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Oh, The Pain, The Pain…

:: I love quoting Dr Smith from Lost In Space. But I am in pain, damn it. My right shoulder, really aggravating, need pain killers, reaching for the pills. Maybe this is a test from God. Can I survive like this until November 12, when my physiotherapy begins?

However, this related story is almost too much to take: the health care system in Alberta has been under siege for ten years, since Ralph Klein took power. For the first time, the evidence of how bad it is hit me today. I need an MRI on my left arm because of the nagging tennis elbow condition. It takes a while in Alberta to get an MRI unless to pay to do it privately – hundreds of dollars – which means if you’re wealthy, you can jump the public queue. The government won’t provide enough funding to allow for enough MRI facilities to reduce the long waiting lists.

In the mail today, I received notification of my MRI appointment: 11 June 2004. When I read the date, I couldn’t help but smile at the irony: on June 11th, 2004, I’ll be in Nashville TN, at the end of my annual professional conference. It takes months to get an MRI appointment, and the first available date I can get in, eight months from now, is during the ONLY event I have scheduled in my life that takes place out of town UNTIL that date.

4 Responses to “Oh, The Pain, The Pain…”

  1. kelly Says:

    How flexible are they at work, Randy? My mom was put on a waiting list and went in for her MRI at the Cross Cancer a week after being told she’d have to wait nine months.

    You could just get put on that and walk over if an opening occured?

  2. Stephen Says:


    I do the waiting list thing for my MRI’s all the tme (3-4 a year) and just run up to teh hospital as an opening appears. Thats the thing with waiting lists – people croak and openings appear!

    Alternatively, I also jumped the queue by talking real seriour-like about how the pain was making me suicidal. That ups your priority since they know pain can kill you – one way or t’other. Look wan.

    Really pal – stop being tough, cry and get on the waiting list. Kelly is right – It works. Besides – you can’t miss SLA in June – Nashville will be a hoot and I’m already trying to get a taste for bourbon.

    If you get desperate, my brother-in-law bought the MRI for his local hospital and he’s on the Board so . . . I’m not saying that’ll get you pull but . . .


  3. darcy Says:

    Happy Halloween, Randy!

    Yep, Ralph Kline + health care cuts = major suckage. But look at it this way. At least you don’t live in the States, with “managed care.” Don’t get me started… :/

    Hope you feel better soon, my friend,

  4. randy Says:

    Thanks for the advice, everyone. I had to call back to reschedule (it’s now June 17th or something), and was put on a cancellation list. We’ll see what happens. Oddly enough, of course, my right shoulder, scheduled for physiotherapy rather than an MRI, is the area that’s in a lot of pain. *sigh* Stephen, about that bourbon…

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