In Canada we have universal health care. Which is fantastic. I see the doctor for any ailment or see a specialist and it doesn’t come out of my pocket. Sure, the wait times are long and can be frustrating. But hey, I like free. It’s the drugs that cost us a small fortune.
I’m lucky that my wife and I both have jobs with a decent benefits plan. Most of the medications we require are covered- many at 100% of the cost. Everything from inhalers to the occasional pharmaceutical for illnesses. I like feeling normal, so Yay Drugs!
Getting drugs to assist our health is fairly normal I guess. There’s also alternative medicines available. Some work, some do not. Those aren’t generally covered by our benefits. Perhaps one day my doctor will prescribe “Medical Marijuana” and I’ll just have to take it, right?
At the end of November, I had a follow up appointment for my stomach issues: Some Medical Diagnosis I Can’t Pronounce. A couple of days ago on Wednesday I went to see a gastroenterologist to discuss what I can do further. My appointment lasted about five minutes.
We went over my stomach issues. He explained that my esophagus is having an allergic reaction and the effects internally are similar to suffering from asthma. Since I’ve had asthma essentially all my life, I knew the feeling. This was similar to what the other doctor had told me. He then listed off the foods that I can avoid and slowly reintroduce them into my diet again.
He then asked if I was taking any medication since my gastroscope. I told him that the doctor who performed the scope prescribed Esomeprazole once daily on an empty stomach. This new doctor asked if it was working. I told him I hadn’t had any swallowing issues or heartburn since I began taking it. Then came his advice.
He told me that I could go off the drug and eliminate all of those foods to see which one I was having a slight reaction to. Or I could continue to take the drug for the rest of my life and eat whatever I wanted. My decision was quick. I was out of his office with a one year prescription renewal and went straight to McDonald’s followed later on by pizza.
There may come a time that I decide to try eliminating certain foods. But I’m still young enough to enjoy life and all that it has to offer. Especially in the food department. I don’t over indulge in foods, so I haven’t ever gained much weight. I could eat healthier- and that is a goal this year. But I am not ready to eliminate foods. Especially ones I enjoy so much.
Why must I go through extra steps of booking an appointment? First, book with my doctor. Then get on wait list for another doctor. Told to wait 5 weeks. And wait longer. Which turned into 10 weeks.
Finally a phone call from my doctor. Telling me to call the other doctor to confirm my appointment they made for me. Which is in ten days time still.
If it was urgent, I’d be upset. But such is life. Just gotta go with the flow. And be 15 minutes early… for my appointment to make a future appointment. Craziness I tell you.
I woke up this morning with a sharp pain in my lower back. Only it wasn’t my muscles. So I thought, “Man, my colon is sore” as I rubbed my lower left side. Then it dawned on me that maybe it was my kidney. Could it be my liver? Definitely not my lungs- I know when those are sore. I really have no clue where this pain is coming from or why I am experiencing it.
It dawned on me that after 40 years on this planet, I really don’t know where my organs are located or what each of their purpose is. I know the basics. Brain runs the show. Heart pumps the blood. Lungs bring in oxygen for the blood. Stomach digests the food. Intestines shove the food waste out. Without each organ, I could die. Maybe. Or I would need medicine or treatments to bypass that death thing. Medical advances could keep me alive. See? All sciency and stuff. I have zero understanding about my body. I assume that I have the same organs as everyone else. That’s where my knowledge ends.
I learned long ago not to trust Dr. Google if I had some sort of ailment. My family doctor is much better. He studied medicine for years. He knows me personally. He even kind of cares about my well being and my family’s well being. I trust his medical opinion. He isn’t a multimillionaire. He isn’t “Big Pharma” either. He just wants to help people stay alive and healthy. I go to him and explain my ailments. I don’t tell him what drug I think I need or what possible disease I think I’ve contracted. I know nothing, so I trust my health in his knowledge of medicine and the human body.
Nine times out of ten? I am advised to go home. Rest, exercise, eat better, see him again if things persist. Smart advice. The other one time? Inhaler refill. He recommends a flu shot every year, so I get one. I haven’t had the flu in over five years. A common cold every so often, but not the flu. My children and I are up to date on vaccinations as well. Guess what? None of us have gotten the measles, mumps or rubella. Poliomyelitis? Not here. Why? Because I trust my doctor and his knowledge of the medical field.
I don’t have the answers or the knowledge of how the human body works. But I am smart enough to find someone who does. I like my family doctor. He’s pretty chill.
My wife is no doctor, but sometimes her advice is spot on. Today for example- I told her about my pain, she told me to try pooping because that may be the problem. Guess what? I pooped and feel better. No doctor’s appointment needed this time.