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Alta states: Of hospitals and hockey rinks

Getting our priorities straight



"The scourge of obesity now exceeds the scourge of smoking."

- Dr Mark Tremblay


Yeah baby. Got out of there just in time. It's not that they were doing a bad job or anything. The surgery was successful. The doctors and nurses did what they had to do. It's just, well, spending time in a modern medical factory remains one of the most de-humanizing experiences of 21 st century life.

Know what I mean? It was brutal. And doubly so as a recent widower. With no real advocate to look out for my best interests - and no one to look over the doctor's shoulder to make sure I was OK - I was left to look out for myself. And frankly, I was pretty lousy at it. It's pretty funny to be in morphine la-la land while being lectured on all the things you need to do when you return home. Funny that is, until you get home and realize you can't remember a thing they told you...

Anyway, that's all behind me now. I'm finally through the crux. I'm getting stronger. The future looks bright again. But things got really dark before the lights returned.

The community of friends and family that pulled together to get me through the nightmare of last week proved once again how much of a fiction the "rugged individual" concept is. Truly. I couldn't have survived the experience of coming home on my own. Deathly ill from some mysterious drug reaction (featuring the most severe withdrawal symptoms I've ever encountered) and still reeling from total knee replacement surgery, I was utterly helpless for nearly a week. Couldn't even get out of bed to go to the bathroom.

Lucky for me I had angels on my side. Without my indomitable crew of helpers to feed me and change my sheets and empty my urinal, I would have been up the proverbial creek. As it was, I think they all got a pretty big scare anyway. It was touch and go there for a while.

But enough moaning. The sun is shining. The garden is magnificent. And Stanley Cup fever has taken hold of the land.

Which can't help but get me thinking. I mean, maybe it's just me. Or maybe it's just because of my recent hospital stay. But doesn't it seem strange to you that we pay seven-figure salaries to overgrown boys playing games with pucks and sticks when the most experienced nurse in the country earns a wage at which a fourth-liner on the worst NHL team in the league would sneer at in contempt?

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