Monday, February 07, 2011

"Maybe it was fate?"

Reading an interview with Mark Kelly on his conversations with his wife Rep. Gabrielle Giffords that “maybe it was fate … maybe something good can come of this” brought back so many memories of the beginning of our journey of living with Multiple Sclerosis as a family.

When life changes so suddenly the search for why is paradoxically a necessity and a detour in route toward acceptance.

People want words when there are only emotions. Fate can be a difficult window to close once open.
Living in a media fishbowl their lives are told by scurrying pundits reporting, analyzing and interpreting everything for us. Frankly I am surprised that two associated occurrences have escaped this fascination for ‘teachable moments’.

Never has the ‘care gap’ been more demonstrated than between the acute medical attention and rehabilitation support for Rep. Giffords and treatment of a Viet Nam Veteran, Ron Flannagan. Veteran's health insurance restored after 2-cent brouhaha 
 "You shouldn't have to figure out how to get your story into the media in order to get help with something like health care that can be life-threatening." Dede de Percin, director of the Colorado Consumer Health Initiative
Understandably Mark Kelly personally weighed returning to space flight training or being part of his wife’s rehabilitation. Isn’t it also understandable in the bigger picture at this time in our country to weigh the merits of our space program? 

As a kid, I remember standing out with our whole neighborhood staring into the sky for Sputnik. Yet for 20+ years now I’ve looked into Patti’s eyes as Multiple Sclerosis has slowly robbed her physical and cognitive abilities. Seems to me the money, science and resources of that once 'race to space' could be refocused on a 'race to care' for people on Earth.

If there is any lesson I have learned from the decades it is yes, certainly find the good in life when bad things happen, but also never forget that something bad happened to someone. Their life is not film noir. Care is about choices.

Caregivingly Yours, Patrick Leer 
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  1. I have always wondered why we spend so much on space and the exploration of the "great beyond" when there are so many hungry people or other people in need in our world. I do agree with you, Patrick. Care is about choices. Life is about choices too. We all have the choice with everything that we are presented with. We might not change the outcome of it, but we do have the choice on how we will deal with it or accept it. I know things happen for a reason. Why, we may never know this side of eternity. I think how we handle the things we are given could be part of the test of life (or faith if one believes)but ultimately it does truly come down to choice.

    hope all is well with you and yours :)

    (I'm still stuck in the nightmare move where it is hard to sometimes make the choices I need to make :)


  2. Patrick - Oh so many things in here which touched a nerve, or at least an opinion.

    I started some frothy comments but deleted them. Ron's story is scary but not unbelievable in the slightest. The fact that we outsource everything and have so many hands in the pot certainly makes it handy for no one to be the responsible party -- just following policy. And, for it to be legal.

    We are at a cross-road in our choices for the future. Have to say, I'm not terribly optimistic.

    Oh, the FATE graphic is really, really powerful.


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