My hands feel as though they’re roped and tied.
The last update I posted on my documented journey of my husband’s illness, we were off to the naturopath’s office. As always, Dr. Eric was wonderful. He went through all the medical files and gave us some inspiration. He gave my hub some naturopathic remedies, and set up an I.V. therapy program twice a week for him to help build up the important levels of the liver to help it function better.
Although we are hopeful things will take a turn for the better, and the new diuretic hasn’t helped, I also haven’t heard back from the requisition that Dr. B sent to hospital to order my husband another draining by a radiologist, last Wednesday. My hub has gained back all the fluid that was drained at emerge last week, within 4 days. It took all my patience to wait Thursday and Friday for a call, and then pass what felt like a very long weekend as he sits in discomfort, waiting.
I’ve left messages at Dr. B’s office, and emailed him. The phone is always so busy, difficult to get through. I’m pretty well-versed now on the symptoms of this disease, and this fluid build up can potentially become dangerous. If I could just get hub to this damned appointment, I’m going to request a port be inserted in his stomach, so in future, I won’t be at the mercy of the failing health care system.
This procedure has to be done with the aid of an ultra sound in order to see exactly where the fluid is pooling, and to make sure the needle doesn’t go into an organ. My naturopath informed me that if he gets a port put in, that there is a health care service I can call when his fluid builds up, and they’ll come to my home the same day to drain, without needing the ultra sound.
I just cannot comprehend how my husband’s situation isn’t serious enough for the hospital to follow up more closely when it’s a known fact the symptoms of his disease.
I’m beginning to believe more and more about a story a doctor friend told me a few years back — that health care for seniors is not at the forefront of medical system’s bureaucracy. I am beginning to believe that there is some sort of conspiracy in the priority of who gets attended to first.
A glimmer of hope: As I’m writing this, I just received an email reply from Dr. B’s kind secretary. She informed me that the requisition was sent out as we were told, and she has left several messages for that department to try and find out why it’s taking so long, and she said she would keep calling to try and move things forward.
To be continued.
This post is a follow up to the original post #Health #Caregiving and working with the Medical System.
I wasn’t going to put together another post for this week, as I already have my posts for the week scheduled in draft, but I’m sticking one more in because I feel compelled to say something.
I talk about kindness and the universe a lot. I also preach that without having our health, we have nothing, for nothing else can bring us joy while we’re busy fretting over serious illness.
I had to write this post in gratitude as a shout out to two wonderful doctors.
Many of you know my personality here, and how I am here, is how I am in my real life. I’m friendly, inquisitive, and make friends and form rapports quite easily because I respect people and have a way of forming instant bonds with people. This is no different when it comes to my relationships with mine and my husband’s doctors.
In today’s world, we all know that it can be difficult to get in to see a doctor at times. Wait times can drag on, and if we’re scared about something, the waiting can seem like an eternity; especially if you are out of country on the other side of the continent. And don’t even get me started with trying to get hold of a doctor to speak to them personally.
I know the US has their healthcare issues, and believe me, a lot has changed too with Canadian healthcare, not for the better. But there are still some
Saints doctors around who still have a bedside manner and compassion. And I am blessed to have two of them.
Without getting into great details of the Stage IV prostrate cancer my husband had a few years ago, and the grueling treatments he underwent to save his life, I’m always on guard for symptoms, and there have been a few residual issues from side-effects of the treatment through these past few years.
A few days ago, while we’re on vacation, my husband developed some questioning symptoms (which I won’t get into here). I’m pretty well versed in health and disease and cures, medically and naturopathically. His symptoms weren’t making a lot of sense to me and flagged an alert system in my brain from the things I do know. After googling my computer to death, knowing what he didn’t have, but miniscule possibilities of what he could have, I was quite concerned to the point where I felt we might have to go back home.
You may be wondering if we have out of country medical insurance, and the answer is yes, of course, but I’m pretty well versed too, at the way the insurance companies work. I’ve seen issues all too often in the news. If there’s one tiny thing they can find to pin an ailment on, they won’t cover insurance, and I know if I took him to a doctor here, they’d pin his symptoms back to his cancer 5 years ago and wouldn’t reimburse, so although feeling like I may be overstepping some privileges, I contacted 2 of our doctors back home, on Sunday.
Dr. Vesprini, oncologist at Sunnybrook Hospital is one of my husband’s doctors. We see him twice a year for testing to make sure the cancer hasn’t returned. Dr. V, as I call him, is a strappingly handsome young man with a great personality, and a man who doesn’t make you feel like you’re even in a hospital. We were there before we came to Arizona for hub’s semi-annual checkup, and there was a test result misplaced. He said, ‘Don’t worry Deb, I’m not going to make you come all the way back here. Here’s my personal email address, we’ll run that test again now, then email me Monday and I’ll email you back the results”. Wow, I was touched that he wasn’t going to put us out and make us come back so he could charge OHIP for another visit, or that I didn’t have to go through hoops with a secretary, not to mention that he felt comfortable giving me his personal email address.
Dr. Marsden (although we’re on a first name basis) became my naturopath almost 15 years ago. He basically saved my life a few times over. He’s a brilliant naturopath who studied in Germany and brings all the technology here. He has patients that come to his cancer clinic and health center from all over the world. I’ve watched him grow from his small practice, to an international superstar who travels many places now to lecture. But when it comes to looking after me and my husband it feels as though he’s our friend and always comes to the plate when I have a concern. So yes, I do have his cell phone personal number since 2006 when I had my open heart surgery for the tumor on my heart, and he was there for me through consults, listening to my fears, and for a speedy recovery process. He even came to our house to check on me. They just don’t make doctors like Dr. M anymore. I have never abused his number, never, ever used it.
But Sunday I was full of worry. I decided it was time to use my ‘get out of jail free cards’. I sent an email to Dr. Vesprini, with details of my observations on my husband’s symptoms. I didn’t have Dr. Marsden’s email with me, so I sent him a lengthy text explaining my concerns and minute details of the symptoms, and my apologies for bothering him.
Dr. V emailed me back first thing Monday morning, and we emailed back and forth, his diagnosis, and my questions. He verified what I thought it was, and although he’s 99.9% sure of what it is, he told me as long as it remains the same and doesn’t get worse, there is nothing to worry about, and to be sure, he will test my hub when we return home to make sure his diagnosis is correct. He reminded us to have a great time and not to worry and to let him know if anything worse happens, feel free to contact him.
Dr. M called me. He told me exactly what Dr. V had said, put our worries to rest, and said these effects are common even years after radiation, and as long as it remains like this, there’s no reason to worry, although he wants hub to have the same test Dr. V requested when we get home. He invited me to call him anytime if there’s a concern, but I would never abuse the privilege unless I found myself up against a brick wall. He also cautioned what to keep an eye out for and if anything gets worse, he advised we come home.
Now, I had surmised from my knowledge and investigations what the problem could be, but I knew I had to consult with a doctor for verification and peace of mind. I’m not one to ever let suspicious symptoms linger. Everything seems fine for the time being; symptoms are lessening, and I am on watchful duty should things escalate. But I can’t stop thinking about how blessed I am to have these rapports with 2 wonderful human beings who just happen to be doctors.
Thank you for your kindness, concern and compassion Dr. Vesprini and Dr. Marsden. The world could use more doctors like you.