Happy New Year to all! I thought I had better get back on the radar screen and let you know that I haven't fallen off the face of the Earth. It has certainly been an interesting start to the new year -- and an enlightening one too. On New Year's Day, my sister fell off a curb at the Portland airport. As a result, she dislocated and fractured her right ankle and sprained her left ankle. She is scheduled to have surgery on January 10th - to insert plates and screws in her ankle. Believe it or not - this procedure is now a day surgery! The bottom line is that she is in a hospital bed in her living room and is unable to bear any weight on her right foot (for at least the next 6 weeks) and very little on her left. Until you are part of this type of situation, you have no idea what you will have to deal with and resolve. Simple, everyday tasks and self-care come to a screeching halt. The real eye-opener is the lack of services that are covered under health care plans. Most of us fall into the middle-income bracket where you don't earn enough to pay for services out-of-pocket, but earn too much to qualify for assistance. So, this is where I come in. I have adapted and learned a lot this past week. I have been unbelievably frustrated with our health care system. She was told to not bear any weight on her feet, but - oh, by the way - here are some crutches to take home with you! And, okay, I guess we can order a wheelchair for you - sorry it won't fit through any of your bathroom doorways! Nice. We have adapted and have developed our own routine. I'm sure we will have to adapt again after surgery. After this week, we can accomplish anything.
Since I do have a part-time job, the family will have to coordinate and be available to assist her after I return to work. My husband has been a peach (as usual). He is always my rock. The reason I am sharing this recent experience is to make you all aware of how one wrong move can change your world. Almost, more importantly, our health care system leaves a lot to be desired - even with good insurance. After six hours in the ER, numerous pain injections, casting, etc. , my sister was one step above being placed on the curb outside the ER with a note pinned on her. She is lucky; she has us. My heart goes out to all those people out there that are really alone.
I will be putting my creative activities on the back burner for awhile. It makes me crazy since I have all these ideas buzzing around in my head for Valentine's Day. Maybe I will just start on springy, Easter things and save my Valentine ideas for next year. I will keep you updated. Take good care of yourselves and keep in touch. Miss you all, Martha
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