|Chas in Me ||
Posted 01-24-2005 at 15:02:39
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This morning, I went with my FIL to a Dr. appt downstate. We had to drive about 120 miles to get to the regional medical center. After depositing him and finding out when his tests would be done, I took a walk to the main hospital to visit a friend who is a patient.
Now this young woman has worked all her working life as a waitress in the town's most popular diner. She knows everyone and everyone knows her. Just before Christmas, she suffered a spinal stroke, a blood clot in the spine. This paralyzed her legs and she is learning how to make them work again. About 15 years ago, I got injured and was paralyzed from the waist down. With lots of therapy and moral support and some really hard work, I can walk, but it is most often painful.
Well, she and I spent about an hour comparing war stories and talk about therapy, doctors, exercise and the like. She, like many working people has no insurance, and is facing some huge bills. Some friends got together and put on a fund-raiser dinner at the museum where i volunteer. They raised about 12 thousand dollars for her: one of the better parts of living in a small town. We laughed and chatted and at the end of my visit, we shared a nice hug.
When I left her ward to start the rather long walk back to the car, I saw a young woman sitting in a wheelchair, soaking up the winter sun coming through a south facing window. I said hello and made a comment about the sun. She said ummm it's so warm.
I then asked her what happened to her and she said she broke her neck in an accident and was paralyzed from her chest down, and would always be so. Then she gave me one of the most beautiful smiles I ever saw and said, "I still can use my arms." I touched her arm and wished her good luck and she gave me another one of those smiles.
It was a long thoughtful walk back to the car. I kept repeating that old saying to myself, " I complained when I had no shoes until I met a man who had no feet."
Chas, hoping you all are counting your blessings, up here in Maine.