We are so damn lucky to be living in this part of the world! Facebook was so kind to remind me of this the other day, and I truly appreciate it. Especially right now, where I might have a teeny, tiny tendency to feel sorry for myself, I think it’s very healthy to put things a bit into perspective at times.
I assume most of you readers of this blog are on Facebook, and if you are, you most likely have noticed that, these days, lots of the “news” in there are pretty old news, really. Maybe one of your random old school friends have been friends with some even more random person for 5 years today. Good on them!
Then, the other day the Facebookian time travel happened to me and it actually made me want to share my “old news”.
I was sent back 3 years in time to when I was very sick in a public hospital in Fiji. You will get the full story about that an other day, I promise. It is a crucial part of “The Majeline and Josh Hollywood Love Story” which you should most definitely stay tuned for, but for now, I’ll get back to the time travel and show you the photo Facebook chose to pop up on my timeline again here 3 years later:
That’s it. Just a drip hanging from a stand. So yeah, as you can see there’s not much to the photo itself. However, the observant reader will notice that the stand is being held together by an old, dirty cloth and nothing in this photo looks particularly clean or new. I can assure you, it was not.
That hospital was terrible. It was filthy, there were cockroaches everywhere…there was no soap or toilet paper in the bathroom – and I had diarrhoea(!) So, two socks less I left that place as soon as I could. Luckily, I was only there for one day and could go back to my clean and safe, luxury hotel room where the daily cleaning was just a matter of course and where my private doctor came and checked on me regularly. The contrast was humungous.
Most Fijians don’t have the opportunity to experience that contrast. They just got to deal with the dirt and the cockroaches and hope for the best. And I don’t think they are the ones to complain, actually.
Lots and lots and lots of people in our developed countries are complaining about our system and our health care. Often I think it is totally okay to be skeptical, since we definitely should aim for the best of the best. Especially because we can afford it in our society. There is absolutely no reason to want to scale down on quality and efficiency – but in the midst of all the complaints, I think it’s very important that we also remember how lucky we are. Especially as individuals. It really isn’t the end of the world if we have to wait a bit at the doctor’s from time to time.
The whole experience in Fiji, that Facebook brought back to my attention just weeks (or days) before I go into the hospital to give birth here in Australia, was a real eye opener for me in regards to realizing how fortunate I have been to grow up in a country, where health care is free and the quality of it is amongst the best in the world. And that I now live in a country on the other side of the globe, that is also in the top of the health care league worldwide.
I have never been nervous about giving birth down here. The whole process of getting through the pregnancy has been a bit of a bumpy ride as you can read about here, but for the birth itself, I totally trust that the doctors and midwifes are top professional and that the hospitals here are all up to standards in regards to cleanliness and safety.
This is also the reason why the choice between having the baby at a public or a private hospital here was a bit of a first world issue for us, really. We have chosen to “go public” because it seems like the right choice for us, personally. Plus they have carpets in the private hospital and that was just a hospital turn-off, right there! It has been a choice made because of convenience and feelings – not because of fear for mine or the baby’s life and wellbeing.
First world problems are real for us and can seem overwhelming when they appear, but sometimes lets just sit back and put it all into a bit of perspective. Who knows, it might even help us deal with the personal problems we are struggling with in our day-to-day life – I know it sometimes helps me.
We are so freaking fortunate – and we shouldn’t just take that for granted.