By Sandra Graham
I had the opportunity to do a bit of research recently which had me searching through the records of a cemetery in Ireland. It was fascinating to read the tombstone inscriptions of a “beloved mother”, an “angel on earth” and more. However, what was really interesting was the ages of most of those long departed souls…most of them considered young by today’s standards. It is unknown as to what caused their demise but no doubt it would have been something considered fairly benign today.
Now to Maureen. Not to downplay the wait that she has had for surgery, nor the extent and amount of problems that have plagued her over the years, but the fact that such facilities, technology, skill and knowledge is even available to her is impressive. Not only impressive but awe inspiring and incredible. Not that many years ago, people like her would have been hard pressed to have even found out what was causing the pain and there would be many limitations imposed on her by her condition. She would have been relegated to a bed in the house with people like us coming to visit when it suited us. Her world would have been miniscule and she, like the others now crowding that cemetary I mentioned, would have likely succumbed at a young age due to myriad conditions made worse by her pre-existing ailments.
So I am incredibly thankful for the health care system we have and even more thankful for the people in my life that have benefited from it. Despite a plethora of complaints that one hears daily about wait times, lack of doctors, and more, I can only say great things about the health care system we have. Through Maureen’s blog, you will have already read about the many doctors, tests, procedures and more that she has been privileged (yes, privileged) to have had in order to discover the root causes of her many ailments. I empathize greatly with her, for the body that she has been given, but I also recognize the access to care that she’s had, the medical knowledge that she has benefitted from, the ease of getting medications she needs for pain relief, and currently the great team that is repairing her in order that she can reach her maximum potential. My mother benefitted from such care time and time again, allowing her to live 30 years beyond what she might otherwise have done despite being on the brink of dying several times. My father, too, has been close to death and is still here through the skill of healthcare providers, available technology and knowledge. My husband, my children, and I have all benefited from this great, no…outstanding health care at one time or another.
It is easy to become complacent and take health care for granted. So I am thankful for times like this, while we wait for Maureen’s surgery and ultimate recovery, to shake me out of my complacency. It is easy to fall into the trap of seeing what is wrong with our health care, but I, for one, will be eternally grateful for health care that has allowed me to have those I love around me for longer and better than they might otherwise be. It is infinately better than the alternative.