I am writing this on Day 74 after open-heart surgery to replace a faulty aortic valve.
I was born with the problem valve but it lasted me 72 years including at least 55 years of work and a number of marathon runs, a bunch of half marathons and 5 and 10km runs beyond count. Through all this, my heart was there for me.
This fall, problems crept into my health. My family doctor spotted the problem in late January and she sent me to emergency where the doctor pinpointed a problem and referred me to a local internist. The internist insisted I lose weight, had a very determined phone call with a cardiologist in Victoria and sent me home to wait.
Two weeks later I had an appointment for an angiogram in Victoria, followed by surgery at Royal Jubilee in Victoria. March 13 the cardiologist did the deed and I woke up in the cardio ICU feeling thirsty and tired but otherwise very good, chatting with my family. No pain or suffering of any kind.
Starting with my family doctor through to the ER doctor and nurses, to the cardiologists, ward nurses and care aides in Victoria, I believe I received Cadillac care.
I am so thankful that I had this surgery while Medicare is still available. In the USA I estimate that this surgery and related care would have cost me nearly $500,000. Mr. Harper signaled the end of Medicare when he refused to renew the National Health Accord. Without Medicare, I could not have afforded the surgery and had maybe five years left.
A special thanks to those who made the health-care system work for me.