Almost a month ago, I reported that I’d seen a leading (by some accounts, the leading) Canadian ankle specialist and was now on a list for a Total Ankle Replacement, or TAR. He told me that it would likely take a year before he could schedule the surgery for me.
Fast forward to January 8, and a welcome (if surprising) call from the specialist’s office – surgery was now scheduled for February 19, 2009. Then this week, another call from the specialist’s office – surgery is now scheduled for February 17, 2009, a mere month from today! I go for my pre-op examination on January 28. The surgery will be performed at St. Mike’s Hospital in Toronto, a hospital whose most recent claim to fame is that Howie Mandel, a Toronto native, was briefly hospitalized there last week (a stay complicated by his mysophobia (as my mother would say, “look it up,” which I’ve made it easy for you). But I digress . . .
Now I’m filling out forms, and trying to figure out what services are available to me through Ontario and my insurance. This is both a luxury and anxiety producing. When I had my accident leading up to my ankle predicament, my husband and I were both between jobs, which provided me full-time, loving, nursing care. We didn’t need other help, so it never occurred to us to look into it.
This time is different. It’s tough for Don to take off time from his very small (read: small staff as well) school. Building a wheelchair ramp is also a less-than-desirable mid-winter, snow-filled activity. So we’re looking into whether we can get someone to come during the day to help with my personal care needs, whether we can get a wheelchair ramp, and similar enquiries. It’s nice having the luxury of time to pursue answers; it’s anxiety inducing to think about all the things that have to be thought about, including how to handle a heavy workload.
I don’t care about the stress. I’m so looking forward to the surgery and the possibility of regaining near-normal activity levels. But I also have to remember to manage my own expectations to avoid disappointment. With all the wonderful research and engineering, I must remember than an artifical ankle can’t match mother nature’s brilliance in form & function (I just wish she’d thought more about durability and stress points).
Canada’s health care system continues to surprise and please me.