Medical frustrations not the staff’s fault

Do not blame the hard working care providers who take care of you. Show them respect, says letter writer in response to medical criticisms.

Folks in the Park Ave. medical building and elsewhere will respond when shown kindess and respect

Dear  Sir:

I have to respond to the Aug. 17, 2016 letter to the editor in which the writer complained about the  booking procedure and wait times to see a doctor in Terrace.

I would like to preface this by noting I have been accessing the medical system in Terrace and in B.C. for almost 40 years.

I have been a controversial, outspoken activist and critic of maternity care in the early days, and later on the side lines, of our treatment of seniors.

As I have aged my focus has shifted to me, and my health as I age. One thing I have learned – the hard way – is, you get back what you give out.

Be nice to them and guess what? They be nice to you.

Having entered the arena of radical reform of the medical system with their attitude of Alexander the Great during my childbirth reform years, and having to eat crow more than once,  I would like to note that actually the medical staff do – for the most part – have our best interests at heart.

This is spoken by a childbirth doula (me) who had to be hidden (by nursing staff) in the staff washroom when the local obstetrician went on a rant look for “The Weston Woman”.

So guess who eats crow? I do.

This year I had a health scare that placed me at the B.C. Cancer Center in Victoria and subsequently Victoria General Hospital.

I went there angry, combative, defensive. I came out the other end of the process completely in awe of the staff. From the kind lady who swept my floor and the shy young guy who wanted to talk herbs while he emptied my wastebaskets, to the hospitable food service people who advised me to get my own food brought in through the steady LPNs who would talk healthy eating and the lovely RNs whose never ending kindness blew my mind; not one person was anything but attentive, kind and respectful. Not. One.

The other thing I learned in the past years as I navigated the doctor appointments was  to come prepared.

As patients we are one of many, many.  Ask your doctor’s nurse the best way to book an appointment. Come armed with a book, and approach it as a time out from daily life, a time to relax.

Thank your nurse for her work. Bring her chocolate, flowers, a card. Take a step back and consider what it might be like to see patient after demanding patient all day long.

None of us is the centre of the universe; we are in it together.

I make no bones about the fact I do not agree with a lot of the allopathic approach to health care, nor the alarming focus on pharmaceuticals in the face of a deplorable life style by many.

Diabetes, heart disease, metabolic syndrome, obesity … self-inflicted disease in many cases.

But do not blame the hard working care providers who take care of you. Show them some respect instead.

Marianne Brorup Weston,

Terrace, B.C.