Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Medical Miracles and the Mountains

Josie’s working on a project for me. Adam, who is a policeman, had offered to introduce me to the 911 dispatch team. We’re trying to work out some accommodation for future emergency care for Richard. I invited us over to Adam and Josie’s house for lunch; we’d bring the lunch. We had leftovers of pork tenderloin with apples and cranberries and Brunswick stew. I gave Adam a choice, and he chose both. So, both it was.

We ate the pork over white rice with sides of Josie’s yummy homemade apple sauce and cranberry compote. Even though both Camille and Adam had requested the Brunswick stew alongside the tenderloin, I opted for stowing the stew in Josie’s refrigerator for a future feast. We still had some of Rachel’s ricotta cookies with cherries, so we served these for dessert.

Once we finished lunch, it was about time for Josie’s afternoon siesta. Richard headed over to drop stew and cookies off to Jack and Mamie while I ran the roads with Adam to the dispatch center. The initial reaction of the director upon being told that Richard had a heart transplant and lived in Coker Creek was a bit disconcerting. “Why would anyone with a heart transplant move to Coker Creek?” I admitted that we were still in shock from losing our home in Hurricane Katrina when we made the choice, and that I was beginning to share her doubts about how prudent our choice had been.

Although we didn’t get all the answers we need there, we did accomplish getting one goal. The director of the center flagged Richard’s address as having a post-heart transplant person in residence. She then suggested that I talk with the EMT director.

Mountaintop Mary used to be an EMT in her former home state. She’s looking over the medical records we keep in our freezer for the Air Evac service. I asked her to review the information on Richard’s special medical needs, and prioritize the information from an EMT “need to know” viewpoint, so that we won’t have a repeat of last week’s mistakes. She had told me that having Richard’s address flagged by 911 may be a possibility. I was very pleased when the dispatch director offered to do so with no prompting from me.

I know it would break Richard’s relatively new heart to have to move from the holler. Although I’d be sad, I found out a long time ago that the only losses that I can’t recuperate from are the losses of my people. If I lost Richard, I’d soon lose my Coker Creek neighbors because I would never have the courage to live alone anywhere, much less in the deep dark forest.

Coker Creek has many retirees moving in from major metropolitan areas. Most of them take for granted that there are great trauma and emergency units within a short driving distance. Whatever accommodation can be made for individuals with special needs because of the major medical miracles of today can only increase the value of their lives in their dream homes in the mountains.

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