Sunday, January 22, 2012

Canadas wonderful health system

So I hear all the time about our wonderful health care system and how it should be held as a standard for the world.  Yeah right.

Here is my story.........

I went to my Dr last January as I had a sore shoulder and I was losing the ability to do many things, could not put my hair in a pony tail, was not sleeping well. (lots of other things but this post would be very long if I included everything)  So my Dr sent me for an x-ray (no conclusive result) then an ultrasound.  He finally said it is a frozen shoulder.  And that I should go to a physiotherapist 2 to 3 times a week.  Even though I work for a bank here in Canada, I don't have coverage for that and as a single person, I couldn't afford it.  So I found a good physiotherapist (Stephen him!!!....Anders Physiotherapy here in TO)  He was the first person that I felt was listening to me regarding this.  My DR would just dismiss my symptoms, fears and concerns.....

For example....

I told him that I felt dizzy alot.....he said as long as I don't fall down, it is not a problem......I told him that I do fall response.
I told him I was not sleeping more than 2 hours a night (for over 6 months) he gave me Tylenol 3's...I told him I don't do well with them but he wanted me to try them.....they didn't do anything.  Then when I went back and said the T3's were not working, he gave me a sedative.....oh it made me sleep, I just couldn't wake I stopped them.

I told him my heart was racing all the time......he told me that I had put 20 pounds on in the past 6 months and that is why my heart was racing.

I told him that sometimes when I am doing things and even when I am not....the vein in my neck starts to protude a bit and starts to throb.  He listened to it and said it was nothing just my weight.

I also told him I thought I had carpal tunnel in my left hand (same side as the shoulder) and he said that he wasn't sure about that so he tested my hand by tapping my wrist.  He said is your hand tingling?  I said yes, it is and he went oh....okay then you do have carpal tunnel....sigh...I haven't seen anyone about it though...

I think you are getting my drift.

So I kept going to the physio and it was getting a little better but my shoulder would not rotate....put my hand behind my back....HUH....not going to happen.  So my physio sent letter after letter to my DR....nothing.  My neck muscles were like a rock, they were so tense.

In September of last year, he finally sent me to a sports medicine DR who promptly gave me an anti-inflammatory (I had had no medicine up until then) and started me on Lyrica.

Ahhhh....Lyrica....I had such a hard time getting onto normal dizziness and then the dizziness side effect of Lyrica.  WOW, so difficult....My sports med DR said to be carefull of taking the full dose of my way up to the full dose and then work my way off of it....

So my last app in October, my sports med Dr said to discontinue the anti-inflammatory and to continue the Lyrica (but he forgot to give me a refill) when I realized that I did not have a refill, (I had 3 pills left) I call the office and they said I would have to pay for the phone refill, I said but he forgot to give me the refill and I have to pay?  They said yup or I can make an app and see him in 3 weeks and he will give me a refill then.....WTF?  I was sobbing on the phone....they basically said take or leave it.  I called my family DR and he gave me the refill.....All about the money.

Yes, I am coming to the point of the post.....LOL

The only good thing the sports med Dr did was schedule me for a shot in my shoulder joint to expand it.  There is only 1 hospital in the whole city that does it and I had to wait 4 months for it.
So last Wednesday, I went for my shot.....they froze my shoulder (super painful) and injected an anti-inflammatory into it and then injected air into the joint to force it to open up.  The radiologist had to inject dye into the joint so he could see where to put the drugs and air.  The dye kept leaking out and the radiologist asked if I had had an MRI....which after all the above, is the one thing I have not had.....I have asked for one but they haven't given me one. 

I would ask my family Dr about an MRI....he would say leave it to the sports med Dr and the sports medicine Dr would say....not yet....

The radiologist's opinion is that I have a tear in my rotator cuff and the shoulder joint actually looks okay.
As the British say, I was gobsmacked......I burst into tears in the X-ray room....they were super good with me and he assured me that he would put it in the report to the Drs.  I was not able to stop crying for hours. 
I have been through hell this past year.....the person I am changed because of the pain, I was not able to stitch or do anything for over 6 months, I basically became a hermit.....because I couldn't use that arm......the nerve pain that I have endured has been enormous.

I don't know how people who have chronic pain do it.....they are much better people than I am.

So all that could have changed if I had had an MRI........did they just pass me off as an overweight, middle aged, single woman?...they most certainly did. 

What is going to happen now?  I don't know.  I am starting back to physio on Tuesday so we will see what happens then....I could not face my family Dr last week as I thought I would burst into tears and I didn't want that.

See our Canadian health system at is best.....................

The saga will continue.



  1. Oh boy! you and I have much more in common then we said...I have been going through THE SAME pain and results with my shoulder as you. I know exactly what you're going through and I sympathize with you. Take care and drop me an email sometime

  2. I am really sorry you have been suffering so much and for the wrong reasons. Doctors can do miracles but they can also lead you to hell. I suffered frozen shoulder syndrome in both my arms and have been suffering for three years. At first I did not realise what was wrong with my right shoulder, I just had pain on the shoulder but when after six months I was diagnosed by the first doctor I went to and then went to another one for a second opinion which was the same I really had to do what they told me and I did physiotherapy for two years on the right shoulder. As soon as I was fine with it the left shoulder started but I got that early enough and after a year of physio and swimming I am fine!What's an MRI? Don't feel low things will get better from now on!AriadnefromGreece!

  3. I am so sorry this has happened to you. I wish I could offer you more than a cyber hug - but please know that I'll keep you in my thoughts and add you to my prayer journal. Here's hoping your problem can now be fixed and you'll be better soon!