Tuesday, March 2, 2010

Still Kicking

I thought I should write a little bit about what has been happening here in the True North lately. Lot’s of excitement some good, some not so good, but all that ends well is well, and even some great things.

Our friends have been following along with Brenda’s roommates trial and tribulations on Facebook but I thought that I should mention a few things about the situation from my perspective. As you might know she has had some health issues and I know lot’s of my friends are embroiled in this whole health care debate in the U.S. I thought it might help if I recapped a little of what happens here in Canada, without going into the details that like the American ones are quite daunting. This is just a simple mans, simple version from an unaweinspiring viewpoint. I am not a health care professional, nor will I ever become one but as I get older I am becoming a pretty reliable customer of the system. In previous blogs I have talked about the great care my family has received both in the recent and far past. No system is perfect but ours seems to be pretty good. Ella is still being attended to by the Paediatrics folks at the University Hospital in Edmonton and everything seems to be going along as expected. Brenda’s roommate although she had some scary moments and still has some challenges ahead of her is on the mend. In her case she was taken by ambulance to their small town hospital and then sent by STARS helicopter in the Edmonton to the Intensive Care ward. She has now been transferred back to a city closer to home where she will go through some rehab. My brother sure appears to be on the mend from his heart issue a few weeks ago, and his wife is scheduled for some reconstructive surgery on her knee (skiing accident) but maybe they were just faking feeling great while sailing in the British Virgin Islands last week. My niece spent a week in the hospital trying to resolve a problem that has been reoccurring for a few years and this time they think that they have it resolved. A few dozen tests involved there. And then there is me, I am going through some of that checking kind of stuff that doctors like to do just to keep up the payments on the vacation home. Stress tests, echocardiograms, Holters and an MRI of my own. Holy smokes when I read back through the last paragraph a couple of things come to mind, first maybe we should pick up an MRI of our own that we can keep in the barn and those lineups that folks are always hearing about are probably made up of Brown’s. Seriously although some of us have had to wait for things when things were urgent they were done quickly and with little or no waiting.

Unusual as it may seem we are a relatively normal family and pretty healthy to boot, just seems like when you get a little older the preventative maintenance gets a little more intense. As you look back over all this litany of care and testing it would seem like the cost would get a little outrageous and probably would bankrupt the regular guy, but with the Canadian system that is not an issue. We pay a little more in taxes and some of you will help with that in paying higher gas prices north of the border but no money changes hands at the point of sale. Yikes what am I saying I paid a whopping $8.75 for parking for my latest appointment and there is probably more to come.

Now off of that rant and may our friends to the south soon be blessed with a similar healthcare fate. If you have a TV you know that the Winter Olympics have just completed in Vancouver a city a few hundred miles to the west of us here. In fact we would have a pretty good view of the harbour there if it weren’t for those darn pesky Rocky Mountains blocking our sightlines. It was a great Olympics for both the Americans and Canadians, the Americans led the Medal parade but Canada won more Golds than any other country in fact more than had ever been won by one country in any Winter Olympics. That certainly resonates well with us Canadians but the fact that our hockey teams brought home Golds is a point of National pride, after all it is “OUR GAME”. But it wasn’t easy, in both cases the American teams took us to the wall to earn those medals. Good Games by both teams! I thought I should include a very gracious thank you that one of the American Sports guys sent along as he left town. And Brian although you probably aren’t reading this thank you for doing such a great job of displaying our country to our good friends and neighbours to the south.


  1. JB, you are such a great, proud Canadian that you're beginning to sound a bit like an American!! I love it!

  2. Yes Brian thankyou for the thankyou!! We love the Americans. And i am glad to hear all the family health problems are under control too.