I’ve had a bit of a shitty day and I want to talk about it. So if you don’t want to read a ramble don’t.
I been taking sertraline/Zoloft for my anxiety for about a year now. March will officially mark the one year anniversary. I usually get a refill about every 3 months. I got one in November and since I was running low, I needed one because I didn’t want to run out.
Monday afternoons is the only day that I am able to go to the doctor. I’m either at school or volunteering the rest of the week and I don’t want to go out on the weekend because its my only day to rest. I figured I could have made an appointment and go there straight after school.
Let me just say I was wrong.
Somehow Monday was fully booked out. I could either come on Wednesday or see another doctor.
Ummm last time I checked I only had medication to last till Tuesday.
I could have gone on Wednesday but I was going to be at school/ outside that city from 9am to 7pm, which is their opening hours. My school is in Toronto and I live another city outside of Toronto. It takes me at least an hour on good days to commute one way.
Basically she was telling me my options were
- see another doctor
- stay without medication
- skip class
Here are the problems with those options. You are not supposed to just stop taking antidepressants without letting your doctor know. The withdrawal symptoms are worse than getting on it. I don’t feel comfortable just going to another doctor. Its not emergency and if it was I could have gone somewhere else. And I’m not going to skip class when I pay a shit ton of money to go to university.
I don’t upset with people easily but whoever I was speaking to was rude and unhelpful when I have been going to that doctor for years. And its not like I was making that appointment that day of. I was making a few days before. She did tell me I could just wait there after 7pm. Lets be real. I have shit to do. I’m not about to sit there waiting. I could have gotten a 3:30 appointment but there was no fucking way I could have made it when I was an hour and a half away. My class ends at 2:30. The earliest I could have gotten there was 4PM. And I could have gone tomorrow, but i am so tired I just want to sleep, stay in pyjamas and not leave the house.
Is it bad to want to take some time for myself?
And unfortunately, the story doesn’t end there. Because that encounter ruined my day. I’m not the type to curse someone out, but all I wanted to do was cry and have an anxiety attack because I felt hopeless. Instead I forced myself go all the way downtown Toronto, which is an hour and a half away because I volunteer on Friday. Its the one thing I look forward to, so I didn’t want to let someone spoil that.
I did my work there and when I left at 4PM I decided I would go to the doctor. I was trying to get my moms opinion but she didn’t see my messages. Let me just say downtown Toronto to the doctors office was worse because it took over 2 hours in rush hour and it was fucking cold. And since they now have appointments every fucking day, I had to wait almost an hour. Keep in mind that I had not eaten anything today was not only was I freezing and tired, I was hungry.
I don’t regret going but I didn’t want to be there. I spend more time waiting and traveling there, than speaking to the doctor.
Basically the point of this entire ramble is that Canadian health care is not as good as it sounds. People may see “free health care” but there isn’t anything free about it.
Yes you don’t pay to see the doctor, but you pay when you wait in a doctor’s office wasting time. I could have an appointment and still wait more time than I speak to the doctor. And referrals are even worse because it can take weeks to organize.
Also medication is not free. You need additional insurance. There used to be something called OHIP+ which covered a lot of medication for those under 24 years. But last year the government decided to change the rules so that if you were covered by another insurance, you were not eligible for OHIP Plus anymore. That affected a lot university students including me.
A lot of university students have mandatory insurance, but its not the best thing in the world. Its usually limited and it doesn’t cover the full amount. So we’re not eligible for OHIP anymore. Now I have to pay a part of my medication. Yes it annoying, but I’m grateful that its not that expensive. What about those who use expensive medication. For them its even worse.
I’m grateful for Canadian healthcare, but there a lot of problems with it.
If you’re from Canada, and want to share your story with healthcare, please do. I can’t be the only one who feels that way.