I’ll be Damned.

I have a decision to make.

Do I vote yes and be complicit in accepting a 4 year agreement that knowingly under funds health care and continues to reduce my income;  or do I say no and be subject to further unknown unilateral fee cuts for the foreseeable future.

Not so easy a choice is it?

Better to be screwed facing your attacker? Or better to be blindsided from behind?
Because that’s essentially what the physicians in my province are facing.

Damned if we do. Damned if we don’t.

I am not political. Never have been and really, never want to be.  But I just can’t stay quiet on this any longer.

I am being asked to trust a government that has grossly mismanaged health care for years now and wastes taxpayers money on scandal after scandal.

I am being asked to help manage utilization of health care resources.  What does that mean? Do I tell a patient that they can’t have that ultrasound because we have exceeded the budget for that month?  Do I close my office one day a week because I am exceeding the budget for that month? Do I tell my staff to take an unpaid vacation day once a week because I can no longer afford to pay them for 40 hours of work anymore?

My head hurts.

Facing the Void

My brother and I had a long talk the other day about our parents.  He has positioned himself to be their power of attorney for finances and I am their power of attorney for personal care.  In the past year, it has become evident that we may need to start exercising our roles.   I can’t tell you how sad that makes me.

Growing up, my father was larger than life. He was a tall, formidable man with a deep voice but he was for all intents and purposes, a gentle giant.

Over the past year or so he’s become impatient, occasionally verbally aggressive toward my mom and is forgetting things.  He was diagnosed with mild cognitive impairment last fall but his condition seems to have deteriorated in the last 3 months.  He has a much shorter fuse now and asks my mom to repeat things several times a day.  He denies feeling depressed but we all think he is. Thankfully his family doctor suggested a trial of a low dose antidepressant and he actually agreed.  

He will be having an brain scan soon. I fear it will be normal.  Why? Because the thought of watching him continue down the road of dementia is heartbreaking. It would frankly be much easier if he was diagnosed with a brain tumor. I don’t think I could bear the day he forgets his grandchildren and then me. I don’t think I can watch him become aggressive and angry and frightened at his memory loss.  I see it already happening with my maternal grandmother. 

And there’s the kicker: dementia on both sides of my family? What does that mean for my brother and me? Are we destined for the same end?

We talked about all of it. Dad won’t want to go into a nursing home when the time comes. Will I have to have him declared  incompetent and take over as POA?  If dad moves into a nursing home, mom won’t be able to stay in the condo; will she live with me or my brother or alone in an apartment?  How long are we going to have to watch him deteriorate? He would never want to live like that. I certainly wouldn’t. 

I fear the road ahead. 

Quitting while I’m ahead.

Yesterday, I got a sudden urge to clean house.  Maybe it’s because we are going away for a week and I want to come home to a tidy house for once. We make valiant attempts at keeping a tidy house, but I honestly don’t know how people do it with children.  As soon as I can say I’ve cleaned the kitchen, I turn around and it looks like a tornado hit it.   Really? Sometimes I wonder why I even bother.  Our garage is a disaster too. There is so much stuff in there, I’m not even sure what all of it is.  There is lots of baby gear – swing, buzzy chair, playmate, bumbo – stuff that my son has now outgrown.  I don’t think we were intentionally hanging on to it, it just kind of got forgotten.

Every other day, my husband and I have a discussion about a 3rd child. As much as I would love to have more kids, I have to think we are done with the two beautiful children we already have.  I mean, why mess with perfection, right?  (I jest.)  When my son was born, everyone assumed we were done. After all, there we were with the million dollar family.  (I’m still waiting for that million to appear in my bank account.) I remember clearly the day when my son was a few months old that I realized I was sad. Sad because deep down I think I already knew then that he was going to be my last child.

Recently a girlfriend of mine had her 3rd child.  When I was visiting her in the hospital and holding her child, I briefly imagined what it would be like to have another.  Suddenly I realized we’d need a bigger car – oh no, the dreaded minivan! We’d also need a bigger house, and the vacations we’re planning would be delayed another few years.  Oh, and lets not forget that I’m fast approaching 40!  (But that’s another post.)

So today, as part of my desire to clean house and purge, I gathered up all my maternity clothes and took them to the local Goodwill store.  A friend of ours came by yesterday and picked up some of our baby gear, and the other stuff was taken off our curb within an hour of it being put out.  And, not only am I purging the material stuff, I am also on a mission to purge the extra baby weight I’ve been carrying around since my daughter was born.  I’ve started riding my bike this month and I am determined to join another friend in her weekly boot camp, starting tonight!

Wish me luck.

Bad Decisions

Caution: rant ahead.

Decisions

the act or process of deciding;  determination, as of aquestion or doubt, by making a judgment;
I saw this card on a friend’s FB wall.   Made me laugh out loud.  Made me think of my government.
I’m not a political person, by any stretch of the imagination.  But damn, I wish I was now.  I really think my government is making a bad decision.  It might save money in the short term, but it’s going to worsen health care.  Of that, I am certain.  The government won’t listen to the doctors.  It might listen to its constituents though.  The problem though, is that the constituents aren’t being told the truth.  They are getting a highly slanted view of how we are paid and how much we are paid, without any regard for the fact that we are running small businesses, have staff to pay and exorbitant fees to pay just to be given the privilege of practising medicine.  I don’t expect the majority of the public to really give a rats ass about the impact on doctors, but I do hope they’d care how this will impact their own health care.  Wait times for specialists are going to increase; wait times for diagnostic imaging are going to increase; wait times to see their family doctor are going to increase.  The improvements we’ve seen over the past 5-10 years are about to vanish.  It’s very, very disappointing.