I continue to gain strength and good health with each passing day. My recent concrete experiences with poor health and hospitalization have led to the realization that life really could end at any particular moment, ready or not. Of course, intellectually, I have always understood this. Of course, we may understand many things by way of words and logic, but there is no substitute for experience.
One of the things I discovered is that I do not fear death, and never did. What I fear is suffering, and the cold indifference that replaces human compassion when social /political structures, professionalism, and roles overwhelm individual good sense.
One of the things I rediscovered is that the reason those who resist the erosion of their natural human compassion are considered heroes/heroines; is that they are a minority surrounded by indifference. At any time one might find oneself afloat in the sea of indifference, calling faintly into the wind; we can only hope that when need arises, one of the compassionate few will hear our call.
Attila and I have decided upon measures to prevent a repeat of my last experience in the Near Emergency Department. Over the past month, I visited two different Emergency Departments. The first, some distance from my home, where I received immediate attention and an eventual blood transfusion, represents the best that Ontario’s health care system can offer. The second, near our home, highlights some of the very real problems emerging in the Ontario health care system.
Unless we exhibit clear symptoms of heart attack, allergic reaction, or some other immediately, and easily identifiable life threatening problem, we will avoid the Near Emergency Department. If the problem is "obscure", that is, not immediately identifiable as life threatening, the Near Emergency Department is likely to respond as it did during my last visit.
In the event of an "obscure" medical emergency, my personal choice is to risk travel time, and possible though unlikely death, to attend the first visited Distant Emergency Department. If I arrive safely, I believe I will be treated humanely. If I die en route, I will pass from this world in the company of one who is concerned for my well being, and with at least the illusion that I will receive the attention and care I deserve.
I am comforted by our strategies, and yet I know that reality seldom follows even the best of plans. One can only contrive, and hope for the best.
Today the rain endures, gently sculpting the lush green landscape. The gardens are amazing this year. New life sprouts in the most unlikely places, even in the small cracks between the wood decking in the backyard. Our efforts to reestablish the lawn seem highly successful. Our newly planted Thyme and Oregano are thriving.
Recently, we have been exploring the joys of spinach. Spinach salad is a great favourite. The greens, celery, onion, and cucumber are lightly tossed with a Ranch Dressing and topped with Attila’s excellent croutons. My mouth waters as I write.
After being advised against enjoying my morning coffee, a steaming mug of tea now helps me greet the day. The first few coffeeless days were a challenge, my head ached, and I felt something important was missing. However, one can establish new routines, and the whistling tea kettle is now a welcome sound.
The bright side of illness is finding out that friends really are there when you need them. I have received good wishes from readers and relatives, friends and neighbours. And it does make a difference, all the difference in my world.
|RECIPES :: Cast
Shadow in Focus
On the Screen
Joe Gould's Secret
starring Ian Holm
By the Easy Chair
by Kate Wilhelm
“The quality of mercy is not strained. It droppeth as the gentle rain from heaven upon the place beneath. It is twice blessed. It blesseth him who gives and him who takes. ”
“It is one of the most beautiful compensations of this life that no man can sincerely try to help another without helping himself.”
Ralph Waldo Emerson
A corollary of this may be that:
"No person can insincerely claim the intention to help another, without tearing the fabric of society."
Wind: SW 11 km/h
Barometric: 100.8 kPa
Sunrise 5:45 AM EDT
Sunset 9:01 PM EDT
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