Reason #93 to Keep Living: Health Care

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Something easily taken for granted, something for which we must always be grateful: health care.

It’s dangerously easy to forget that health care is a privilege when you’ve had it for so long. And although I’ve complained about the health care system in Canada and Ontario before, both mental health care specifically and Canadian health care compared with Japanese health care, I am, in the end, pretty spoiled when it comes to receiving medical attention.

These medical resources, especially these “free” medical resources, are invaluable. Use them, no matter how tedious they may seem. Make phone calls, write emails, get on waiting lists, show up for your appointments. Get your money’s worth, speak your mind, and take care of yourself.

Please! Take care of yourself.


Read the original post of 101 Reasons to Keep Living to discover the genesis of this project, or catch up on any posts you might have missed here

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My Visit to a Japanese Hospital

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Photo by rawpixel.com on Pexels.com

Visiting the hospital can be frightening under the most comfortable of circumstances. Visiting the hospital in a foreign country, while having to speak a foreign language, can be downright terrifying.

I’ll never forget my friend who had to go to the hospital in Barcelona because of kidney troubles. “We’re going to give you a surgery,” the doctor told her (in English). After she protested and refused, the doctor consulted an English translator and corrected himself: “We’re going to give you an X-ray.”

This, mind you, was in Spain, where there is a lot more English floating around than here in Japan. In fact, the English and Spanish languages aren’t that vastly different to begin with. English and Japanese, on the other hand… Well, good luck.

I first knew I had to go to the hospital in Japan when I started having symptoms of what could have been post-surgery complications. I won’t get into the grimy details, but a minor, laparoscopic surgery before leaving Canada made me wary of my body in ways I hadn’t been before. Now I knew it was better to be safe than sorry, so I started my research on what hospital to visit in Japan. Continue reading

Reason #55 to Keep Living: Making Space in a Crowded Mind

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Although I’m a detailed person when it comes to my schedule, my teaching, and, most importantly, my writing, I have never liked the act of organizing. Making phone calls, memorizing dates, and attending to trivialities puts my mind in a state of foggy uproar.

Unfortunately, if you are familiar with the Canadian health care system (I live in Ontario, and this is the system I am talking about—it could differ from province to province), you will know how agonizingly slow and complicated getting appointments can be. There is the receptionist for the family doc, the receptionist for the surgeon; there are referrals and booking times and addresses and phone numbers. Oh, so many phone numbers. Don’t talk to me anymore about phone numbers… Continue reading