The pen and the pain.

I'm concerned, of course. But I would even more concerned if I didn't know that Judith is tough as nails. She will more than survive.


  1. Anonymous11:02 PM

    Thank God she has high-quality and affordable health care through Canada's national health-care system. That should do her at least as much as prayers. In this country she likely wouldn't have even that. Or, probably more exactly, only that.

  2. I think it lamentable that you would use this as a springboard for sociopolitical comment.

  3. Anonymous12:40 PM

    Spoken like a person who, presumably, has good health insurance. Things look different to those who do not and who must struggle, not only with the illness, but with the overwhelming debt, and too often bankruptcy, resulting from it. It is not lamentable to be happy that someone has good health insurance, but it is lamentable as well as self-righteous to maintain that concern for it is somehow tacky.

  4. WHATEVER insurance arrangements Ms. Fitzgerald may or may not have, she is in our prayers, nonetheless ... and so are her friends, family and caregivers!

  5. Hey Anonymous: What I am blessed to have is good health. I would suggest you do a little more research about the Canadian health system -- in particular how members of the Canadian parliament are exempt from it. I had hoped to refrain from going into this, but your truculence -- and evident ignorance -- has left me no choice.

  6. Anonymous6:11 PM

    Being Canadian myself, and having enjoyed the Canadian system and endured the American non-system, I can say with some assurance that I know more about the Canadian system than you do. It is a small thing, but worth noting. It is lucky that you have good health. Millions of Americans do not, nor do they have the health-insurance coverage to deal with it. I say that not as a foe of your otherwise (other, that is, than health care) magnificent country, but as, I hope, a friend who wishes it could see the medical needs of its citizens. Politicians of all countries always take care of themselves first; I am not an expert in this matter, but I understand that members of Congress exempt themselves from many laws they impose on their constituents.

  7. Well, you are right there, about the U.S. Congress exempting itself from many of the laws it passes, including the recent so-called health-care legislation.

  8. Anonymous8:07 PM

    According to FactCheck.org, neither House nor Senate members are exempt from the health-care legislation. Media Matters for America states that the law "subjects the White House, members of Congress, and their staffs to the same reforms and requirements as the rest of the American people." I don't know; these are American mysteries into which I choose not to delve. In any case, that politicians are venal and self-serving does not negate the need for them, especially in a democracy such as Canada or the United States, to pass legislation ensuring the welfare of the people, which in our advanced age and society includes, or should include, affordable health care. Remember, even people blessed with good health can -- and, if they live long enough, surely will -- become sick.

  9. My sympathies and best wishes go to Judith. I've been dealing with major medical problems all summer myself, and so I can say, been there, done that. Best wishes for a speedy return to some semblance of normal—whatever the new normal looks like.

  10. Factcheck. org not withstanding, Congress and federal employees have their own health plan, which they will keep under the new legislation, in effect exempting them from the law.

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  13. Frank, Jeff, Art, and Dear BITE Friends (via email), thank you so much for your prayers and kind thoughts. It helps and comforts more than I can express. Oh, Art, I am sorry you are going through your own trials; hope you are getting through them, too. We will be fine someday soon, I am sure of it.

    Frank, your initial reaction to the anonymous poster strikes me as the correct one. You are right. I am sorry the thread got hijacked; and, despite what anyone says, allow yours truly, a Canadian, to lay it on the line:

    Our health-care system is in disarray and coming apart at the screams I heard in the hospital.

    I was given a job during my stay, in fact, because there was a shortage of nursing staff. I had to take Eleanor for a walk . . . well, a run, really, she clipped along so quick-fast with her rollator -- and made me feel kinda wimpy. Eighty-seven years old, doing bending and stretching exercises, pausing every so often so I, in a wheelchair at that point, could keep up with her.

    Trust me, our health-care system ain't all it's cracked up to be. I know I have to pay myself for half the stuff I need (or depend on the Indian Friendship Centre). I also know that the cash I spend on ensuring I have proper grab-bar situation to take a shower cost ME almost a hundred bux. Add that to the taxi fees I had to pay because they are not covered, to the meds that are not covered, you see why my food budget goes into negative numbers while I wait 33 days to have my first shower (today, in fact, clean, a new woman, almost).

    No health-care system's perfect. I know the British system's got huge problems; and, for that matter, so does ours. It is not working. Our governments, from top to bottom, do not see health-care improvements (or even maintenance) as a priority. We have major problems. Oh, the wait lists are reduced somewhat; but, it still takes too long to get access to diagnostic equipment and communities are the ones fundraising to bring such items as MRI and Cat-Scan equipment to our hospitals.

    People who have a family doctor are terrified of moving too far away from them. I know. It can take two years in the North to find one after you sit on a waiting list for far too long. Many die waiting. I know because my friend, Calvin, suffering from Diabetes, died on Christmas Day because he couldn't get his blood sugar fixed due to long lines at Emergency.

    No system is perfect, IMO. I lived in the U.S. and know that some of the best care I received was in Key West, FL.

    More and more I am less and less hopeful we will ever solve this problem (unless governments change their priorities, all governments, all nations). We are expendable. It is cheaper to let us die than to keep us alive. That is also a Canadian reality.

    Each system has its plus and minus sides. None is perfect; and, until we put people before productivity charts and graphs, none will be. How I wish it were otherwise; but, no Canadian who has gone through our system with a major affliction I know can say, "Wow, I came first" because, the moment one does say such a thing, everyone in earshot knows it ain't true. That's why proactive steps are so important; and, today, all showered and clean, I do feel more hopeful despite what I have written here.

    Again, thank you, Frank and Dear Friends, your words matter more to me than you will ever know (especially to me, a Canadian living in what appears to be a de-facto two-tier system operating under the illusion healthcare here is fair and equitable because, in truth, it ain't and the patient does pay and pay and pay . . .).

    Blisses :).
    p.s. Can't sleep, just enjoying being peep-squeakerly clean too much :)

  14. Thanks, Judith. Now get back to the serious business of getting well. Love, F