Dare boldly

A blog by Louise Gallagher

Our health care system works when you need it.


As I turned onto Crowchild Trail going south, an ambulance, lights flashing, siren blaring, passed me on the other side of the freeway going north.

I wondered if it was C.C. Were they taking him to the Foothills Hospital on the north side of the river? Should I get off at the next exit and go north? Why wouldn’t they go to the Rockyview, a less than 10 minute drive from our house? At rushhour, traffic is always a slow crawl going over the river to the north side of the city. At least the ambulance could drive in the bus lane.

He hadn’t called me yet to tell me where they were taking him. All I knew was that 10 minutes before he’d called, short of breath and told me he was thinking of calling an ambulance.

“Do it!” I’d exclaimed, hanging up the phone and tossing everything into my bag as I made a hurried exit from the office.

I decided not to follow the ambulance and stick to my plan. Home first. If he hadn’t called, maybe they were still there.

Five minutes later, I drove down our street  and saw the ambulance still in front of our house.

I found C.C. with two EMS techs inside it.

“We’re just trying to get him set-up so we can take him to the Rockyview,”  one of the techs told me as his partner regulated the drip from the IV they’d inserted into his arm.

“What is it?” I asked, trying to keep calm. I didn’t want to cause C.C. any more distress than I knew he was already in. If I was wild and anxious, he’d feel like he needed to comfort me. That wasn’t part of my plan.

“We did an EKG. Heart’s good,” he said. “Sounds like pneumonia.”

And it is.

And now he’s home on bed rest, taking steroids and inhalers and focussing on getting better.

Originally, they were going to keep him in hospital for a couple of days but, because he responded well to the steroid, they’d let him come home. “You’ll get better faster,” one of the nurses said.

That’s my plan. Keep him resting. Keep him quiet. Keep him focussed only on his well-being.

I am grateful.

There are so many people who spend their time criticizing our health care system. Wait-times too long. Staff shortages. General incompetency.

Not my experience.

While we were at the Emergency, C.C. was surrounded by caring, competent and knowledgeable staff. The only time he had to wait was when they wheeled his bed over to the X-ray department and the porter didn’t turn up to bring him back to his cubicle in the Emerg.

C.C., tired of lying all alone in a corridor, got out of bed and started pushing the bed himself. Two techs found him, wobbly and short of breath, and brought him back to his cubicle. “We decided we’d bring him back ourselves,” they told me as they locked the bed into place before wishing him well and leaving.

They didn’t criticize the porters. They didn’t comment on poor care. They simply stepped in and got the job done as they were going off on a break. That late at night, there aren’t as many porters on duty. Perhaps they were all busy in other areas. Porters are not critical care. It didn’t compromise his health — though getting up and pushing it himself might have!

It was a long night and now he is on the mend.

I am grateful.

I’m also grateful for my sister Jackie. She’s the neighbour everyone wants. As soon as she heard C.C. was laid up, she was at our front door, delivering chicken noodle soup, buns and books to read. C.C. and her husband JT share a love of spy/murder mystery novels. C.C.’s all set. 3 new books, yummy food and the flowers I’d bought for the bedroom to cheer him up.

That’s teamwork!

Our health care system may have political and structural issues, but on the ground, at the front lines where people are in distress and needing help. They are on duty, giving their best to save lives and doing whatever it takes to make people better. And that’s what makes a difference.


Thank you Dr. Rogers and all the team at the Emergency at Rockyview and the EMS team. You shine!

Author: Louise Gallagher

I believe in wonder. I believe we are all magnificent beings of divine beauty. I believe we can make a difference in this world, through every act, word, thought. I believe we create ripples with everything we do and say and want to inspire everyone to use their ripple to create a better world for everyone. I'm grateful you're here.

28 thoughts on “Our health care system works when you need it.

  1. So good to know C.C. is on the mend. Blessings, dear friend, to both of you.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Oh wow, how scary. I’m so glad that everything is OK. That all sounds way better than a heart issue. I worked for 15 years in a hospital in the NICU. We had a wonderful caring staff of people. But, on the other side of town was another hospital that almost killed my father in law. Health care in any given place is all about the staff, and how they treat people.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. I am grateful to know that everybody is okay, Louise. Much love and good wishes to you and C.C.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Grateful and sending speedy recovery wishes to C.C.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Elgie

    YES, to all you said.

    NO, it ain’t that simple.

    This Sunday will be one year since my dad died – at the Rockyview, a placed he’d come to call his 2nd home – and we had many experiences that underscore your praise for them …

    On the other hand, we saw first hand for many years how ‘silos of power’ make the system a costly gridlock of nurses v. administrators v. docs v. patients … and that’s before the next wave of political re-inventors and cost-cutters wade in with red tape and whiteout to ‘fix things’

    I came away, as I sense you did … that at their core mostly all of them have ‘care and caring’ running through their veins without concerns in the moment for cost, convenience or self-interest. Sadly there is far more to it all than that. I would love to see a day when turf wars and unions and politicians get out of the way of the care givers.

    Meanwhile, lets all be as healthy as we can and stay out of the system!

    Best wishes for CC’s speedy recovery.



    Liked by 1 person

    • I agree Mark — it is not that simple — yet, what if it could be? what if those silos of power could be broken down? What if, the people at the front line had a greater voice in what those in the back rooms are doing? Sigh — now to rid the world of those turfy wars and all that jazz! thanks for the well wishes. He’s breathing easier every day — though last night he wanted to go out to hear his son’s performance. I told him he was not allowed! Men! 🙂


  6. My gosh, your first couple of paragraphs had me holding my breath Louise! I’m glad CC is getting better and that you both had such a positive experience throughout the ordeal. ❤
    Diana xo

    Liked by 1 person

  7. Thinking of you, Louise. Wishing CC a speedy recovery.

    Liked by 1 person

  8. Pass our best wishes on to C.C. please Louise. We’ll need to get together once we has fully mended!

    Liked by 1 person

  9. My prayers are with you both ❤

    Liked by 1 person

  10. Prayers for his rapid recovery.

    Liked by 1 person

  11. Very glad he is okay.

    Liked by 1 person

  12. So glad that CC is on the mend. That was a scary time! I feel the gratitude and love 😌

    Liked by 1 person

  13. Louise such a stressful event hope CC is getting much needed attention and healing. Good to hear you had a positive experience through something so challenging. Sending warm sunshine for afar.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thank you Kath! he is breathing much better and not coughing as much. He’s even getting some sleep — the prednisone they put him on is a bit of a disaster when it comes to sleep. Thanks for your warm sunshine.


  14. So glad to hear of this AFTER he was on the mend. It seems as if it was a bit of a fright for you and I am glad this had a happy ending. You must both rest up now for the big day… not long now.

    Liked by 1 person

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