You Gotta Fight, For Your Right…

I was diagnosed with type-1 Diabetes when I was 4-years old. And even before that, the majority of my existence was spent in hospitals as my older brother was unfortunately blessed with a failing body that caused issues more often than not. So it stands to reason that I’ve seen almost all of the good, bad and ugly within the Canadian healthcare system

Nowhere else in my life do I enjoy such an intense love/hate relationship with a person or entity as I do with the healthcare industry. Anyone who knows me, recognizes that one of the biggest pet peeves in my life has been the need to “convince” a healthcare professional that there’s something wrong or that I’m injured. Today’s healthcare system is almost a revolving door of treating symptoms as quickly and easily as possible and shuffling folks out the door.

Just to be clear, this isn’t the case in ALL situations. My personal physician is a wonderful, attentive woman who has always given me the best care. It’s just unfortunate that she’s located in a city that’s three hours away from me by virtue of my time as a Mountie. It makes it pretty hard to walk in for something on the fly, without scheduling an appointment weeks down the road.

Yesterday, I woke up for the third day in a row in my living room lounger. Cramped, stiff and in pain, it took several minutes of moving around in order to get good blood flow and loosen up my back. This is the result of a strike to the ribs I took during karate class, all the way back on April 2. Although I had seen a doctor a couple of weeks ago, the muscle relaxants I was given did nothing and I was in bad need of a good night’s sleep.

Since the lack of sleep was starting to affect my work, my cognitive abilities and last but not least, my overall fucking mood, I made the decision that I had to get back into. The clinic and see the same doctor for a follow up. There were no scheduled appointments available, so I took a half day off of work and made my way there as a walk-in patient. Besides the usual wait and delayed response in being brought in to the examining room, the doctor walked in and I was able to remind him of the injury and that I was still in serious pain.

His offer was for a stronger muscle relaxant in order to help me sleep. Although this is good in theory, it doesn’t answer the important question of what, exactly is the injury and what can be done to repair it. Despite having been x-rayed, I was only imaged at the back. There’s a very real possibility that a rib is broken/fractured at the front and the lancing pain has me believing it’s at the back. If it’s a torn muscle, it could potentially require surgery to repair. None of these issues seemed to faze the doctor in the least.

I tried to put myself in the doctor’s shoes… After all, having your bicycle stolen off your front lawn may be devastating to you but to the police officer who deals with assaults and murders, it likely isn’t high on their list. This is somewhat akin to that. But his wantonness to simply treat the symptom without examining the cause vexed me, to the point where I thanked him for his time and explained I would find a different doctor to examine the issue. It wasn’t until that was said, that he opted to send me for an ultrasound to see what may be happening inside.

I’m a pretty easy guy in general rot get along with. But one thing a person should never have to do is FIGHT to have treatment when it’s available. I know that some areas of the world don’t have the level of medical care we have here, in Canada. I also know that even just 100 years ago, many people would have suffered indefinitely because of simple things because the technology and knowledge just wasn’t there. But this is 2022, people! If I tell you there’s pain, let’s figure out why!

The good and bad is that I took the stronger muscle relaxant last night and actually got a full night’s sleep (hence how late i the morning this post is). The bad part is that since I slept without waking, I never adjusted when I was in a position that may have aggravated the injury and as a result, I woke up stiffer than ever. As with all things in life, this too, shall pass. The question remains as to how long that will take and how hard I’ll have to fight to get treatment. ☯️

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Shawn

I am a practitioner of the martial arts and student of the Buddhist faith. I have been a Type 1 Diabetic since I was 4 years old and have been fighting the uphill battle it includes ever since. I enjoy fitness and health and looking for new ways to improve both, as well as examining the many questions of life. Although I have no formal medical training, I have amassed a wealth of knowledge regarding health, Diabetes, martial arts as well as Buddhism and philosophy. My goal is to share this information with the world, and perhaps provide some sarcastic humour along the way. Welcome!

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