I haven’t written for a whole month because my friend’s husband was seriously ill and I was very distressed at their plight. She and her husband had been living in a small Australian town, population 3000. They both loved country life. Neither of them wanted to return to the big smoke.
But he became ill as older people do. His knees gave out and he had to wait a year to have a replacement. Once that was done, there were the melanomas followed by all sorts of horrid symptoms.
This bush town has only one doctor who is not popular with the residents so that some choose to travel to the next town for medical attention.
Specialist treatment is unavailable and my friend had to go to a medical centre, three hours drive away or Sydney (6 hours) for surgery for his melanomas. The waiting list is long and something went terrible wrong for my friend’s husband.
He stopped talking, he couldn’t hear, his body was covered in all sorts of weeping lesions. My friend begged the local GP to visit her husband but this fellow refused to come unless the patient requested it personally.
It was going to take months before the dermatologist could see him. Finally, he was driven to Sydney by his desperate family. The medicos admitted him immediately and wondered why it had taken so long for him to get proper attention.
He lingered for six long weeks at St Vincent’s Hospital and then he died. There is an autopsy going on right now.
I have no idea why the poor man died but a major contributing factor was the handicap that he lived in the bush. Away from proper medical treatment, a victim of the long waiting list in the N.S.W hospital system.
My friend and her husband dreamed of retiring happily in the country. They were tree changers but the country is no country for old men.