Flying with hope

BOOMER TALK: Vernon resident writes about being a benefactor of Hope Air

It has been most interesting and challenging at the same time. I have had my eyes opened wide when it comes to our health care system. I am in line to have a right hip replacement surgery in Vancouver on April 24. It is more complicated than a regular hip surgery, hence my trip to Vancouver to have it done.

It has been almost a full time job making all the arrangements. Gone are the days when you are told you require surgery and then go to the hospital, the surgery is done, and then you recuperate ….in the hospital. It is now protocol to get you out that door as fast as possible.

I want to make it clear that everyone I have spoken with has been more than pleasant and understanding. So, it is not the people I am speaking of, it is the system. Several of them have implied that the whole system is a bit of a mess.

I am fortunate to have stumbled upon Hope Air. Hope Air is Canada’s only non-profit organization that was formed in 1986 to provide free flights for people who may be challenged to afford airline tickets along with all the other expenses for out of town medical treatment.

They use national and regional airlines as well as private planes to provide this service. I have been booked on West Jet. They will fly me down and then back with a friend to accompany me. I am filled with gratitude for this service.

To help keep Hope Air alive, you can make donations at www.hopeair.ca.

I have to arrive for the surgery two days ahead of time, for blood work, X-rays as well as attend a general meeting to learn about how to care for myself after the surgery.

The first hint that it was going to be different was the ‘learning how to care for myself” meeting. I am single and the only other person I live with is my dog. She is delightful, but is of little help in the post surgery department. I don’t have family (except for my 94-year-old mom) so will have to rely 100 per cent on our health care system.

So I began my search into how I could access help post surgery. I won’t bore you with the details, but it has been a succession of phone calls to Community Care and Pathways to Home Program (a rehab facility that operates out of Gateby). It is difficult to get information these days, because nobody answers the phone anymore. We communicate via a series of voice mail messages. Eventually I spoke with a live person.

I was told by the Vancouver program, Oasis, that once my surgery was booked, the support system would kick in and I would qualify for Community Care within my own community. So I am hoping this will be the case.

I tend to be a very organized person, so trying to set all this up ahead of time, which seemed logical, didn’t work that well. It seems the system is in place and everything will just all happen at the last minute. But of course nobody told me this. But then, nobody told me about Hope Air either.

The protocol for hip surgeries is to release you from the hospital in two to three days post surgery, along with needles and medication to inject yourself to prevent blood clots.

I was born with wonky hips and had 12 surgeries on them in my late 30s and early 40s due to complications. I am told that things have changed quite radically since then, so I plan to have an easy, non complicated recovery.

After all, I am flying down and back with Hope.

Carole Fawcett is a counsellor, writer and editor www.amindfulconnection.com.

Just Posted

Kelowna Art Gallery hosts new exhibition, Poetics of Space

The exhibition can be viewed from Feb. 2 until May 5

Kelowna RCMP use spike belt to apprehend alleged car thieves

Both suspects were expected in court Thursday morning

Kelowna RCMP ask for assistance to identify suspects

The break and enter resulted in a firearm being stolen

TELUS works with YMCA for Okanagan youth

A four week employment program will assist at-risk youth

First recreational cannabis store in Okanagan has quiet opening near Lake Country

Indigenous Bloom has opened on Okanagan Indian Band land

B.C. opioid crisis to get same world-renowned treatment approach as HIV/AIDS

A program that focuses on treatment as prevention will roll out Jan. 17

Olympian snowboarder Max Parrot diagnosed with Hodgkin’s lymphoma

Each year in Canada, approximately 900 people are diagnosed with Hodgkin’s lymphoma

Hergott: Memories of crashes fade

Lawyer Paul Hergott writes about the importance of journaling after a crash

‘Prince of Pot’ Marc Emery accused of sexual assault, harassment

Emery denied the allegations, but a Toronto woman says she is not the only one speaking out

Vancouver Island photographer makes National Geographic’s 2018 elite

Rare double honour for Marston from the 36 best Your Shots out of nearly 19,000 photos

Ex-Liberal candidate in Burnaby, B.C., says volunteer wrote controversial post

Karen Wang dropped out following online post singling out NDP Leader Jagmeet Singh’s ethnicity

Asteroids are smacking Earth twice as often as before

The team counted 29 craters that were no older than 290 million years

Canada’s arrest of Huawei exec an act of ‘backstabbing,’ Chinese ambassador says

China has called Canada’s arrest of Huawei chief financial officer Meng Wanzhou ‘politically motivated’

Remorse high for Vernon man sentenced for car surfing death

Driver of car that killed friend who was car surfing gets nine months in jail

Most Read