I’ve had some time this week to look back over the week after having some surgery as to the health care we receive here in Canada. As I’ve been doing nothing but lay on my back over the last couple of days I’ve been watching and reading about all the events happening in Haiti over the last week. It’s really made me thankful for all that we have here in our country. We spend so much time complaining about all the bad things with our health care system that we don’t think about the good.

So often is the case that we complain about the quality of our health care and that it doesn’t meet our standards. Then something like the earthquake in Haiti happens and it puts everything into perspective. Some people in this world don’t even have a doctor to go see, yet we spend a lot of time complaining when we’ve seen two or three doctors and they can’t figure out what’s wrong with us. Or we spend a lot of time complaining when they don’t get our treatment right. I know we get frustrated and we just want to get better but I think we can do a better job of spending less time complaining, and focusing on the good. It’s so hard because when your sick or have something wrong with you a lot of the time we want things to happen “now” and we lose site of how good our system really is. Have you ever stopped to think that some of the top physicians in the world are from Canada?

From the bottom of my heart I am thankful for the team of people that have been looking after me for the past 4yrs since everything started happening. From the doctors to the therapists that work with me I am ever so thankful. We need to look at simple things like being able to pick up the phone and call our doctors when we aren’t feeling well and are feeling pain. As Canadians we just ask our doctor for a prescription and that is that. In some other countries they don’t have it that easy. They don’t have some of the pain medications we have. When I think about the people that are laying in the streets in Haiti missing limbs or the people dying waiting for some form of help I get a pit in my stomach thinking about it. It makes me very grateful for the level of care that I get. Let’s not forget that things are a little different in a situation like an earthquake however this is a country that had nothing to start.

When you look at the quality of care in our country compared to many then it’s a real dose of reality. So often though it takes a crisis like what has happened in Haiti for us to realize how good we really have it. The sad part is that after a while people lose perspective of this and they will be back to complaining that they aren’t being cared for at the level that they deserve. Am I myself guilty of thinking this way? I think I am because I start demanding a certain level of care instead of just being grateful that I have care at all.

There are lots of times when we want to focus our attention on the negative experiences that we have had with our doctors and what they aren’t doing for us. I am guilty of thinking this way myself sometimes, however we need to be thankful that we even have one looking at us at all. Lots of times we lose perspective because our desire to become healthy is so strong. We don’t want to except no for an answer or believe that our physicians don’t have all the answers. What we need to look at however is being grateful that we even have a doctor to try and figure it out with.

To put everything into perspective I look back at my struggle with being diagnosed with CRPS. I was angry that it took so long to be diagnosed. I felt a lot of frustration towards the doctors, who I felt should know about this condition. In reality I just need to be thankful that I was diagnosed at all. As a society we seem to have developed this sense of entitlement to the quality of care that we receive. I do believe there should be a certain standard of health care. All I’m saying is that when things don’t necessarily go the way that we want to them to just think about it for a second before you criticize the system. Sometimes I feel like I don’t have the right to talk in a negative light in regards to health care.

At times like this when you have a disaster you can’t help but think that there are people in places dealing with things much worse than what people like us are dealing with. We need to think about the fact that we have food, water, and medicine along with other basic supplies. I might be in pain every day but I’m not dying. I live in a country where I don’t have to pay for basic health care. We need to consider ourselves lucky that we don’t have to spend a month’s wages to see a doctor.

So many of us have found lots of negative things to dwell on when we look back at our system however if we spend a little time looking at the positive I think we would find ourselves moving forward in a more positive light.

I just feel like today I had to go off topic because of the situation in Haiti. I want to say to everyone that we need to pull together as a nation and do whatever we can for Haiti. Whatever way you see fit to do your part I urge you to do it. I also want to say that the next time you become frustrated with our system just be thankful that you even have one. I know I need to do a better job myself thinking about that.