Oh Canada

I love being a Canadian.

To be born Canadian was to be born fortunate.

Canada is a great place to live. As Canadians we:

Are a democratic country

Have freedom of speech and religion

Value diversity

Love to say “eh?”

Apologize for everything

Have a passion for all things hockey

Prefer to use British English over American English (i.e. it is colour, not color)

Have decent gun control policies to help reduce violent crimes

Can be annoying polite

Are blessed with some of the most beautiful untouched natural landscape in the world

No matter where I travel in the world, I am grateful that I can return home to a beautiful and safe country.

Today is Canada day (the celebration of the birth of our country on July 1, 1867), so what better day then to celebrate being an unexplained recurrent pregnancy loss (RPL) patient. Yes, I did just say celebrate being an unexplained recurrent pregnancy loss patient – I did not realize I would ever think to celebrate this, but I guess like everything there are always positive things to focus on. And the positive side of me being diagnosed with RPL is that I am a Canadian.

Being a Canadian I have government funded public medical care. For the most part, I do not have to worry about the cost of my medical treatments – according to Wikipedia “about 91% of hospital expenditures and 99% of total physician services are financed by the public sector”. From my personal experience, things like almost all doctor visits, hospital stays, blood tests, surgeries are covered. This of course means we do not need to worry about paying out of pocket for these procedures or for private insurance and there are no co-payments. And, when we do have to pay for doctor appointment in my experience it is for more extravagant reasons – i.e. traveling out of country and want to ensure I have the necessary shots and medications for the trip, or if a full medical is required for one’s life insurance policy. Otherwise, what all Canadians do have to pay for is the cost of medication, so most of us have private medical insurance for this type of circumstance. Usually this is provided by your employer through some sort of employee/employer benefit paid plan – in my experience as a professional, this is usually incredibly cheap to the point of not being a concern. Sometimes, for those who are self-employed or unemployed (my husband and I) you purchase this type of coverage on your own. And at least in our province, this is pretty straight forward and doesn’t seem overly expensive.

I should point out that in Canada a lot of medical coverage changes between provinces. Ultimately, throughout the entire County, everyone is entitled to the publicly funded system for nearly all major and necessary procedures. So, from an infertility perspective, this means that I believe only 1 or 2 provinces provide funding for IVF, whereas the rest do not (as I’m not experienced in IVF, I’m not positive which ones cover and which ones do not). So, there are still differences, but at the end of the day in Canada, no-one should die due to being unable to afford a procedure.

Yes, the Canadian system is not perfect, and I’m sure a quick Google search would indicate there are problems. Problems, like long wait times for elective, non-emergent conditions or screening tests. But, ultimately, in our experience, once you need help, you get help in this country. So, I’ll take wait times for elective non-emergent conditions any day over bankruptcy due to an unforeseen medical emergency. And, I also acknowledge that no system is perfect, so we will experience problems or annoyances from time to time.

So, how has the public system affected my husband and I as we are experiencing Recurrent Pregnancy Loss? Simple, every single thing has been paid for except our medications. A brief list of what we has been paid for:

  • Sonohysterogram
  • Hysterosalpingogram (HSG)
  • Countless blood tests – 5 pregnancies = lots of beta testing!
  • Genetic testing
  • 1 Emergency D&C with over 11 medical professionals in the operating room
  • 1 hospital stay as a result of the emergency D&C
  • 1 medically required abortion (see post here)
  • 1 appointment at the Early Pregnancy Loss clinic (worst medical experience of our entire RPL process, more on that another day)
  • At least 5 Emergency Room visits
  • All medications provided to me in the hospital and at the early pregnancy loss clinic (misoprostol/cytotec, morphine, anaesthetics, etc.)
  • Countless family doctor medical visits
  • Countless RE appointments
  • Countless ultrasounds (I’d venture the guess that we are averaging 10 per miscarriage as we wait to confirm fetal demise)
  • Psychologist appointments (this is usually privately paid in Canada, but I have coverage for it so I do not pay)

So, what exactly am I thankful for? I am thankful I am experiencing this horrible experience and all the above medical procedures as a Canadian. I imagine if I were in a different country with a private medical system (i.e. USA), I would have to factor in the cost of all of these procedures to determine if we can continue trying to have a family. And we would likely be bankrupt quite some time ago. Instead, I figure I have just “earned back” every tax dollar my husband and I have ever spent and probably more! So, I guess this means we never get to complain about paying taxes again!

And, since I love being a Canadian, I thought I’d also share a classic beer commercial from a few years back that does a great job of showing off all the other non-medical reasons why I love being Canadian:

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21 Comments on “Oh Canada

  1. Happy Canada Day! My grand parents are French-Canadian, moved to the US as youngsters. I have never visited Canada but would love to and learn more about where my ancestors came from. Glad you get the support you need from your country for the medical services/procedures/etc. that are necessary for you.

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    • Thank you! I am from the other side of the country, but I do love Quebec! I haven’t been in years, but went a few times as a kid – it is such a beautiful province! I highly recommend a trip to Canada, although I wouldn’t even know where to start since the country is amazing in different ways in each province. 🙂

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  2. Happy Canada Day hon!! You’re making me feel homesick today 🙂 I’m going on 7 years since I moved to the US and I keep getting questions about when I’ll become a citizen, and I always say, I’m not. I’m Canadian and I’ll always be Canadian. Perhaps if they bring back dual citizenship, I’ll consider it, but I’m not revoking my Canadian citizenship to do it! Never!

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    • Just stumbled on this post and your comment. I am a Canadian, and my husband all my children (grown up) are dual citizens. They have both passports and some live in the U.S. and some in Canada. I don’t think you’d have to “revoke your Canadian citizenship” Anyway, glad to hear you are happy with staying Canadian!

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  3. Happy Canada Day! I have a good chunk of family spread from Vancouver to Winnipeg, primarily. Every presidential election, I tell myself that I’ll move to Canada if my preferred candidate doesn’t win. Maybe someday…

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  4. I don’t know… if you lived in the US and were employed, you might have coverage for part of your fertility treatments through private insurance. And you or your child wouldn’t wait 2 or more years to see an immunologist. 😉

    That said, you’re right about it being geographically beautiful. A little on the chilly side for my tastes, though.

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  5. I have always heard medical care is better in Canada, except for the waiting. So far, the friends I have in Canada, usually stays there. 🙂

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    • Hahaha! I always joke that our current Prime Minister is actually a Texas Republican, so I’m not sure how much you would love it right now. (In case it wasn’t clear, I’m not a fan our our current PM and his conservative party). 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

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  7. You linked to this post from your blog post today. As I Canadian as well, I also am so grateful for the medical care. When you break it down in list form like you did above, it really shows how fortunate we are!

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    • Thank you for sharing this. The medical system isn’t perfect, but I as you say, we are very fortunate and I’d rather have our system then many others.

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