HUMAN/DIVINE CONNECTION

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Episode# 16 – In Conclusion

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If there is one thing I have grasped through this Knee cap and Heart business, is that “This too shall pass”. Of course, how we hold it and place it in our memories is entirely up to us! Either we find blessings amidst the tears or we let our fears lead us to misery. Some injuries have a way of lasting way beyond the recovery time. I am doing my best to NOT be one of those folks!!!
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I have also come to realize that there is infinite value in daily exercise. For me to walk with confidence, I need to move my knee as often as possible. Not surprising, my right shoulder brought forth its own complaints when I had to use my upper body more. Fortunately, I am now getting the Physical Therapy I need to release the strain that had built up over the past year. I am so grateful to have the support to reach maximum strength for my whole body, not just the arms and legs!!!
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In conclusion, I would like to thank all of the people, friends, medical teams and Health Ins. folks who helped me get healthy. It is not just one’s body that is in need. Our Mental outlook and Emotional strength is vital to our recovery! I have been blessed on all fronts! That is why I wanted to share my story; so maybe you or someone you know might have a better health experience. How we approach a particular situation has a lot to do with how people treat us. We may not be constantly “cheery” but we can be cooperative and grateful.
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Lastly, I would like to thank all of you who have followed my journey. I did my best to share the humor as well as the pain in hopes of letting the Love shine through!!! “Love Conquers All” is not just an idea to me. I have been able to live it the past year and a half. So as Thanksgiving approaches, I give thanks for all of my life adventures and the people who made those experiences priceless to me!!!
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HUMAN/DIVINE CONNECTION

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Episode #15 – All Surgeries are Not Alike!

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I want to take a moment and remind you that my 1st surgery on my knee in June 2015, took place without my memory of it. I literally had no discomfort, just a cast on my right leg, when I awoke in the Cardiac ward due to the Afib. issue. So I am thinking, with the Afib. Heart surgery scheduled for Jan. 2016, how bad could it be? Famous last words for sure!!!!
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From the “get-go”, I remembered everything! Including checking in and waiting for the surgery to begin. Then being wheeled into the operating room as they put sticky tape with little probes all over my chest. Plus watching them set up the TV they would use to watch their progress with their tiny “sappers”, as I called them.
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At some point, I “let go” and next found myself in the recovery room. But here is where my experience changed. My throat was so sore I thought that they had used radiation on me! I literally had to keep a piece of ice in my mouth continually to get even a little relief! I guess the breathing tube had rubbed my throat raw!
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I found it interesting that the nurses simply considered the whole event as routine. I thought it was a bit excessive that it took over 24 hours to even begin to think about sleep! But that was not to be the biggest upset. They mentioned that I might have a bit of a cough, so try to keep the sutures from opening should I cough. Well, I did not just cough; I coughed continuously for about 6 weeks; a nasty hack, an allergy cough, a bronchial cough and the uncontrollable desire to just cough! I can’t begin to tell you how exhausting it was!!!
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And then one day, it just stopped. At first, I could not believe that it would not start up again! I realized then that I had lost much of my Belief, Faith and Trust in the process of recovery. And we are only talking 6 weeks! It humbled me to think what it must be like for someone with cancer or other long term illnesses. At this point, my gratitude for Life, Friends and Medical help, really overcame me! The whole experience reminded me of how important our health is to daily living and to achieving our dreams!!!
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HUMAN/DIVINE CONNECTION

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Episode #14 – My Dilemma

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This feeling of “being manipulated by my Ins. co” made me feel like a victim, which I was not really. I just wasn’t thrilled with my options. It took me awhile to “hear” what my nurse friend was saying “Maybe this is a blessing in disguise? If you stayed on all of these drugs, this action could come at any time.” Once again I realized that my perception had gotten tiny and that the Universe probably had a better plan in mind. At least I hoped so!!!
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I went to my regular Heart Dr. to discuss my situation. I asked him if he knew of a specific Dr. that had been recommended to me months before. Without missing a beat, he says “I will have that office call you.” Once more a Miracle had occurred!!! This very specialist worked in the same group that I had for Medicare, just another facility! How amazing was that???
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In that moment, I knew that the Universe was helping me to see past the surgery itself & on to a rhythmical heartbeat! But first I had to find out if I was a candidate for this procedure. After several tests and a visit with the Dr. himself, I was told that my heart was strong enough and to make an appt. for this surgery. I purposely set the date a few months out because I was in the middle of my Physical therapy for my Knee. I was just beginning to feel a greater “range of motion” and wanted more. So the date was set for Dec 18; just before this Dr. went on X-mas holiday.
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Once again the Angels were with me! The day before, the Drs. office called and asked me to postpone my prodedure because someone desperately needed my spot. I was disappointed but happy to help because my Knee had longer to heal. So the date was pushed back to Jan. 4, 2016. My sister was pleased also as we went into the holidays with lots of Joy and Gratitude!!!
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HUMAN/DIVINE CONNECTION

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Episode #13 – Losing Faith

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All along this journey back to wellness, the focus has been on the Heart. As far as Medical science is concerned, a broken bone is not an emergency. By their standards, it is just a procedure that will eventually “upright” itself. (Easy for them to say!)
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But actually, the Heart is a BIG deal! I was told the only reason the Hospital and my old Ins. did not get to my Afib meds. sooner was because they could not monitor me long enough before I made a change; 1st by leaving Georgia and 2nd because I switched to Medicare that resulted in a new Dr. So now it is 4 months later and I finally get to receive the meds. to regulate my Heart!
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I was so excited because I figured it wouldn’t take long to get the right dosage and “that would be that!” After all, lots of folks were on these meds. and doing just fine. So I took my 2 pills and blood thinner as prescribed. I did find that if I was startled, my Heart would jump into Afib. After a few adjustments though, my body seemed to handle it pretty well; but I remained anxious. I was resigned for the long haul of being on Heart medication for the rest of my life!
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Then I heard from my Ins. co. “By the way, we are no longer going to provide your blood thinner pills.” I found out that I could go to another product or pay $700 out-of-pocket. Yea right! It just so happens that the other 2 blood thinners were in the midst of litigation because several people had died from them. Not having $700 dollars to spare each month, it seemed to me that my only recourse was surgery. Ugh!!!
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HUMAN/DIVINE CONNECTION

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Episode #12 – Not a Moment’s Rest!

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While the physical therapy got under way for my knee, I had hoped to have a moment to rest from other issues. It was just not to be. I still do not know if being “out-of-state” had anything to do with it; but, the billing department at the hospital seemed unable to reach my Ins. co. directly. So, they sent most of the surgical bills to me. The physical therapy was tiring in itself; which made all of the hours on the phone trying to link the hospital to my Ins. very exhausting. Particularly when you don’t speak with the same person each time!!!
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That’s when the miracle happened! I got a hold of this one Ins. rep. that was an “Angel” in disguise! Somehow she was able to not only reach the hospital’s billing staff; but actually got them to resend all of the bills directly to her. She gave me her ext. # so I could contact her with any questions I had so I did not have to repeat my whole story each time I called! And call her I did for so many crazy situations! She was truly my “lifeline”!!!
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This “Angel” served another purpose as well. She listened to me. How many times are we distressed over a devastating event because no one seems to grasp how alarmed we are or terrified beyond the injury or illness? This basic need to be heard and connect with another person does not seem to be prevalent in many medical situations. For me it has been a huge part of my healing. I am SO grateful for those who were able to offer it to me!!!
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It took several months to straighten it all out but since I knew I had help, I felt a lot better. Between the Ins. gal and the woman who helped me get my Medicare together, I entered the unknowns of the Medical world with a little more breathing room. Of course, those who know me well would tell you, it is all a bit unnerving for me just living on this planet!!!
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HUMAN/DIVINE CONNECTION

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Episode #11 - Let’s not forget the Knee Cap!

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With all of the concern going to my Heart issue, my poor Knee Cap was left unattended. The original Surgeon had said to see an orthopedic surgeon within a month upon my return to CA. As it turned out, it was over 2 months before that happened. But in an odd way, that helped me rest longer which my knee needed! Go figure! At the time it seemed like a “comedy of errors”; but in truth, it was my own knee that finally let me know that it was ready to bear weight.
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By this time I was rapidly approaching the day when I would have to switch to Medicare, with no idea how to figure out what would be best. Again support came in a suggestion from my Dr. of a gal who helped people with their Medicare choices. She had been in the Ins. business for many years and really knew her stuff! As it turned out, I had asked a friend what group she was with and mentioned that group to my Ins. rep. She knew exactly which Ins. company was aligned with them. Boy was she right! I have not had any issue with getting treatment as needed!!!
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I was also impressed with their Physical Therapy program. I had had 6 visits through my old Ins. but the facility was not very large or well equipped. This group’s facility, however, was “State of the Arts” and huge! I was soooooo grateful to have such professional help; as by now, my knee was not so willing to bend. Like I mentioned in an earlier post, I had no pain at the time of the accident, after surgery, or while recovering. Once I started to bend my knee, though, I was very aware of the physical pain of movement. It was no fun!!!
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Fortunately my “fear of not improving” kept me doing my exercises (with a fair amount of Tylenol). You see, they told me that I could not take any of the “A” products; Aspirin, Aleve or Advil as they are all blood thinners and I was already on a powerful blood thinner! I had no idea how “taking meds” could be so harmful to my body as well as my positive energy!
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This whole experience has confirmed my desire to return to health and stay there!!!
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HUMAN/DIVINE CONNECTION

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Episode #10 - Mishap #2

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So now that I was back in CA, I needed to see my regular Dr. and I took the first available appt. at the end of the following week. I used my crutches that day thinking, “How hard could this be?” Very it turned out. (I eventually had use of a walker but even that put quite a strain on my arms. Finally, my sister got their stored wheelchair to me and I was soooo grateful!!!).
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While the Dr. was examining me, my Heart went into afib. I thought SHE was going to have a heart attack! She raised her voice and said, “Either you go straight to the emergency room or you see my Heart specialist colleague tomorrow!!! You should have come to me immediately when you got back!” Again I had not understood that afib. could produce Blood clots. I was only on medication to reduce my Heart rate. Mishap #2.
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Fortunately, the Heart Dr. did address the urgency by putting me on Eliquis to thin the blood. He also mentioned a particular Dr. that was well known for doing Heart surgeries for afib. patients. I said, “Thanks but no more surgeries for me!” At this point, armed with sample packets of Eliquis & a prescription for another month; everyone seemed to breathe easier, including me! My current Ins. paid for it and all seemed to be going well. I still had not been put on the meds. to ease the erratic heartbeat but I was optimistic!
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That feeling did not last long, however, as my Ins. Co. informed me that they would no longer pay for a medication the hospital had put me on to boost my blood pressure. It ended up taking 2 weeks to find a replacement that the Ins. would cover. Just the kind of STRESS one does not need while your blood pressure is dropping!!!
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I would love to say that this was an isolated incident but there appears to be an ongoing battle between Drs. giving needed prescriptions that Ins. companies will not fill! Later it would have a profound effect on me!!! In the meantime, we still had the knee to consider but that is its own story!
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HUMAN/DIVINE CONNECTION

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Episode #9 - REALITY STRIKES!

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Before I start this Episode, I would like to say why I am sharing this Adventure. I believe that both “good and bad” things do happen in this world; but we were meant to be totally supported in handling them. We now call that kind of unconditional support “Miracles”. To continue…
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As we were traveling on July 4th, the airlines decided to offer FREE alcoholic beverages to all passengers. I took this as a sign that it was time to celebrate and had a Bailey’s. Once we landed at the San Diego airport, I was feeling fine until in the car. A few curves in the road let my stomach know that the pain pill I had taken earlier in the day was not happy with the alcohol. Needless-to-say, I threw up all over my friend’s car! Not a nice way to say “Thanks for coming to get me” but it did set the stage for other miscues.
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I have to say that I was totally unprepared for the Medical world. Unfamiliar with prescription drugs, the first thing I did was take the wrong dosage of one pill. Oops! I had no idea what effect it would have on my Blood pressure or Heart rate; or even what the medications were for exactly. My fault, of course; it just never dawned on me what these medications do to the body. Particularly if taken incorrectly!!!
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So one day my Nurse friend took me to get our nails done. She opted for toes and I went with a manicure to save my barely bending right leg. So there I am going lower and lower in my seat until I am laying my head on the desk. My friend is watching this with great concern! We finished up and I hobbled to the car, just wanting to sleep. Not a good sign!!!
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Once we got home she asked to see my medications. Quickly she discovered I was taking twice the amount indicated for 1 pill which was having a lowering effect on my Blood pressure! Of course she checked the others as well. Thank goodness they were all OK! We made adjustments, but this was just the start of several mishaps that fortunately did not lead to a hospital stay. That would come later for an entirely different reason!!!
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HUMAN/DIVINE CONNECTION

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Episode #8 – “Home James!” (part 2)

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With my leg all set for travel and my 4 bags packed, I was already for my friend's arrival via Marta. My “home host” prepared a lovely dinner, welcoming yet another guest, and we got ready for the next day’s travel!
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You might ask, “Why travel with 4 bags?” Actually I had started out last Sept. with 2 but picked up some of my things in MD which added 2 extra bags. Trying to get them all home with 2 good legs had been challenging but now it was simply overwhelming!
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Fortunately, my CA buddy needed little luggage; so when we reached the airport he saw that we each checked 2 free bags, while I sat in the wheelchair we had asked for. A “Gift” in itself!!! Unfortunately, that very wheelchair did not come with a leg extender. In fact they had no such items period! An omission I hope gets remedied soon!
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If you have not flown into the Atlanta airport, you would not know just how big it is. Yes, they have a train system to the gates but there is still a lot of walking to be had! So here we set off with a lovely woman pushing me; and my friend shouldering my computer, while keeping his hand under my extended leg to keep it straight! I was carrying my purse and the crutches he had brought from CA on my lap; so I can only imagine how silly we looked!!!
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After the security “pat down”, elevators and the fast train; we finally emerged at the gate where I waited to be wheeled onto the plane. Of course those of us “in need” were boarded first which helped immensely as I needed room to use the crutches to my seat. In flight, the crutches were a lifesaver for walking and restroom visits!
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But mostly, my gratitude goes to this person I was married to once. His immediate response to fly East after hearing the news, was priceless!!! But his “Gifts” do not end there. For years I have lived with him when I was not “gallivanting around the country”. While I was gone this trip, he had moved to a new area. So he not only came and got me but he delivered me to our new “home”. Again it seemed only natural to say “Home James!”
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HUMAN/DIVINE CONNECTION

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Episode #7 – “Home James!” (part 1)

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While I was waiting for my post-op visit with the fabulous Surgeon who mended my right Knee Cap, my friend called several mutual friends to give them a head’s up about my “Battle with the Cooked Green Bean”. One afternoon she came in excited and said “He is coming to get you!” I replied “Who’s coming to get me?” (Not quite sure where this comment was coming from.) “Your Ex and good friend!” she replied. “He is coming to take you home!!!”
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I was speechless as I had not even begun to think about how I was to return to CA. All I could focus on was my July 2nd appt. to see the Surgeon. After many calls back and forth to the airlines, we managed to get him a flight for Friday July 3rd with our joint return flight on Sat. July 4th. What a perfect day to celebrate my return!
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My spirits were up going to my appt. and I completely forgot that this visit might not be covered by my Ins. As with my stay in the hospital, I was “up front” about my situation; and once again I was rewarded with the news that a Post-Op visit was included in the Emergency care! I was so relieved!!!
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But now comes the Miracle! I had no idea that they planned to take off the cast and put on a hinged leg brace. In the middle of fitting this device to my leg, the Dr. says, “By the way, these braces usually cost the patient $600 out of pocket. But I told them of your dilemma and they decided to Gift it to you!” You could have knocked me over with a feather!!! To this day I believe that that Surgeon was my Guardian Angel in disguise! His assistant was extremely helpful as well and mentioned he tried to help people whenever he could in or out of the operating room. As it was, he had told my friends that the surgery would probably be about 1 ½ hours but he ended up spending 2 ½ hours squishing, sewing and using metal reinforcement to keep my knee cap. I am forever grateful!!!
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Now I was physically ready for my Sat. flight. Feeling a little feisty, I thought of that classic line, “Home James!”
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