Thursday, September 15, 2011

Picking nits


So … my kids started school and promptly came home with lice (of unknown origin - probably not school. But the VP got all stressed out). All together now: eeeeeuw. I shouldn’t complain too much, we’ve been doing daycare/school for over fifteen years now, and this is our first time. But it’s a pretty overwhelming experience, to put it mildly.

We went out and got the shampoo, thoroughly poisoned all our scalps, did many loads of laundry and banished the beloved stuffies to a plastic bag. Now we are at the stage of picking nits. It’s a long and arduous process, with plenty of time for thinking about things. The school asked us to have the kids’ heads checked by a doctor before they came back – last year the lice were incredibly persistent. There was just one small problem.

I couldn't get a doctor’s appointment for my kids.

We are very fortunate to have a paediatrician whom we can see if we book an appointment well in advance. If somebody is at death’s door, you can come and sit there for hours and you will eventually be seen. If I phone the office at nine o’clock in the morning (that is, phone many, many times as I can’t get through), then they might, by grace and favour, be able to squeeze us in at the end of the day. A day of school lost because the doctor is overbooked. I ended up going to the walk-in clinic, where I got excellent service, but waited about an hour for the doctor to look at each of their heads for two minutes.

There's an impressive shortage of health care workers in Manitoba - largely because past governments, in their infinite wisdom, decided we had too many and drastically cut the number of spots in the training programs. Now, of course, we are scrambling to catch up.

And the rest, dear friends, you can read on my CBC blog.

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