N.S. woman says she only received treatment for rare illness after speaking publicly
Published Sunday, November 4, 2018 5:53PM AST
Last Updated Sunday, November 4, 2018 7:05PM AST
SYDNEY, N.S. -- Paulette Corbett is back home after spending more than three months in the hospital, but it’s the time it took to receive the care she needed that has her worried for others.
“I was down to 93 pounds; I lost all my lean fat. I was just bones, skin over bones is what I was,” explained Corbett, “I felt terrible, no energy, I literally felt like I was going to die.”
Corbett says it wasn’t until he spoke publicly that she started to receive answers she wasn’t able to get for months.
The retired nurse had a rare condition called meserenteric ischemina, which restricts blood flow to the bowel, making it painful for her to eat.
“I ended up having my gallbladder removed, which took care of that problem and with the meserenteric ischemina, they put me on two medications which has made the world of difference,” she said.
According to a department website from Dalhousie University, the wait times for the GI unit in Halifax for urgent care is 12 days, semi urgent is 215 days, and non-urgent is 300 days.
“For anybody out there that’s struggling trying to get through this maze of health care, they really have to be their own advocate,” said Corbett.
Corbett says she feels wait times are too long, and says the fact the Nova Scotia Health Authority is controlled out of Halifax, while most of her doctors are in Cape Breton has added to the confusion.
“It’s wait times to have these tests done. You’ll see a doctor and they’ll order tests, then you have to wait weeks, after that you’re referred to a specialist and again you’re waiting weeks, if not months,” she said.
“It’s a continuous path of waiting, you’re either going to get better or you’re going to be dead before they ever settle a problem,” said Corbett.
With files from CTV Atlantic's Kyle Moore