We human beings often underestimate the value of our lives--in other words, we expect certain parts of our lives and bodies to always be available. If we have always had legs that walk and run, and hips that are not in excruciating pain, and lungs that are blood-clot free, we don't realize that there may come a time (no matter how healthy we may have eaten or how often we have exercised) when the legs aren't working optimally as in the past, or that the lungs may require some oxygen assistance to function properly.
In the spring of 2016, what started out to be "routine" hip replacement surgery, followed by double knee replacement surgeries, ended up being far more than routine! Sizable blood clots in both lungs, an internal hemorrhage in the left hip area, blood clots in the right leg from groin to ankle and blood clots in the groin area of the left leg, an Escherichia coli (e-coli) uninary tract infection, an infection named Clostridium difficile (C-Diff), inability to swallow (eat, drink), and an infection in the area of a peripherally inserted central catheter ("picc-line").....this is a short summary of the events of 2016. These illnesses required 3 separate week-long hospital admissions (including times in ICU), as well as several weeks in a rehabilitation center--a total of five months away from the comfort and peacefulness of my home.
There is still a long and winding physical therapy road ahead. After nearly a year and a half, legs that have no feeling from groin to feet, and the inability to walk without the assistance of a walker or cane are very much part of the present. But, am I determined? You bet! I am determined AND motivated. I once heard an elderly lady comment "if you rest, you rust." I have set my intention not to rest and certainly not to rust!
The financial consequence of these events of my last year and a half is staggering--really devastating! The tally so far is a tad under one million dollars, and continues as further therapy and treatment is required. Fortunately, the medical insurance I have has paid for much of these expenses, but still, the obligation I am left with is overwhelming and beyond stressful. I sometimes wonder if I'll ever be free of this burden.
I am more grateful than I can ever articulate to be alive, to greet each new day I've been given, to learn once again how to live and to love and to laugh and to cry and to hug. Without the amazing support of my loved ones--family and friends and caregivers--as well as hundreds of prayers, healing energy, cards, messages, visits, flowers and kindnesses from every corner of life, I don't know if I would have survived. But it was not yet "my time" and so yes, I am bursting with gratitude.
One of my biggest passions in my life has been, for many, many years, what we human beings do (or do NOT do) with our lives based on what we believe other people think. Before my traumatic year last year, I had begun writing a book (and other related projects) about that very belief in the hope that I can encourage and show people how to be their best, authentic selves, to be truthful to their own hearts and souls. ("Care what other people think, and you will always be their prisoner." ~Lao Tzu) I want more than anything to continue and complete this important work without the burden of these energy-sapping medical bills.
I believe I still have much to offer this beautiful world of ours, but it can be daunting with such a huge cloud over my head. However, I also believe every "cloud" has a silver lining, and I believe my cloud does, too!
There would be no words for me to adequately express my thanks to any/each of you who choose to help me reach my goal of $12,000.00, but I can assure you I will do everything that is within me to let each of you know how deeply I would appreciate your generosity! Life IS good!
- Doretha Jones
- Bruce Pendergast
- Art Morrow
- Marce Ziolkowski
- Cory Scott
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