“Enough is enough” I am making an official complaint on be- half of my family concerning the care that has been given to my mother at your hos- pital (The Hawkesbury and District General Hospital.)

has lumps in her back, she can’t walk, she has a swollen stomach, is vomiting, can- not eat at all, I guess means everything is all fine. The following day, my dad meets the doctor who then proceeds to tell him again it’s just her sciatic nerve. My dad responds by telling him something has to be wrong and that she has had back surgery last year. The doctor says,“You didn’t tell me that!” To which my dad responds, “You told me you were going to read her file.” The doctor told him he did not have time to read the file. I guess that’s my dad’s fault. Then they had to move my mother to another room. They hurt her back again by moving her. My dad could not under- stand why they could not have moved the bed with my mother in it instead of mov-

Une tempête dans un verre d’eau

This is now the second time she has been hospitalized in two months for the very same reason, her not being able to walk because of issues with her back. Twice she was brought to the hospital by ambulance because she could not walk, the pain in her back being extreme. The first time she was at the hospital, she was put in the middle of the room in a four-person room. I can un- derstand the hospital being overcrowded but what I have a hard time with is the lack of compassion for a patient. My mother’s back problems and the amount of prescrip- tion drugs she is prescribed are causing

Souvent il est difficile de voir la situation dans son ensemble. Nous avons tendance à se concentrer sur notre petit monde, de nous restreindre à nos projets préférés et à ne pas regarder trop loin au-delà de nos frontières. Mais, souvent, nous pouvons éviter des problèmes si nous réussissons à voir une per- spective plus globale et penser comment nos actions peuvent influencer les autres. Par exemple, prenons les débats au tour de la possible élimination de la fluoration de l’eau potable à Hawkesbury et l’avenir des installations sportives municipales. Le dos- sier de la fluoration est devenu une tempête dans un verre d’eau après que le directeur général, Jean-Yves Carrier, ait recommandé que la municipalité cesse la pratique qui existe depuis des décennies. L’administration a estimé que la démarche permettrait à la ville d’épargner 13 200$ et d’éliminer un danger potentiel aux employés du service d’aqueduc. Mais la décision affecterait non seulement les gens de Hawkesbury; le sys- tème d’aqueduc dessert également L’Orignal, Vankleek Hill et le quartier Parc Laurentien dans le canton de Champlain. Avant que le conseil prenne une décision sur la sugges- tion, le Bureau de santé de l’est de l’Ontario (BSEO) a averti que la ville était en train de commettre une grave erreur. Le directeur du BSEO, Dr Paul Roumeliotis, a souligné ses «inquiétudes importantes», mentionnant que le coût annuel à vie de fluoration de l’eau potable pour une personne est estimé à moins que le coût d’une seule carie dentaire. M. Carrier a suggéré que la ville de tienne pas compte des conseils du BSEO. «La santé des citoyens de Hawkesbury ne serait pas impactée sans ce produit dans l’eau potable», a-t-il soutenu. Heureusement, le conseil a accepté la position du Bureau de santé. Dr Roumeliotis a présenté un argument convaincant. Chaque dollar investi dans la flu- oration de l’eau potable évite de dépenser 38 dollars en soins dentaires. L’élimination de la fluoration aurait un effet néfaste dans une région où les maladies chroniques sont beaucoup plus fréquentes qu’ailleurs dans la province. Les problèmes dentaires con- tribuent aux maladies comme le diabète et l’hypertension. Dans les villes qui ont éliminé le fluor, il y eu augmentation des caries dentaires. Le débat a été une source de distraction à un moment où la ville faisait face à des ques- tions plus importantes. Cela a été une source de distraction qui aurait pu être évitée si la ville avait pris la peine de discuter l’idée avec le BSEO avant d’avancer la proposition. La situation est un peu semblable dans le dossier de la piscine au Complexe sportif Robert Hartley. Hawkesbury veut que ses voisins partagent les dépenses importantes de l’installation. La ville a raison de demander que les autres municipalités paient leurs justes parts – les non-résidents représentent la majorité des utilisateurs de la piscine, un service régional. Un partage serait logique, mais, c’est bien évident qu’il faut des négociations entre les municipalités avoisinantes avant que les partis peuvent arriver à une entente. Jusqu’à présent, il n’y a pas eu de discussions spécifiques entre les municipalités. En fait, quand le conseil de Champlain a traité du dossier dernièrement, les élus n’étaient pas certains des attentes exactes de la ville. Si une demande est difficile à comprendre, la réponse la plus facile est «non». Et toutes les municipalités ont des problèmes finan- ciers. Par ailleurs, lors du débat, il y a eu des propositions intéressantes qui ont été sou- levées. Si les municipalités défraient les dépenses de la piscine, ils peuvent s’attendre à avoir un mot à dire dans le fonctionnement des installations. Et les municipalités peuvent regarder la formule à Lachute, où la ville, la MRC d’Argenteuil et les deux commissions scolaires partagent les dépenses de la piscine. La conversation a commencé dans un état de confusion, cependant, la situation pourrait être facilement résolue avec une meilleure communication entre les voisins.

issues with her bowels and so she could not go to the bathroom. Not being able to walk was also an issue for her not being able to make it to the bathroom. A

ing her. To which they responded we don’t do that. Wow! The woman can’t walk and she has back problems. Are you kidding me? We have asked that she be transferred to Ot- tawa to receive imme- diate care from a back

“There is absolutely no need for people to be treated the way my mother was.”

nurse came into the room, put a commode beside her, left and expected her to go to the bathroom in the middle of the room in front of four other people, forgetting that she also could not even get up on her own. How is that for respecting people’s dignity? My sister and father showed up at the hos- pital with my mother in tears. They helped her to the bathroom where, lo and behold after not being able to go to the bathroom for several hours, she finally was able to and it was the size of a grapefruit. How much pain do you think she was in? Tests after tests are being done on my mother with no outcome. Now if you ex- pect us to believe that there is absolutely no reason for her to be feeling the way she is, let me relate to you the reason my mother is in the position she is in. She is the result of your medical system. I am 47 years old and my mother has been on prednisone all my life. This is a medication which today’s doctors refuse to give you for more than a week. Forty seven years on this drug, which caused her osteopo- rosis, diabetes and complete breakdown of her immune system. Not counting the fact that she is now onmany more prescrip- tions that are prescribed to her by doctors. I know it is now too late for her to be taken off many of these prescriptions since her body would not be able to fight many of her illnesses but do you honestly think she is hospitalized now because she is faking? Polypharmacy should be considered and re-evaluated. Let’s talk about the second time she was hospitalized. The first thing she heard from the doctor was“I hope it’s not cancer.” What a thing to say to a patient! Then as my sis- ter was asking the doctor for information on what was happening to my mother, he replies: “Well you know she has two X chro- mosomes, she is a woman.” Excuse me! That is sexism at its worst. That same day momwas hospitalized, my dad gets a phone call at 23:45 telling him to come and get her to bring her home. He shows up at the hospital; she still can’t walk and is in horrible pain and he gets told it’s just her sciatic nerve. So the fact that she

specialist and were told that she needs a reference and because it is a long weekend nothing will get done anyway. They say she has to be stabilized. I am sure she would receive very good care in the ambulance on her way to Ottawa. She is now down to 96 pounds because she cannot eat because of the pain she is in. Why wait? Now insults of all insults! My father was called and asked to come and get my mother because she was being discharged. Yet another, different doctor who tells him that there is nothing they can do, sent her home with pain killers and laxatives. As my father questioned him about the lumps in my mother’s back, he responds, “I didn’t know about that.” Then he explains to my dad that the lump on her chest is just a be- nign hernia. Not one of those doctors she has seen can agree on the same thing and none of them has run tests. How do you diagnose something if you do not run any tests? You are wondering why I say enough is enough. I am sending this letter to you, to the Ontario Ombudsman as an official complaint and to the newspapers. Not once in my 47 years has my mother ever complained about the services she has re- ceived in hospitals because she believes in the health system. I have many nurses in my family andmy daughter is now studying to be a nurse and I have to tell you when it comes to the life my mother has led in the last 20 years or so I am disgusted with our health system. My mother is now at home, in horrible pain, cannot move and crying and you expect people to have faith in our health system. You have totally enraged my father and my family. If anything happens to my mother because of your hospital’s incom- petency I can guarantee you there will be legal procedures taken. There is absolutely no need for people to be treated the way my mother was and I say shame on you and the way you run your hospital. Lynne Pageau-Kelly On behalf of the Pageau family L’Orignal

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Bertrand Castonguay , President, Roger Duplantie , D.G. / G.M., François Bélair , Sales & Development, François Legault , Directeur de l’information/News Editor, Yvan Joly , Sales director (Hawkesbury), François Leblanc , Directeur (Lachute), Gilles Normand , Production & Distribution Mgr., Julien Boisvenue , Layout & Prepress Mgr.,

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