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Book ReviewBy Dr Glenville Ashby[email protected]Trinidadian novelist Lyndon Baptiste is no stranger to exploring uncanny,Arizona Diamondbacks Gregor Blanco Jersey, if not, off-the-cuff subjects. But this one is a gem – hilarious, sardonic, and enlightening. In a nutshell, Baptiste’s ailment – testicular torsion,NFL Jerseys Outlet, a condition that could cause the surgical removal of one of his testicles, and threaten his virility,Wholesale Jerseys Free Shipping, becomes the fodder for a searing, disturbing epiphany, and damning conclusion: Health care in his country is in a state of disrepair. And there is more. Health care is characterised by a rigid strata based on economic class and privilege. Sure, similar situations exist in countless countries, but in a small nation such as Trinidad and Tobago – embellished with “black gold,” one would have least expected decent health care for all its citizenry. Alas, as “Oh My Testicles,Cheap NFL Jerseys Authentic,” satirically concludes, health conditions are egregious, with shabby hospital facilities, extended waiting periods in emergency rooms, and medical personal unfamiliar with the cultural nuances of the country. Even his brief sojourn at Special Care Associates of Medicine – a hospital for the opulent, in a tony part of Port of Spain, reeks of ingenuity – nothing more than a naked capitalist venture.Baptiste’s wry jocularity takes little away from the message of hopelessness that bedevils the poor. If you are downtrodden and sick, decent health care is inaccessible. Poorly treated,and against the backdrop of a physically repulsive surrounding,Cheap Stitched Jerseys, you are enveloped in a stench of doom. Of Mount Hope hospital, one of Trinidad’s largest facilities, he writes: “The most noticeable feature of the waiting room was the stink, lingering stench of death although there were more than fifty people huddled together in a tight box…I can only describe the conditions of the hospital as deadly,Cheap Jerseys Free Shipping, and I say this not of ignorance, but having sat and absorbed the complicated arrangement..” And amid this nightmare, Baptiste, “waited and waited.”Surely, the disenfranchised are made to wait, for eternity, it seems. But at Special Care Associates, affluence seems to smooth the roughest of edges – eking a smile from the most unlikely. And you are cared for, if only because of your deep pockets. Baptiste paints a world of contrasts, of class warfare,Cheap NFL Jerseys China, of sorts. A lengthy stay at “Special Care” can erode one’s life savings, and Baptiste is mired, deep. It dawns on him, painfully, that “the health industry was a very lucrative business.”  With a seven thousand dollars down payment, and seven hundred dollars per night – for starters – he couldn’t be more accurate.How much then would his procedure cost? “Oh. It could be as little as twenty thousand dollars,” he is told.Baptiste straddles the gravity of his predicament with moments of levity, replete with vintage “Trini” style argot. His memorable exchange with his brother proves dizzyingly mirthful, pulled from the very top drawer. “Dread, you need to get out of there or them people will rob you by the hour. That doctor just want you to stay in the room so he could make money and the place could make a thing on the side. You paying for tablet, meal and balls inspection through your teeth. And at the end of it all, you not even guaranteed to have two balls. Is better you let the government cut it off for free,” a ruffled Baptiste is advised by his sibling.The author by the hand of Providence is led to the General Hospital, and, fortuitously escapes surgery, and survives. Yet the experience scars him. The shrieks of suffering are unbearable,NFL Jerseys China, indelible reminders of his mortality, and life’s vicissitudes. But equally troubling is that life expectancy, amid astounding medical breakthroughs, is still determined by access and money.Dr Glenvile Ashby, literary critic – Caribbean Book ReviewOh My Testicles by Lyndon BaptistePotbake Productions, Trincity, TrinidadISBN: 978-976-95236-3-0Available: Ratings:***Recommended
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