Thursday, December 16, 2010

Health and Happiness (Health Care)

When I was in NC during November I was assailed with Health issues.  Thankfully, these issues weren't mine but they directly affected me.

Frank Health Issues Ahead...

Just before I got to NC, my dad was hospitalized with Pneumonia.  He had so looked forward to coming to see me finish the Outer Banks Half Marathon and was so disappointed that his health kept him from fulfilling that dream.  I had not finished the Raleigh Marathon in 2009, so this was our "make-up" performance.  It really can be Hell getting older and not being able to do the things that you want to do.

Now, I will tell you that my frustration with Dad is quite deep.  Certainly not the fact that he had pneumonia, or the fact that he had a stroke nearly 8 years ago, or the fact that he still smokes like a chimney; no, the frustration comes from the "I Can't Attitude".  When he does his exercises or takes therapy he is able, but he'd rather feel sorry for himself and be lazy.  So he can say "See I Can't."  Conversely, I try to use that as fuel for myself to say "Yes I Can".  Or "Yes I Will". 

In the summer my step-mom began to bleed (spot).  But it wouldn't stop.  Tons of doctors' visits and a DNC finally stopped the bleeding.  And we are talking months.  And with the DNC, it was discovered that she has Uterine cancer.  Another thing that she has been plagued with is the "we will call you" mentality of health "care" officials.  How can a doctor or nurse say we will call you in a day or two and then let it wait a week until my step-mom calls very upset?  In this world  of high technology, we can't even have the human decency to call a patient back.  SAD!  Very SAD!  This Friday (tomorrow) she will have a complete hysterectomy and hopefully that will remove all of the cancer.  But from the recent past history of her doctors' visits, it might be a few weeks before someone remembers to call back.  (Not recommended.  I have a phone too and a kick ass attitude!)

And this past Saturday a friend of mine for the last 25 years tried to kill himself.  He didn't succeed.  And I'm thankful of that.  The line from "The First Wives Club" that Bette spouts "So how drunk do you think Cynthia was to throw herself off the roof" kept coming to mind.  (Bad paraphrase of the scene, but I don't have it handy to watch.)

With the three above situations, each (Daddy, Jane and Eddie) have been weighted down my their own issues: Stroke, Pneumonia, Cancer, Depression.  Whatever the issue/situation, these can be life altering, life changing and even life ending.  Separately, I'd have had a hard time dealing with them.  Collectively, I've been very heavy hearted this season.  But I ain't throwing in the towel yet.  I will triumph.  And if I get my wish, my parents and friend will too.  But whatever the outcome, I will keep them safely protected in my heart.

Loving me and others!

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