COLUMN: It’s the waiting that causes the pain

On Sunday, at the urging of family ... I spent three hours (and $9 in parking fees) in the hospital’s emergency department.

On Sunday, at the urging of family – mostly because I think they wanted me out of the house – I spent three hours (and $9 in parking fees) in the hospital’s emergency department.

I’d severely twisted my knee the day before, and Sunday morning the over-night accumulation of fluid around the joint made me look like someone with elephantitis.

Additionally, before I could get out of bed I needed to have an ancient pair of crutches rooted out of the basement.

What made me smile at the hospital was the repeated question: “Where does it hurt?”

It doesn’t.

“Where did it hurt when you did it?”

It didn’t!

Actually not the whole truth, but the “injury” was not an entirely painful experience.

As a matter of fact, most of the “pain” was in having to wait the three hours to see a doctor who essentially told me there was no damage that time won’t heal.

However, don’t take that as a major complaint, because the care and attention I did receive was excellent. What I did find surprising was that there were so few people in the waiting room.

Bit of a contrast to what I’ve read about Surrey where, with a new emergency department five times the size of the old one, it is already over-stressed and over-packed with people.

Maybe I just “picked” a good day at ARHCC.

Nonetheless, other than the $3 an hour parking fee for the emergency department – which is enough to make you whine about the wait time – we should feel pretty happy about the care in Abbotsford.

On the other hand, if the highway signs I see on the freeway and approaches to the U.S. border are any indication, people don’t seem to have much of a problem with wait times to go south to spend money.

Since I have long since avoided that activity I can only assume it takes just as long to get back into Canada as it does to enter the U.S.

Perhaps the bargains are worth the time lost, however, the dollars spent down there don’t go towards providing us with exceptional medical care. They also don’t go towards supporting our economy.

After watching a number of episodes of Border Security, which details the activities of the Canada Border Service Agency (CBSA) as it ensures bad people and bad products are kept out of our country, it is remarkable what incredible foodstuffs some people try to smuggle in.

Yet, if a letter to the editor in the Monday edition of the Vancouver Sun is accurate, I also have to wonder at some of the things CBSA keeps out.

The letter writer claimed that, as a Canadian returning home with sealed dairy products taken with him south but not consumed on his short trip, his declared products were confiscated.

So it appears unopened and sealed Canadian dairy products, possibly produced right here in Abbotsford, can’t be brought back into our country, yet anyone can fill up the back seat with American milk and cheese and have no problem bringing them in.

That doesn’t make sense to me. So, as the letter writer suggests, shouldn’t we either disallow importation of all dairy products, or allow Canadian products to be brought back under the same exemptions we have for U.S.-produced dairy goods?