#38. A gift - January 2012

Doctors and nurses and the whole medical establishment are a gift to us, because they try and help us live.   Not everyone has access to medicine and hospitals.

When my husband was so sick, and we were worried he was dying, I read a remarkable book by Stephanie Nolan, a Globe and Mail reporter, called “28:  Stories of AIDS in Africa”.  It tells the stories of 28 people who were living with HIV.  It may seem like a very depressing book to read when you are grappling with cancer, but actually it was one of the most hopeful books I’ve ever read.  Nolen relates the remarkable courage of individuals in Africa who face hard health crises, in the face of very very little access to medicine and health care.  28 million people have HIV in Africa.  Somehow the book reminded me that sickness is not some strange anomaly in human life, but a very common human condition. 

I try to be thankful for what I’ve been given (remarkably good health and easy access to excellent health care).   And I try to feel compassion for people who, through no fault of their own, are facing difficult times.