I have always been incredibly healthy . Never sick, never in the hospital – ever. I still have my tonsils, and have never even had a sprain, let alone a broken bone. I know I am very lucky. A couple weeks ago, I got ready to drive in to the nursery from our farm in Langley and suddenly felt unwell. I had pain in both arms, felt out of breath and nauseous. I thought “I’ll just sit in my car for a minute…’, but soon decided I should lay down in the house. Once I did lay down, I became really sweaty and threw up 5 times. Brent was home and said we had to go to Langley General Hospital at once. It was 11 A.M. and the emergency waiting room was absolutely packed with people of all ages and descriptions. I still felt nauseous and saw papier mache ‘throw-up bowls on a counter and got one. I used it – poor people around me. The receptionist asked me a few questions and gave me two aspirin to chew. I think they realized that I was having a heart attack . Quickly, I was taken through the doors into a hallway, put on a stretcher and hooked up to monitors and oxygen. Blood was taken several times, sticky tabs wired me up and I had an ECG . I was wheeled to be X-Rayed, and brought back to the same hallway, where patients were arranged like piano keys with drapes between us. Several nurses looked in on me, took more blood, and were all exceptionally nice . A lady cardiologist came and told me what had happened and what was going to happen to me (hopefully) tomorrow. It was now ten o’clock at night and I begged her to move me to a semi-private or private room, as my spoiled life couldn’t handle the snoring, crying, brightly lit hall anymore. She went away and much to my surprise came right back and said she had a bed for me in the CCU – hospital speak for Critical Care Unit. Yeah ! Off I went by gurney to a quiet, darkened ward where the nurses were even nicer ! I was hungry, but ”dinner” was long over. One of them scrounged up some biscuits, a pudding and a juice for me and gave me a sleeping pill (which I asked for) . I will never be able to imitate the incredibly loud snoring from the elderly lady next to me , but I did finally fall asleep. At 6 A.M. it was wake-up time. More blood taken , 2 very large bottles full. Breakfast arrived. It was funny -
. A bare plate with a shelled hard boiled egg and a tiny blueberry muffin, sliced open and flattened in a grill. A little box of corn flakes, milk, juice and pathetic coffee. Shortly after, two young lady nurses came and shaved me in the groin area – I compared it to getting your hair cut at ‘Quick Clips’ – BZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZ . Done. Around lunchtime, I was transferred by ambulance to Royal Columbian Hospital in New Westminster, BC. They have a renowned cardiac department, and my ‘stent’ operation would be done there. They ended up doing it via my arm, not via the groin area. It was a relief to know what was wrong, and that I would be just fine. One of my main arteries was 70% blocked (I think?) and in 20 minutes it was all done. I was transferred back by ambulance, with my own nurse, to Langley General. I spent one more night there and got to go home the next day. My new doctor/cardiologist has set up follow-up appointments for me, told me I HAVE TO lose 30 pounds, and take four new prescriptions for the rest of my life. The reason I am feeling I should write about this is that I now have had a personal experience with our Canadian Medical System and I give it an A+ . This whole incident did not cost one cent. ZERO. Everyone was patient and kind, The doctors and nurses, the ambulance guys – I feel I owe them a free plant at the very least. When I occasionally see an American television broadcast dumping on the Canadian socialized medical system, my hackles have always gone up. The reality is here in my own words. We are so lucky ! Now I know it.