It is crazy all the things that can be thrown at a person at once.
COVID lockdown was no friend to a lot of us, but for Lisa it meant a near complete shutdown of her livelihood. As a master canner and owner of Sunshine Canning, she has spent the last 10 years building her business into stability and sustainability while still staying true to her roots of handcrafting every batch of jams and pickles, using local ingredients. Throughout the lockdown she has spent her days applying for government grants, working with the local farmer’s markets she sold at, and setting up online sales to try and keep things afloat, eeking it out month to month, but Making It Happen.
In the midst of all that eeking, she found she was constantly sore and aching in her hips, then she started having weird pain and muscle issues in her legs and a serious loss of range of motion. She spent 8 months advocating for herself, going to various specialists and physical therapists, getting countless images and tests run, scouring the internet and joining online groups of people who were hearing similar things that she was from her medical visits and tests – determined to figure out what was going on and get it resolved. Was it severed hip tendons, was it a frozen hip, was it some auto-immune disease?
Canning is whole body movement and spending your weekends at farmer’s markets is not for people who can only sit in one specific way to minimize the pain. She seriously thought she would have to give up the business she worked so hard to create, but had no clue what other work she could do since sitting at a desk job was out too.
Two months ago, she found a doctor who pieced all the tests and other doctor’s notes together and offered a diagnosis and solution: arthritis in her hips resulting in her hip joints not sitting properly (for years) causing massive erosion and tendon issues (look up "labral tears" if you're a nerd about such things). The solution? Double hip replacement. Not the resolution anyone below 75 really wants to hear, but there it was.
After more fighting with her insurance (being under 50, they were concerned she was ‘too young’ for the procedure) and a move of the original first surgery date, she is Finally getting the first hip replaced this week, with the second happening in late September. YAY!! But wait, there’s more, because there always seems to be in this country.
Lisa is a single mom, runs her own business and will not be able to do all the things that need to get done after surgery. She has budgeted well enough to be able to cover all the costs to get her to her diagnosis and what’s left of the surgery cost after insurance, but she still has to figure out and pay for all the “little” things she’ll need help with during recovery: transportation, food, home health care and anything else that could come up.
As any of you that know Lisa know, she is Highly self-reliant and only asks for help if she has exhausted all other avenues to handle it herself. And - to be clear - she isn’t even asking for help now, since a few of us are writing this page for her, after many of us suggested that she create one so that those of us who can support her as she navigates all of this have a mechanism to do so.
Any amount will truly help!
We’ve set the goal high because the transportation costs alone, to and from physical therapy and doctor’s visits etc., will not be small and she won’t be able to drive for at least a month after each surgery. Lisa has a large circle of folks with whom she has connected and kept in touch with over the years, so here’s hoping we can give her some support as she navigates this challenge. Once this is over, she will be bionic and I have expectations that there will be lots of dancing at the next New College reunion. ;)