Letters to the Editor: October 1

"Often times, as it is human nature to do, we focus more on what we don't have than being grateful for what we do."

With Gratitude

Often times, as it is human nature to do, we focus more on what we don’t have than being grateful for what we do. I’m a 64-year-old female who has enjoyed good health (with the exception of a few surgical procedures over the years) for the majority of those 64 years.

That changed one day in mid-August of this year. With no warning, I experienced excruciating, non-stop pain in my right shoulder, arm and hand. I was diagnosed with Brachial Plexus Neuritis — fortunately not a serious or terminal illness but a debilitating and extremely painful one none the less.

Over the course of the following weeks, I would visit my family physicians office a minimum of once a week, spend numerous hours in the Emergency Room for pain management, the Ambulatory Care Unit for Intravenous treatments and eventually my last trip to the Emergency Room resulted in admission to the hospital (or the Surgical Day Care Unit as there were no beds available in the wards) in an attempt to get my pain under control.

I got to see firsthand what wonderful, caring, compassionate and professional men and women make up the medical teams of our clinics and regional hospital.

To all the staff of the Emergency Room who were on duty each time I visited (from the Triage nurse to the Admissions Clerk to the nurses and ER Physicians) – thank you for your care and compassion even though you often work under extremely trying conditions. Yes, the wait times can be extremely long, I would assume due to overcrowding, lack of family physicians, lack of staffing and lack of facilities to handle a lot of the patients who have nowhere else to turn but to an already at capacity Emergency Room for their health care needs.

To the staff of the Ambulatory Care Unit, who take care of a tremendous number of patients each day, and the nurses of the Surgical Day Care Unit, who often work extremely long hours, thank you for your kindness, caring and professional manner.

Last, but definitely not least, thanks to my family physician who worked continuously with me to find a combination of pain medications that worked and ensured I was seen by the travelling neurologist as.soon as practicable. I’m told the recovery period can be lengthy but, with proper medications, relatively pain free, so I am one of the lucky ones.

While it is true that we have a shortage of physicians, nurses, care aids and facilities, what we do have is a team of dedicated professionals who work tirelessly to ensure that we, the people of the Kootenay Region, have the best health care that can be provided at this time. For that I am truly grateful.

Linda Berukoff, Cranbrook