Wednesday, January 02, 2008

Book 'em

Coming to an Episcopal church near you:.
CAIRO: Farid Mesbaah, male belly dancer, hopped on a car in the Shobra District of Cairo and strutted his stuff.

He clanged metal castanets, magically converted his hips into pistons and twirled his head around like a centrifuge. The crowd seated at tables lining a dirt alley clapped rhythmically. Young men in jeans jumped up to wiggle along.

Mesbaah was performing at the opening of the Old-Time Moon Café, a gig that, along with weddings, birthdays, nightclubs and circumcisions, is typical for belly dancers.
Better hurry, Rowan - July is their busy month!


Blogger Kasia said...

Soooo...he loves to do it, thinks it's great, but he doesn't want his sons to do it?


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Anonymous Anonymous said...


You have taken the words out of my mouth with your blog. Couldn't agree more.

You might be interested in knowing that I have three children on the Autism Spectrum too, as well as a fourth child with other Special Needs. All due to a rare genetic disorder in the family line.

We are supposed to be seen at the Children's Hospital of Eastern Ontario (CHEO) for our "health care"; I use that term lightly. What we have met there for 15 years has been -- not to put too fine a point on it -- institutionalized idiocy, for the most part. A noteable exception here and there, but far too little of this.

Just last month we had a long-awaited appointment for one of our children who has serious skeltal anomalies. We were referred to their "best Orthepedic surgeon". Don't show me the worst, then....please. This fellow started our consultation by chuckling that no, he hadn't ordered my child's x-ray (taken many months before, and already showing a new abnormality that was of concern), or the Radiologist's report. Dang, just forgot! No problem, let's just order another x-ray on this kid. Ah,doc, says Mum -- another dose of radiation for a child who already has a tumour-risk disorder? I don't think so. Mum then explained about the genetic background of the disorder, as doc clearly does not read file notes. The good docor's reply? "Um-m-m, I don't do gene stuff". Mum's thought, "Um-m-m, is this 'doctor' even capable of professional language, much less the understanding of it?". Doc jumps up and demonstates some simple stretching exercises -- for comic relief -- which he maintains will certainly do the trick for whatever ails 'ya. My husband and I cast surrepticious glances at one another and roll our eyes. We say there must be someone else with the requisite knowledge whom we could see. "Just a minute, I think I know the right colleague! Wait there!".

Doc ran out. We waited, and waited and waited, until a rather presumptuous clerk told us to clear the room for the next patient. We explained we were waiting for the original doctor's referral; he told us he would be back with it. She pointed to him across the hall, already on to another patient, with no intention of returning to us.

We were upset at said doctor's incompetence; we were upset at his deceit. We walked out. Our child was understandably beginning to cry, and asking what we would do about the medical problem, then. I turned and said, "I'm sorry this man turned out to be a buffoon, dear. We'll have to try somewhere else." We continued on to the front information desk to see whether we could spaek with the more knowledgeable colleague before we left CHEO, so as not to have to wait another many, many months.

WHAM, BANG,BOOM! Suddenly, the CHEO SWAT Team was upon us. A man identifying himself as Head of Security suddenly whisked us off to a side room, where we confronted a person who was the supposed "Patient Representative", which is a misnomer if ever there was one. The two of them proceeded to use what I can only describe as Gestapo-style tactics against us. I left with our child after a good, long bout of this. We were followed by Security for over half an hour until we boarded an OC Transpo bus and got out of there. My husband stayed and took it on the chin. This "Patient Representative" accused us of a cartload of nonsense, ending with her verdict that my punishment for having called the "doctor" a buffoon -- even in private --was that I would no longer be allowed to set foot on CHEO property ever again, for the duration of my lfe. If I did so, Ottawa Police would be called, and charges would be laid against me. Charges? For what? Ms. Patient Representative couldn't say.

CONTINUED in next post....

11:07 am  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

(CONTINUED from above)

I contacted CHEO's Michel Bilodeau, CEO. I got nothing more than a few platitudes and a big yawn in reply. I was even more astonished than I had been with their Gestapo team. I asked under whose authority their "Patient Representative" had acted. It took many subsequent repetitions of the same question before Mr. Bilodeau admitted she had acted under his authority. CHEO is a public hospital, under the Public Hospital Act, and provided with public funding. My husband and child and I are entitled to health care under the Canada Health Act. We are entitled to certain freedoms under the Charter. Had all of this been forgotten by CHEO? No answer.

Since that time, CHEO has done an outstanding job of working hard to sweep this incident under the rug. I even tele-conferenced with the Chair of the Board of Trusteees and with the Chief of Meical staff, at my own insistence; they had never contacted me. We had over 40 minutes of the most nonsense-and-buzzword-laced "conversdation" I have ever known. At the end of it, they had admitted to nothing, did not act to rectify what had been done to us at CHEO, but were cool as cucumbers in their insistence that I had no case. Reminded me of the Arhtur Milner story on your blog.

I wrote to the Ontario Ombudsman about our situation. No reply. I contacted Deb Matthews of the Ministry of Health. No reply. Where in blazes is the accountability in our medical system? How can CHEO behave in this manner, and no one with authority bats an eye? I do realize that new legislation is on the table in Ontario for public sector accountability, but until such time as that actually gets passed, is the idea to do absolutely nothing?

So a mother of four children, all with a serious medical disorder, incldung Autism and cognitive issues and much more, can be hunted and interrogated by CHEO Security and the "Patient Representative" after making a private and well-deserved comment about the inept behaviour just experienced at the hands of a CHEO doctor, and this is a hanging offence? Oh, I was told on one attempt at clearing this up, that I should take my complaint with the CHEO Public Relations Department. Ah-hh, CHEO's advertisng department was to deal with a breach of medical procedure/ethics and heavy harrasssment against a patient? Yes, I just bet they were. What would they do....issue a press relase stating that a CHEO parent had involved herself in a situation of misunderstanding and miscommunication, of her own doing? And that even so, CHE was big-heartedly willing to "forgive me? Yes, I could just imagine the smooth, lying CHEO slant they would give it.

Remember that 99% of the fuzzy, feelgood compliments about CHEO that swirl around the city of Ottawa are put out there by a well-oiled PR Depratment at CHEO itself. This is, in fact, once of the bigger sources of advertisng revenue for the Ottawa Citizen. Gotta keep cranking out the propaganda! And it astonsishes me how many Ottawans buy this nonsense; no critcal faculties used at all when it comes to CHEO, so of course CHEO caneasily get away with what I have just described.

During my little CHEO escapade, I wondered whether I had blinked, and been transported back to the old Soviet Union, as the CHEO goons appeared ready to ship me to the Gulag for the crime of questioning CHEO authority.....and I use that last word lightly.

Another day in the life of an increasingly totalitarian Canada

11:08 am  

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