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Grateful for Medical Care AND Kindness!!

Saturday, November 16, 2019

As it happened, DH was meeting with his ophthalmologist yesterday at the hospital clinic for a glaucoma check up and treatment. And yes, he did ask about how we "see" and his doctor confirmed -- following up on my blog topic yesterday -- that it's reasonable to allocate 20% to retina and 80% to "brain" including memory.

Very interesting!

Charge for the glaucoma appointment and treatment? That would be $0. Except for hospital parking (for which we could have got a free pass if that were a burden . . . but it's not. We were happy to pay.).

And, as it happened, I also was scheduled for a melanoma check up with my dermatologist yesterday. My mother died of melanoma 22 years ago -- the non-sun exposure, hereditary type -- and I've been getting annual checkups (or oftener, if something is worrisome) ever since. Yesterday it was one spot zapped with hydrogen, two scheduled for biopsy in March.

Charge for the melanoma appointment and treatment? That would be $0. Parking was also free at the dermatologist's office building.

About two weeks ago, I had my right knee x-rayed. It's painful. My family physician faxed in the requisition.

Charge for the x-ray? That would also be $0 with no charge for parking.

I'll meet with my doctor Monday afternoon for the report -- which I'm pretty sure will be that the osteoarthritis is deteriorating, compounded by the osteoporosis. But: I'm doing my part with ongoing gentle exercise including my morning routine (the squats in particular) plus lots of Henry walks and stretching too. And taking my Vitamin D and calcium supplements every day, with optimum nutrition using intuitive eating/intermittent fasting so my weight isn't increasing pressure on that knee.

When I meet with my lovely family doctor, there will be no charge for her services and no charge for parking.

Last weekend we both got flu shots. They're provided free at many different convenient locations -- we used the in-store pharmacy when we were picking up our groceries. No charge for parking, of course -- even a free "FLUELESS" band-aid afterwards!!

And what's most surprising to me is not so much the "free" medical care. Which we could afford either directly or through purchased private insurance if we lived elsewhere than Canada. But for which I'm grateful . . . While also recognizing that we pay hefty taxes which support that medical care for everyone including people who pay much less tax. Our taxes very probably exceed the costs of private medical insurance. And yes, I'm happy to know that our taxes help subsidize this medical care which is given freely to everyone who needs it . . .

But: beyond the medical care -- it's the kindness. The genuine concern and caring.

My dermatologist took time to explain the consent process for the future biopsies and clearly had refreshed her memory about my mother's medical history. DH's ophthalmologist took time to explain the glaucoma diagnosis and to confirm his family medical history of glaucoma and to warn about post-treatment headache and blurry vision and "not driving" -- why I was there, of course!! -- and to offer reassurance about new developments for future treatment. The flu shot pharmacist noted I've used their service for the past 3 years and had my form all printed off his computer in about 30 seconds and congratulated me for getting a flu shot which protects me and others . . . The x--ray technician took great care in taking pictures from all angles while entertaining me with a story about himself and his four year old wearing matching Power Ranger costumes for Hallowe'en.

The kindness. You can't require it of medical personnel, And you can't pay for it. I know that these jobs can be very very difficult and stressful, but the medical personnel I encounter are consistently kind and gracious and human. That's what may matter the very most.
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Member Comments About This Blog Post
    Ahhh … I'm glad you have good, quality health care.

    America offers soooooo much for sooooooo many … but our health care is very disappointing … the quality and the cost.

    A bout of pneumonia cost us $18,000 for a 2 day stay in the hospital … not Intensive Care Unit … normal hospital bed. Doc "checked" on me at 2am by asking me if I knew what day it was, the name of the hospital I was in and who the president was. He woke me from a dead sleep only to find out my 105* fever had broken and I now was in a completely soaked bedding and clothing situation. NO one came to aid me … hubby took care of me. Sad, sad, sad. Sad that this happened and sad that I have lots more sad stories of American health care … lack of care.
    129 days ago
  • _CYNDY55_
    134 days ago
    It sounds like you have good medical people taking care of you. We are blessed.
    134 days ago
    Love your Kindness theme in all its incarnations!! You are blessed and you know it. Thanks for sharing.
    134 days ago
    Most of all - kindness.
    134 days ago
  • FLYER99
    It's great to live in Canada. Sometimes I don't like our politics but all countries are having issues with that. I don't get into politics. I enjoy the free health care, although as you said our taxes pay for it. Perhaps one day we will get free pharmacare and dental care. I get a lot of kindness from my health care providers but you are so lucky to have received as much as you have. My family doctor is very gruff. But I find my specialists are pretty good. I take cabs most places as I can never find a parking spot. I have a Monday ophthalmologist appointment which I can walk to. My eyes have been bothering me over the past few weeks and my optometrist was no help at all. I am happy you are getting the care you need and in a kindly way. Bless you and have a wonderful Sunday! ...Bob. Edited to say that I think all doctors should take courses in compassion and being pleasant. So many I run into are very bad and don't even seem to care. YAY for kindness.
    134 days ago

    Comment edited on: 11/17/2019 6:46:35 AM
    I'm in the UK and I'm very grateful for our National Health Service. It's free for everyone to use and is paid for by all tax-payers through taxes. As it's been here all my life (it started in 1948) it's hard for me to imagine what a terrible worry it must be for people who have to pay as they go and my heart goes out to them.

    People here feel passionately about supporting our NHS. With the election campaigning in full swing at the moment, the parties are all falling over themselves to claim they will put more money into it than anyone else. In all the polling it always comes up in about the top three issues that people are concerned about.
    134 days ago
  • DESIREE672
    I do hope everything comes back clear. You must be anxious, and the kindness must be very needed and comforting.

    In Japan healthcare is partly socialized, not free but it’s manageable for most people. For DH it’s free because of his conditions. The quality of care can be very good and not so good. One advantage of DH’s conditions is we’ve both had time to navigate the system and find good care.
    135 days ago
    135 days ago
    Kindness makes a huge difference in how we feel about someone else!!!!!
    135 days ago
    Wonderful :)
    135 days ago
    We have socialized medicine. Do you? The problem, oftentimes, kindness is missing!
    135 days ago
  • GABY1948
    emoticon emoticon
    135 days ago
  • GABY1948
    The caregivers can make all the difference in how we do when seeing professionals. and so glad you have had so many positive experiences for some time between you and hubby and Henry too! emoticon
    135 days ago
    Kindness. Compassionate care. Yeah!

    I've been fortunate to experience many kind, compassionate health care providers over the years.

    Glad you and your hubby are receiving good care and being treated with kindness.
    135 days ago
    It makes so much sense to make sure everyone has access to affordable healthcare. From a pure economic perspective so many in US are one health crisis away from dropping out of the middle class.

    135 days ago
  • NANCY-
    It s time to select insurance options that are available. The current plan I am on is over $1200 per month, I think taxation might be cheaper. Then the insurance company undercuts the providers. I feel for the doctors who must see patients like piecework. Only 15 minutes allocated for a visit. The doctors get docked if they don't comply and if their patients who have diabetes do not get eye exams or mammogram as needed.

    I still have a co-pay and need to pay for my meds.
    Although the flu shot was free. Being on a fixed budget It is a challenge... December 2020 I can access Medicare, hopefully it will be better.
    135 days ago
  • HOLLYM48
    I look at it as a calling to be a medical professional and I cherish the patients I care for each day.
    Thank you for commenting on the great care you received from the people you interacted with.
    Enjoy your Saturday!
    135 days ago
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    135 days ago
    135 days ago
    135 days ago
    wonderful! emoticon
    135 days ago
    So right!! I've recently had several similar experiences as you've had, with no cost to me since I have Medicare and a good supplement! I second ONEKIDSMOM's thoughts on the Canadian system! I also very much appreciate that our taxes (in Canada ad US) pay for care fr those who have less ability so they can be healthier, which has the potential to keep us all healthy! I do need to schedule with the dermatologist, though. It's been years and would provide peace of mind!
    135 days ago
    By coincidence I had my annual physical yesterday (also free with free parking). My internist / primary care doctor is a kind and wonderful woman who reminded me that if there is anything I need, contact her through the online message portal (also free). I will have my mammogram next Friday (free and free parking) at a different radiology dept because my usual one couldn't book it for a few weeks longer, not a problem as this one is closer to my office. At that time I can use their Express Health Clinic for a walk-in flu shot (free and right next door to the radiology office building).

    While I do normally have a copay ($20 or $30) for a office visit, I consider that inexpensive. I pay about $55 a month for my HMO - my employer picks up the bulk. When I retire in March, I shall utilize Medicare (not free and more than twice what I currently pay) with a supplemental or advantage plan to cover office visits, and prescription coverage plus dental and fitness centers (hopefully no cost or minimal). Today as it happens I have an appt. with an insurance broker to look at my options and customize a plan.

    I have been blessed with good coverage for most of my life, but I do know what it is like to "not have coverage" and it is a scary situation. Everyone deserve healthcare at what they can really afford.
    135 days ago
    It does make a difference when the provider is genuinely caring.

    135 days ago
    We are truly fortunate here in Canada.. Our medical care is not free but is paid for by our taxation BUT it is universal. And as a retired health care worker it is always wonderful when patients take informed interest in their health and don't expect magic cures.
    135 days ago
    Thank you on behalf of all the medical professionals I've had the pleasure of calling colleagues!

    135 days ago
  • PHOENIX1949
    In my personal experience, the Canadians I have been in contact with here in Central Texas, all have had kindness in their nature.
    135 days ago
    Kindness! What a wonderful thing it is! emoticon
    135 days ago
    I appreciate you sharing your positive stories about the health care system in Canada. Other Canadian friends share similar experiences. Its a shame that so many Americans have a negative impression of the Canadian health care system.
    135 days ago
    Amen to all of this, and a huge point of gratitude, both the care and the kindness. I do believe that having the system that Canada does takes a good deal of profit pressure off the medical staff.
    135 days ago
    A working system!
    Now why on earth people in the US push back against universal health coverage is beyond me!
    135 days ago
    Love the kindness and information your health care Dr's give you. If you have great insurance, you are golden without a doubt. I also have a great health plan - Scan (Medicare Supplement) My IPA is Greater Newport physicians. emoticon
    135 days ago
    A wonderful vignette of how well our health care system can work, free health care for all. Glad you and hubby are being closely watched with your risks.
    135 days ago
    So opposite here with many going into financial ruin over medical care costs. Lucky duck you are.
    135 days ago
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