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Absence, not a seizure

June 23, 2012

I’ve not written lately.

Since my last post in March, I’ve continued to work on-and-off in Rankin Inlet, NU. I did a short stint in Arviat, NU and have been filling the rest of the time with Hospitalist work in Nanaimo, BC and travel. Since March, I have hiked in Nevada, visited family in Thunder Bay, and showed-off the creature beauty of Vancouver Island.

I now acknowledge that my past style of blogging – writing about my experiences and providing intimate reflection on encounters in medicine – is not sustainable. Although I prefer this way of sharing, it is not coming to me easily right now.

WARNING: for those of you who have subscribed by email, the post volume might suddenly become a little high – I’ll be posting links to articles, photos, etc. and probably not writing a lot about them.

2 Comments leave one →
  1. June 24, 2012 1:35 pm

    Hi Jessica,
    I know exactly what you are talking about when you say you cannot get around writing personal observations while working in the Kivalliq. Too busy and too exhausted to do any more mental activity, anyway that was my experience and when I had any time, I preferred to go out on the land. Have you connected with Warwick Wilkinson ?He provides real R&R, Ask Alex if you have not yet.

    I have written a number of published articles about Nunavut, but still have to post them on my website ( . Will try and do that in the next day or so.

    I still have not heard from the recipients of the hockey jerseys. If they are any good, Too big, too small? We have other sizes as well.
    Furthermore my Rotary club would like a picture of at least some of the hockey players in the jersey s for publication. in our news letter. I have E mailed your contact and received no reply, unlike the South African team who sent a very nice their jerseys.
    I guess that is one of the reasons the Inuit get forgotten and lots of help goes to Africa and Haiti where it probably does less good than if the same went to Nunavut.
    But there never seems to be any thanks.
    We sent substantial financial support to one student from Repulse for a year so that he could study in college in Ottawa, but not a word from him either.
    86 kids are getting a book a month in Repulse , sent to each of them personally and again not a word.
    Costs nothing to say thanks and encourages more assistance , but that is too complicated it seems, Or is it a sense of entitlement and no thanks is needed?
    All the best, Marco

    • June 24, 2012 9:39 pm

      Hi Marco

      yes I’ve met W.W. briefly. I have had about 3 days off in total over the last year. Seems like I’m always on call or backup or Regional and simply could not go out on the land. The few days I tried, plans changed with those who offered to take me out.

      I haven’t been physically in Rankin for a while because they said they didn’t have work for me. But I get the usual emails requesting ‘any’ help and will be going up again on Monday for 2 weeks and again in late July for another 2 weeks.

      All I know is that the jerseys were received. Hockey season is long over and won’t start again until late October or early November. I don’t know about the size but I doubt they’ll be tried until the winter at least. I’m sorry that there wasn’t more of a response.

      There is a lot of generosity to the North and I cannot explain the reaction or lack thereof that you have experienced. Many patients, especially elders, thank me after an appointment. Certainly from the medical side we see that some people expect or demand free trips to Winnipeg when they aren’t medically warranted, and I don’t know if it is entitlement or desperation to get away.

      Many students receiving scholarships don’t think to write “thanks.” I remember at UBC they included a letter that strongly suggested writing the donor – presumably because people would not spontaneously do this otherwise. Perhaps that is just the way of modern life?

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