Sure, I’ll move to Canada…and for the most part my feelings supported that statement. Except when it had to do with my kiddos…specifically the health of my kiddos…specifically the health of my two kiddos with hereditary spherocytosis, a blood disorder that compromises the immune system…specifically Ethan who is the most vulnerable because of his age and still in danger of hemolizing resulting in a transfusion. I mean, it’s Canada…North America but it’s still a different system. That was my concern and the only deal-breaker for me.
The first time I was asked if we had health insurance in the States, I glossed over it with an, “of course” and moved on. But after being asked that repeatedly I realized that it’s like someone came up here and whispered to everyone that people don’t have health insurance and can’t pay for treatment in the States like we’ve heard that no one actually gets treated here in Canada. Of course, both are a gross exaggeration. However, it is true that there are a good enough percentage of people who do not have a family doctor here. You just don’t have an option- there are not enough doctors for everyone to have a doctor. You have two choices…wait for an appointment with a locum (visiting doctor) or go to the ER. I had figured that this might work out for some of us but for those little kiddos with ‘special’ problems…well, let’s just say my blood pressure would rise and my stomach would cramp at the thought. I just pictured myself with a lethargic and limp little boy and nowhere to take him or taking him to the hospital and not being seen for hours. I came here a little bit in a panic and if I had to settle for what I have found in this small town I may still be in the same place.
However the Children’s Hospital in Calgary changed that for me. I am so thankful for the doctors and facilities there. That’s why I was willing to brave the blinding snowstorm, negative temperatures and car accident to get there in February. It has been exceptional.
This is where I took Ethan a few weeks ago when he had what turned out to be baby measles or a very high fever with a rash. He had seemed sick enough that I couldn’t tell anymore if he was just weak from the fever or if his blood levels were dropping. I took him here to the overcrowded emergency room and they ushered him right back. I was anticipating a needed transfusion…BUT this is the amazing part…while he was pretty sick and it was the exact circumstance that we would anticipate his hemoglobin to start dropping…he was higher than ever. He has been higher than ever. He is over a year now but his blood counts are not just holding steady…they have gone up. His baseline count has gone up. I keep writing it because it seems unbelievable to me. But even in my own unbelief, my heart could not be more thankful. I give God full credit. He didn’t have to make Ethan’s blood go up…He doesn’t even have to make it stay at its base count…He is good in it all. But I’m thankful.