Tuesday, July 13, 2010

An In-valid Inva-lid

So I have to apologize for my silence on the blogging front, but I have a damn fine excuse.

I was hospitalized for eight days in St Michael’s Hospital here in downtown Toronto about three weeks ago for what ended up being a bleed in my small bowel, brought on by an abscess which was ostensibly caused by some kind of parasite. It was the worst experience of my life. I was scoped, probed, x-rayed, CT-scanned, poked with at least seven different IV sites, and given three different kinds of intravenous antibiotics. It was not up there with my favourite experiences, to say the least. I also learned that I could never be a junkie because I got bored with the amount of morphine they were letting me have.

I’m just now getting back to feeling normal. It cut the legs out from under me in a way that I didn’t anticipate, and made me realize just how much I take the normal functioning of my machine, my body, for granted. I will try not to do that again.

However, I cannot say enough about the staff and caregivers at St. Mike’s. They were, like all health care workers in this province, understaffed and overworked, yet they were compassionate, caring, funny, and professional all through my entire ordeal. The nurses were everyday angels. They were tough as nails and had the healing touch. They were amazing. I cannot say enough about them and the care that I got from them. And every day I said a little prayer of thanks to the ghost of Tommy Douglas for the excellent care I received – and that I didn’t have to pay one red cent for. It’s an amazing thing when you think about it. I had state-of-the-art tests performed and didn’t have to pay anything for it. We are lucky. And I am lucky that I got sick in downtown Toronto, where the fact of my indigenous heritage wasn’t even a factor in how fast I got through the emergency triage system. I think of other people in other parts of this country who have not been as lucky, and I am truly thankful all over again.

In the coming weeks I’m going to be talking about other things – the G20 protests, the 20th anniversary of the Oka resistence, the passport snafu that the Iroquois Nationals Lacrosse team finds itself in as they try to get visas to play in an international tournament in Britain – but for now, I’m trying to be kind to myself, eating lots of good, healthy food, having a ton of naps, and going back to my Rez and hanging out with my parents by their pool as much as possible. I’m returning to work next week and I hope that my health will be back to the level it was long before I got sick.