Tag Archives: Saskatoon Health Region

Things I Think I Know

Well I survived my appointment with the surgeon with all of my limbs still attached.  A lot of you were asking questions so here is what I know.

  1. The treatment with the wound clinic has been ineffective (I knew that… all they did was change a bandage and lecture me most days for things out outside of my control).
  2. The test results show that the infection is taking a serious toll on my entire body.  Part of the body is fighting on, other parts have given up.  It does explain why I go to work, come home and nap until the next morning.  It also explains why I haven’t been that social this year, I am so tired all of the time.
  3. Part of that is that I am probably now a Type I diabetic.  I know this is warped but there has been so many other serious things, this doesn’t seem to be a priority for anyone. The infection drives up my blood sugars which exhausts me.  Part of the problem is that to figure out what to do with the diabetes, the infection needs to be brought back under control. 
  4. Treatment is going to be long and unsurprisingly, expensive.  The treatment the surgeon wants to try isn’t covered under healthcare in Saskatchewan.  Some basic research yesterday shows that it is in other provinces but not here.  That makes sense because it works and is faster than what we cover in Saskatchewan.   I can’t remember if I file this under lean or the New Saskatchewan.  Either way it’s ridiculous because…
  5. Everyone I deal with at the Saskatoon Health Region seems shocked and bothered that I am still working and not laying at home on my bed waiting to die.  Believe me, every single morning I was wake up and say, “I feel like death” and “I just want to stay in bed” but staying in bed causes a lot of pain while being up and about does not.  So I try to get an appointment where I can get treatment and then go to work.  I get told, “well the seniors like those early morning time slots”.  I understand that being retired is hectic but seriously?  I try to get treatment after work and am told, “We don’t offer that treatment in the evenings.”  The best is when I am scheduled for a treatment and am told when I get there, “Oh, we only do that in the morning and at a different facility.”  Or they don’t call me but insist they did.  Or I show up at appointments and am told that I cancelled it.   It is not a lot of fun dealing with CPAS and it is even harder when you are trying to keep working….
  6. I get asked all of the time if they are going to take my leg.  I don’t know yet.  Some doctors are more optimistic then others.  What we do know now is that antibiotics aren’t killing the infection.   When I am on antibiotics, the infection is at bay but as I saw this week, the infection literally moves up my leg in 24 hours after I am off it (I am back on them now).   I also am told that there will be surgeries in my near future and there will be a lot of them.
  7. So that killed the hope of hiking to Grey Owl’s Cabin in August.  I know this is stupid but that makes me incredibly sad.  You have no idea how badly I wanted to take that trip with Wendy, Mark, and Oliver.   The new treatments were going to start today.  Since we had planned to leave for Calgary at 6:00 a.m. on Thursday, those treatments are starting next week when I get back.   Wendy and I had talked about her taking the kids to Calgary herself if I needed to stay behind but I am hopped up on antibiotics that will keep me going until I get back.  Without them, I was told I would have been hospitalized in Calgary which is why I was nervous about going.  As the doctor said, I have a long and hard road ahead of me, a vacation right now is a good thing.
  8. I appreciate the advice that EVERYONE is giving me and that is that I go to the Mayo Clinic.  Umm, I have about $200,000 equity in my house.  Wendy and I have looked at re-mortgaging to do this but to go down, it would take every bit of money we have and then what happens if it doesn’t work?  I bring up the costs for just a week of treatment and people’s jaw drop.  Let me be blunt, the Mayo Clinic is for the wealthy.  Wendy and I are very middle class.  Throughout this I am realizing that people see the Mayo Clinic as their last hope.  If everything else goes bad, there is always the Mayo Clinic and “those” doctors can help you.  They may be able to do so but only at a tremendous cost that most of us can’t afford.

Video: Reduce the lead time for Mental Health and Addictions patients in RUH Emergency


The Saskatoon Health Region is being driven by Lean Management.  Like any management theory it has a website, newsletters and even some videos.  While the video production quality is horrible, here is a video on how the Saskatoon Health Region is trying to improve intake and evaluation for Mental Health & Addiction Services at RUH.

Expansion of services for 33rd Street Methadone Clinic

From the StarPhoenix

When staff at the 33rd Street pharmacy learned that lack of transportation hampered many of their 250 clients from seeing addictions counsellors, they approached the Saskatoon Health Region, offering to renovate and build a state-of-the-art methadone dispensing and distribution system.

“Because people have to come here to pick up their medication, the idea came up – ‘Is there any way we can help these people access services?'” Carlson said.

The health region agreed to lease the 800-square-foot clinic, which will have a counselling space, a doctor’s office and examination room, and a children’s play area.

It is expected to open around the end of April, said Tracy Muggli, director of mental health and addictions services for the health region.

I think this is a good step for the Health Region, Mayfair, and of course those that use the services.


Well Wendy, Oliver, and I caught H1N1 (for those of you who are following on Twitter this is redundant).  Oliver and Mark had been vaccinated and while Mark was fine, Oliver was not.  Wendy and I also got horrific secondary infections along with it which made us even sicker.  All I can say is that you need to go and get the vaccination as I can really understand how people die from it.  Wendy and I were in incredible pain, had trouble breathing, ran really, really high fevers and still days later are not feeling well.  After seeing my doctor, he said it was going to be a long time until I felt normal again.

Stop the Spread of H1N1 We aren’t sure who brought it home.  Wendy works with the public and I work in a homeless shelter which was asked to house homeless people who have H1N1.  While I don’t expect Safeway employees to get the vaccination first, I was a little disgusted that none of our staff were given the chance to get H1N1 vaccinations by the same health district that was sending people infected with the disease to us to be taken care of.  I know how big the Saskatoon Health Region is but you would have thought in some of the pandemic planning that is done, shelter provider staff would have been seen as a high risk people group to catch the disease.  It’s weird as these patients are refused services by hotels and motels and yet the expectations is that shelter staff will take care of them, despite the fact that most our housing is congregate housing in dorms.  On my to-do list is to figure out a way that the next time this happens, our shelter and other housing providers get a little more care and support.

It wasn’t a lot of fun being that sick.  Fevers of 105 get on my nerves quickly.  It also wasn’t fun seeing Wendy that sick and especially seeing Oliver get that sick again (it’s been a bad year for the little guy).  A couple of quick thanks though.  Mark was kept home so he didn’t infect the half of his school whose parents decided not to vaccinate their kids and he was a lot of help taking care of Oliver while Wendy and I were bed ridden.  Also as Wendy was tweeting some of our suffering to Twitter (and then to Facebook), we got a call from Brenda England who gave some wonderful advice and that was to get the Tamiflu as soon as possible.  Finally, Gloria phoned up and asked if she could bring by some food.  Wendy called her back and gave her a list.  I am not sure what she brought but there was fresh grapes on that list and on a day when I felt beyond horrible, those grapes tasted amazing.