In the small town of Merritt, B.C. some time in the early 1960s, a small boy fell and broke his arm during PE class at school. His teacher told him to, “Toughen up” and sent the boy back to class.
When he got home, the boy’s mother realized her son’s arm was swollen and might be broken. She did the practical thing any mother would do: She pulled out a giant maxi pad or two, padded up the arm, wrapped it in some soft gauze in an attempt to protect it, and walked with the boy to the hospital.
A few weeks went by, and the boy got frustrated how itchy his arm was under his cast. He had an appointment to get the cast removed in one week, but couldn’t take the itch anymore, and figured it must have healed enough by now anyway. So he pulled out a saw and gnawed his way through the cast.
This same boy—now a 63-year-old man I call Dad— recently fell 16 feet when a scaffolding board he was standing on snapped. He knew right away both feet were broken. He crawled to his van and had a colleague drive him the few miles to the hospital. X-Rays, two casts and a wheelchair later, my Dad wheeled himself home and spent the next six weeks working from a wheelchair.
Oh, how people have changed:
In the news today was a story about a father from Surrey, who was outraged and went public with his story, after he was forced to drive his son to the hospital because the ambulance told him his son’s broken arm wasn’t serious enough to warrant an ambulance. Read more here.
Children have been breaking their arms on trampolines for decades. When did we start believing it was ok to take advantage of the emergency system and call for an ambulance?
Why did we become so soft, so abusive to our public services? So assuming that taxpayers should foot the bill for an ambulance call for a small bone break?
I am reminded of what a friend once told me: "Free healthcare can make people do the strangest things. You wouldn't catch him doing that in Florida."