Nearly a month ago, DG was in hospital with appendicitis. It’s not a rare condition by any means and I think it’s commonality means that we somewhat belittle the pain it incurs. Watching DG, who has quite a high pain threshold, writhe in pain assured me it was not a pleasant experience. Watching DG high on a cocktail of morphine and endone which caused his filter of what was appropriate to say to disappear completely was hilarious.
His experience in hospital wasn’t an enjoyable one. There was the waiting until 3:30am to be seen by a surgeon despite arriving at 2:30pm the previous day, the routine surgery ending up not-so-routine when DG stopped breathing on the table. There was the potential removal of his gall bladder and what ended up being unnecessary fasting for 18 hours and the five hour wait in the discharge lounge before finally going home. There was also the nurse who sent me home in the middle of the night after waking me up, despite the fact every other nurse had told me I could stay.
For a four day stint in hospital, we had a lot happen that wasn’t lovely.
But despite all of the crap that happened, I feel lucky. Lucky that we live in a country that despite the fact he wasn’t seen by a surgeon until the very early hours of the morning, DG was admitted to a bed almost immediately and was in surgery less than 24 hours later.
Lucky that our hospitals have the necessary medical equipment to make the appropriate diagnosis and to make DG breathe again, of which I am the most thankful I have ever been.
Lucky that despite the fact that nurses are overworked and underpaid (in my opinion), DG had nurses who genuinely cared about his wellbeing and called a few times over his first week at home to make sure he was okay.
But most of all, lucky that all of this medical attention cost the grand sum of zero dollars (with the exception of $40 in parking and many dollars on coffee and food once DG was able to eat again and dinner wasn’t enough. Seriously, I think there’s a lot of money to be made in hospital parking and cafes).
Say what you will about our health care system and believe me, I know it’s not perfect, but there aren’t an overabundance of places in the world where DG would have received this kind of treatment this quickly and for free. So while there is still a long way to go, I think we should all take a moment to recognise just how good we have it here in Australia.
What are you feeling thankful for? Have you had good experiences with our health care system?