After living with horrible pain for nearly a year, Coalmont woman anticipates surgery

A Coalmont woman is waiting anxiously for the phone to ring.

Nienke Klaver was just days away from receiving a hip replacement at Penticton General Hospital, March 23, when the province cancelled all non-essential surgeries due to COVID-19.

“After waiting in extreme pain for nine months, to be cancelled this close to the surgery date was a huge disappointment,” said Klaver.

Between March 17 and April 2, 11,276 scheduled surgical procedures were cancelled.

Of that total, 1,208 are hip and knee replacements, 240 were dental surgeries, which were essential surgeries if they required an acute care setting, and 7,801 are other surgeries,

“The hardest part, besides having to deal with the pain,” is how it has affected my mental health,” said Klaver. “My reactions to everything are over the top, which has also been very difficult for my husband as well. Besides taking over most of what my share of the housework was, he also has to ‘pick up the pieces’ when I break down.

“In a consultation with my practitioner, she increased my dose of painkillers and doubled my dose of anti-depressants.”

Last week it was announced Interior Health (IH) will resume elective surgeries that were postponed.

Related: Interior Health to resume elective surgeries

“While the pandemic continues to evolve, IH is collaborating with the ministry of health to safely resume elective surgeries to support access for patients, both on waitlists and yet to be added. Throughout the resumption of services, our priority is to minimize the risk of transmission of COVID-19,” stated an IH news release.

IH is calling patients to confirm their health status and if they are able and willing to move forward with surgery.

Those who choose to postpone their surgery won’t lose their spot on the waitlist, according to IH.

As Klaver waits for news of a new operation date, she is grateful.

“I do realize that compared to others, I am extremely fortunate. In comparison, the social distancing required because of COVID-19 is not nearly as difficult as coping with the deterioration of my physical and mental health.

“When I see what other people in the world have to go through I am still able to count my blessings.”

However she questions whether her operation, and others, should have been deemed non-essential.

“I’m not sure it’s right that something like a hip or knee operation is considered non-essential. How is this defined and who gets to make this decision? The suffering that people go through can have a devastating effect on a relationship and I can see how it could lead to separation and divorce.

“I can also see how this might lead to a deterioration of one’s quality of life with alcohol and drugs becoming a way for people to deal with their pain and mental health issues…I am sure that suicide may be an option some people consider.”

Klaver is very knowledgable about B.C.’s health care system.

With her husband Ed Staples, she was one of the leaders behind the formation of Princeton’s Support our Health Care Society. That organization successfully lobbied to keep the town’s emergency room open when it was under threat several years ago.

She and Staples are members of the B.C. Health Coalition and founding members of the B.C. Rural Health Network, which connects with policymakers to improve heath services in rural areas.

“Through all of this, I try to keep a positive attitude,” she said. “It helps to know that eventually we will have ‘our’ operation, that summer is upon us, we can sit outside, go down to the river, enjoy our garden, and hopefully meet with friends and family. This too will pass.”

Related: Canadian doctors fret over surgery backlog after immediate COVID-19 crisis

To report a typo, email:
publisher@similkameenspotlight.com
.



andrea.demeer@similkameenspotlight.com

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

QUIZ: Do you know what’s on TV?

Fall is normally the time when new television shows are released

Unofficial holidays: Here’s what people are celebrating for the week of Sept. 27 to Oct. 3

World Farm Animals Day, Drink Beer Day and Virus Appreciation Day are all coming up this week

United Way celebrates seven decades of impact in Southern Interior

Organization sees issues with poverty, mental health and addictions, heighten during the pandemic

Primary Care Networks coming for Okanagan Nation Alliance communities

New partnerships will provide Syilx members with better, culturally-safe primary care

Okanagan rental housing market facing challenges due to COVID-19

The impact on real estate markets remains a wildcard

B.C. records 98 more COVID-19 cases, most in Lower Mainland

One new senior home outbreak, Surrey Memorial outbreak over

West Kelowna Warriors complete sweep of Vernon Vipers

Warriors edge Snakes 2-1 as Okanagan Cup BCHL exhibition tournament begins

Horgan, Wilkinson trade barbs over MSP premiums, health care at campaign stops

Horgan called a snap election for Oct. 24 earlier this week

COVID-19 outbreak declared at Kelowna church service

Attendees of Calvary Chapel Kelowna’s Sept. 13 morning service may have been exposed

Join Black Press Media and Do Some Good

Pay it Forward program supports local businesses in their community giving

Kelowna man injured during arrest sues RCMP

Supreme Court civil claim alleges Dustin Blondin was the victim of an ‘unprovoked attack’

PHOTOS: Ghost sighting in Vernon’s Polson Park

Mom and daughter photoshoot brings joy and laughter to bystanders

PHOTOS: 2nd calf in a month confirmed among Southern Resident killer whale pod

Center for Whale Research said they will eagerly await to observe the calf to evaluate its health

Most Read