Lions and tigers and bears

Exercise equipment – good or evil?

After he’d competed a strength test, and a flexibility test, and a reflex test on my injured shoulder, a few weeks ago, my doctor gave me the news. He’d seen an X-ray and an ultrasound that indicated I’d slightly torn something in my rotator-cuff. That sounded bad enough. Then, he handed me a referral form and told me to go to an office on the lower level of the health centre.

“Go get some physiotherapy,” he told me.

I opened the door and entered a front office with a TV blaring 24-hour news, racks of magazines and someone to book my appointments. That was all well and good. But beyond the front office was a world I’ve never really understood, rarely entered, and often feared.

Health care with character

My wife and I arrived at the downtown Toronto hospital just in time to see the patient we were concerned about transported from an ambulance into the hospital Emergency ward. Then, we saw the crowded waiting room, and knew it was going to be a long stay. Within a few minutes, however, the paramedics who’d wheeled our patient in, got a heads-up and we were suddenly on the move.

“Express Six,” the paramedic said. “We’re going to Express Six.” And right away the paramedic team had cradled our patient onto a bed in one of those Emergency room cubicles where curtains gave the only privacy.