November 2015:

Recently I had a hospital stay, it started out as a full knee replacement, it is such a common procedure, no big deal. It went very well and I was home in two days. Then something went wrong, (unrelated to the knee) and had to be rushed to Yale New Haven Hospital. I had passed out, why? Let the professionals do their job and figure it out.

I was trying to rehab my knee at the same time. EKG’s, echo, test, test, and test. It was soon discovered that the plumbing of the heart was OK, it was the electrical system that was out of whack. A team of “electricians” were called in and they did their job and all is well. After a few days of checkups and therapy for the knee I was released from YNHH.

A few words about my stay at YNHH, the doctors and staff never talked down to me. They took the time to explain and help me to understand what was happening. The nurses with their heavy workload were professional and friendly. I can’t say enough about them.

The combination of knee and heart dictates that I must go to a rehab center and so I did.

It was at the Health facility that I was reminded about the need for an advocate. Now I still have all my marbles (forget what my kids say) and if it wasn’t for my wife, who checked and made sure I was getting the medications and treatment for my recovery, I would be in bad shape. There were too many instances where I needed that help. My roommate at rehab was fortunate to have his wife to be his advocate. Even then there were times that wrong medications were about to be given, or no medications.

Last year at TBS, the L’Chaim lecture series spoke of this precise need. At that time I never thought I was just who they were talking about. How sad it is to see those unable to care for themselves and must accept what little care that is tossed at them.

In a perfect world we just go along and things are wonderful and we never give a second thought about what could happen.

But we don’t live in a perfect world and things do happen.

I was fortunate to be surrounded by people who care, friends and family who visited, who took the time to say, we care.

Those of you who know me at TBS may think I’m just a carefree, friendly guy with a quick smile or comment. Truth be known, I am all that plus more.

I am now aware of the things that can happen to the people who don’t have the support that I have, who are the almost forgotten people.

Do not take your health and good fortune for granted. Things can turn around swiftly. Have a plan in mind. It’s not all gloom and doom, but a little planning goes a long way.

Go visit someone in a facility, say hello, and share a smile. It will make you both feel better.