Thursday, 27 February 2014

Odd Bedfellows, It hardly seems possible

Image courtesy of dream designs /
As I sit in shock and awe of the health system, insurance system and my own health I notice that none of the three have the same interest.  This is something that honestly surprises me.  I really didn’t think that this was the case.  Sure I’ve heard some obviously “crazy” people talking about how bad the system is in Saskatchewan.  I just didn’t think that one day it would be me. 

I have decided that it is true.  But here is what else I know.  If you have had a kid break a leg, been in an accident, or had appendicitis attack and you still have your house, it’s not that bad, right?  I have even heard some people with cancer have excellent care.  I am not willing to speak of any other story but mine.  I have a wise friend that says, “If healthcare is free, just remember, you usually get what you pay for.”  It seems to be true.  Funny part is I always thought I did pay for health care.  I seem to pay dearly.  At least if my income tax is any indication. But it’s not. 

I had a dream in my imagination of a puzzling case of unknown diagnosis.  In that dream several doctors sit around a large table with copies of test results spread amongst them.  In this dream…maybe I should say fantasy… maybe I’m splitting hairs…ANYWAYS…the doctors are trying vainly to figure out what is causing a young woman’s crippling pain and loss of mobility.  (Hey it’s my dream I can be young if I want to!)  They toss around ideas, come up with some logic ideas, run a few more tests and bambooee!!! Diagnosis.  That is how I always thought it would work.

It doesn’t.

The health care system wants me to be better.  They really do.  They want me to be off of their list.  And as they work in the system, I assume they don’t want me to die, so I’m going to go with- better.  The powers that be just really hope that I get better and get off the list.  However they are not willing to speed up said list so that I can get better quicker.  They just hope that I call, cancel an appointment and declare my full return to health. 

My insurance company is a little different.  They have declared me better.  “I dub thee healed.”  Return to work, get off my docket.  The insurance company has to hedge their bets.  They need to make money in order to pay their shareholders.  I get it, I sell insurance.  Property insurance mind you.  It’s much easier to prove a sewer back up. 
So I am in the weird position to try to fight with the doctors to make them see that I still have something wrong with me and fight with the insurance company for the same thing.  ODD!  I know. 

I have one more neurologist appointment on Friday.  We will see how that goes.  I’m not holding my breath but I can’t help but be hopeful.  Maybe we will know more on Friday.  

Thursday, 20 February 2014

5 Things I hate about being a truckers wife

This might not resonate with all of you but I don't feel like keeping quiet.

Being a truckers wife has some good points but a lot are not so good.  There are a few things that you just have to get used to if you and your husband want to live this life.  They advertise in my area for truckers on the radio.  They need lots of them especially in the upcoming years.  More of the guys that have been doing it for their whole lives are retiring.  I hope that the kids that are up and coming don't enter that occupation.  It's not what they advertise.
Tractor part of a semi
5. Trying to feed them is impossible.  They eat horrible food while driving.  They cannot eat healthy.  The only places that they can fit into are truck stops.  And those don't usually carry too much by the way of healthy food.  Especially in the case of an allergy to flour...

4. No plan EVER.  It's awful.  You can't ever count on them for anything.  First they go on an overnight trip.  Then the place they were going doesn't have any of the stuff they were going to get.  So then they have to go to another place to get the stuff they were supposed to get.  Then they call that they are an hour away so they want you to save them a spot and then they get pulled over in the scales and don't show up.  They are never on time.  They are never on time EVER.  

3. No help ever.  I am a fairly independent woman.  I don't mind figuring some things out on my own.  But  sometimes it seems as though the trucker God works against us.  Why a perfectly good tire decides to go completely flat 3 hours after he leaves is beyond me.  It is like the house waits for him to leave until a tap starts to leak, the furnace goes out or the toilet stops working.  While he is here, everything runs along tickity boo.  As soon as he leaves, all hell breaks out.

2. Schedule.  I like a normal, in my opinion, regular schedule. On Monday night this week, I made an omelette for my husband at 11:30 PM.  Not because he asked me to but because he had just got home and hadn't really eaten anything hot in two days.  So there goes a schedule out the window.

1.  Alone time.  There I said it.  I'm lonely sometimes.  My kids are teenagers.  The only times they want to spend anytime with me is when they need money.  And sometimes I would like my husband to come home at 6 PM every night and  help dry dishes and hold my hand when we watch TV.  We have tried that life but a 1A life is quicksand.  The more you try to get out the  faster you sink.

Don't get me wrong, I love our life and I know that trucking got us here.  But some days are harder than others.  I would love to see changes to the lifestyle of trucking.  It would be great for my husband to make a decent living and be able to sleep at night.  Those two things don't seem to run together.

Sunday, 16 February 2014

Being Sick-Coping with my illness

Strange things happen when you get sick-people look at you a bit different.  I walk with a cane now and that adds a certain spark to the look in peoples eyes.  I am 39 years old and walk with a cane.  Who would have guessed?

I have wonderful people in my family.  Sometimes you don't see extended family as much as you wish and you underestimate the amazing help just being around people that have known you forever.  No sorrowful looks there.  Plenty of emotion, but none are sorrowful.  Emotion boils out in rants about the health care.  We could draw a Venn diagram of people who don't like the health care system in Saskatchewan and people who have never used the Saskatchewan health care system.  They don't intersect. 

Don't get me wrong.  I am terribly grateful for the system we have in some ways.  My kids have broken numerous bones and had some wicked brushes with some rough stuff.  And until now if someone would have asked, I would have said we had it pretty okay.  Now that is a bunch of hooey.

I am not a really difficult person to please, I really am not.  I enjoy being a fairly happy person.  I have a touch of the Pollyanna complex.  The problem that this creates is that most people think that I am okay with everything that has been going on.  I am NOT.  I hate how I have been treated.  I hate how many doctors appointments I have left in tears.  I hate how much time every single little thing takes.  I feel like they are stealing my life two weeks at a time.  It's not fair.  Quite simply, it just isn't.  It isn't fair to keep people waiting while they get sicker and sicker.  How much damage are my tremors causing?  Are they going to ever go away?  As long as my pain is under control no one really seems to care. 

I am not okay with this.  There are only 1 million people in our glorious province.  We should be able to look after ourselves.  Do you want to save millions of dollars a year? Get the computer system up and running.  For the love of God it is 2014 and I have waited 2 1/2 months now for my test results.  That is unacceptable.  And frankly down right cruel. 

So to everyone who thought I was okay with my illness and coping alright, I'm really not.  I just don't want to dwell on it.  I also don't get to talk to people very often so I don't want to scare you away. 

In my boredom, I have been working on a new website.  This is the link.  Nothing would make me happier than everyone going over and having a look!

Thank you again for you all reading my blog!  There are thousands out there and I thank you for caring about me!

Tuesday, 11 February 2014

A Big Secret You Should Know About Me

I am about to admit something to all of you.  It may change the way you feel about me.  I hope not but it might.  I have harbored this secret since I was about 12 years old.

I love politics.
There I said it.  I love them.  I secretly aspire to be a politician.  I'm not sure I would ever really do it.  But I love the idea of it.
When I was young I was in the Saskatchewan Youth Parliament.  I loved it.  The feeling when you walk in the legislative building is amazing.  I think everyone should tour the Parliament/Legislative buildings at least once in your lifetime.  To me it was awe inspire-ring.

This is Preston Manning.  He was a Reform Party big wig in the '80's and  '90's. He was a strong push behind the idea that the West didn't really get any attention to what we needed because our population base isn't big enough to warrant it.
I loved him.  I loved the idea of the West getting "what we deserved".  And to my 16 year old brain it sounded just right.  It was a perfect outlet for my ideas.  With a hint of rebellion tied in that suited my teenage years perfectly. (I was a lame teenager.)

And one day, my friends dad, who was helping with the handshaking part of Preston Mannings job in our community, arranged to have him speak to our class.  I got to ask him a question. I got to meet him.  I even got to shake his hand and I was forever enamored!  I think one could say I swooned.
To this day when I think of it my heart races.  I don't think that I have gotten any cooler as I grew up.

I will continue to follow politics.  Reading about it, listening to it, and watching on tv will for now satisfy my craving.
I would love to hear from other political junkies out there.  I can't be the only one...can I?

Saturday, 1 February 2014

Cold-Saskatchewan Style

We Canadians have been hearing a lot lately about the polar vortex, the icy cold in places like LA, and we have even been blamed for this vortex.  We Canadians and especially we Saskatchewan folks want to send out a big pshaw!

We have existed in cold weather forever and will forever more. 

My husband and I watched this clip a few days ago and this prompted me to write this.  Thanks Jimmy Kimmel!

SERIOUSLY!  60⁰ Fahrenheit is the equivalent of 15.5⁰ Celsius.  Room temperature is 20⁰. 

Saskatchewan weather should not be mistaken with weather in provinces like B.C.  We are a vast country with many different weather systems.  B.C. has the ocean on its side so that gives it a different weather system.  The Yukon is much closer to the north pole AKA Santa’s house, therefore has a different weather pattern.  I am not saying that we are the worst off.  I know we aren’t. 

But I do know that I will not pretend to understand heat.  Here if it gets to 30 ⁰ C I am whining.  I won’t speak for everyone but I am.  That is 86 ⁰ F.  (I know  this thanks to this page )

Our relationship with temperature changes with the seasons.  In the spring we will typically begin wearing shorts and flip flops at approximately +5 ⁰C.  (41 ⁰F) We stop wearing them at about +15 ⁰.     (60 ⁰) We get a touch antsy as we get tired of our six month winter.  And then the approaching dread of winter forces us into full leg pants. 

Residents of LA, and all the cities just like you, feel free to come on up and join us for a real cold and windy day.  Feel the twinge of frost bite when the temperature and wind chill reaches -50 ⁰ C (-58 ⁰ F) and see how wonderful living within the four walls of your heavily insulated home can really be.  I will gladly show you around.  Or better yet, maybe just send your newscasters so they know what real cold and wind can be! 

And I can only hope to be introduced to your heated winters someday.  You will know which one I am.  I will be the one griping about it being +86 ⁰! 

Just for fun, I would love to see pictures of your winter, wherever you are.  Post them in the comments or send some links to them.  Pictures like this, taken in Indian Head last April.  And yes I know that April is usually spring, just not spring 2013. Have fun!