Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Remember: It Could Be Worse!

Reading the headline above most of you will assume this will be an article related to all of the economic woes that are hitting our great country, and our department’s budgets, hard. Well it is not though the eventual lesson learned could be applied to the situation.

Some of you (at least I hope some of you) may have noticed I have not posted in a while. The reason is I have been struggling with a herniated disk between my C5 and C6 (vertebrae in my neck for you non-EMS types) that eventually resulted in my undergoing surgery a couple of weeks ago. As a result, I have nice scars on the front side of my neck and down by my hip and a part of my hip bone is now acting as a disk between my C5 and C6. It was actually minimally invasive and I was home the next day – amazing technology really!

Just prior to surgery good people all around me would comment on how bad this must be and generally, and very politely, that it sucks to be me. My response would always be that I am blessed and grateful it is not worse and that there are others out there who have it much worse than I on a lot of levels. Little did I realize that my point would be drilled home in the form of my roommate for 24 hours in the hospital.

My roommate was a 27 year old “kid” (I can say that as I am 45) who is an Army vet of the Iraq war who injured his back while he was over there. We had a nice long talk and I learned he had undergone about four surgeries on his back with little success and that only seemed to lead to more problems. His care at the hands of the Army’s doctors, in my former medic opinion, was not very good. He actually had to fight to get the Army to allow him to go outside the military healthcare system to find a competent specialist to try and fix some of the problems. The good news is he did find a good one and that doc was able to correct some of the problems that the Army docs had said they could not.

Bottom line is this vet, who is a mechanic, will be in constant pain and disabled for the rest of his life. He must undergo further surgeries in the future and he gets around about as well as an 80 year old. In addition, he is going to have to fight for some benefits that the Army now does not want to provide. How sad is that?! Despite all of that, the kid remains upbeat and determined!

I could go on and on but blog postings are supposed to be relatively short. My whole point in this is that not matter what befalls you, whether health or wealth related, do remember that it could be worse! Be thankful for what you have during these tough times!
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