A week of rain


It’s actually been just five days of rain.

Seven days ago, it was beautiful out. I remember thinking about how much gardening I was going to do. I was going to fill a raised bed full of the good soil, which meant I would be pushing a wheelbarrow six times from the pile of newly purchased soil to the garden. IMG_7011

I even had the  starts that were ready to be planted…IMG_7021 I had gotten up early. I had lots to do. Garden. Pack. Go. I was supposed to be gone for nine days.

Maybe that’s why Abby tripped me on the stairs, nixing all the plans. No bowling tournament. No gardening. Just a trip to the hospital. Not sure why I bothered going to the Emergency Room.

Nothing was broken, but my ankle and knee are far from fine.

When it started to rain, I didn’t mind. I didn’t have to worry about having to water the garden. The rain gave me another excuse for not being out there, as if I really had a choice.

Today, I just had to get out of the house.  It took me about twenty minutes to meander at a snail’s pace to the garden. Just a week and my trodden path has been covered with grass. I had to walk gingerly, taking care of my ankle. It’s not wobbling, but it’s not feeling very strong. I’m used to having a bad knee, but I’ve never had an IMG_7019injured knee and ankle at the same time.

After being house bounIMG_6977d for a week, everything fascinated me. I figured that was going to be the case, which is why I brought my camera. Lucy’s so cute.

Of course, many pictures just reminded me of all IMG_6976the work that needs to be done. Stanley’s garden could use some weeding, but that’s so far down at the bottom of the list, it might not happen this year.

The weeds are enjoying their time since the ground is still too wet for the tractor to coIMG_6985me out. I like the splash of color, though the tall grass is harder for me to walk through, especially with my current stiff leg shuffle. How can I create paths to save the flowers?IMG_6986

IMG_6998The garden is doing pretty good. Three of the four beds are growing the starts I planted when I still was able, though it looks like the birds IMG_7000

transplanted some of my carrots.  It was a good to get outside and into the sun; it makes being on the couch with ice on my now not so happy joints.


Who Gets A Heart

I’m reading an article in the Register-Guard, Heart and Soul, and impressed that this guy bought thirty extra years to live after two heart transplants.

According to Webmd.com, “More than 2,000 heart transplants are performed each year in the U.S. Each year thousands more would benefit from a heart transplant if more donated hearts were available.”

Two thousand isn’t many, a mere drop in the bucket. (My driver’s license tells the world that I’m a donor, are you?

For every person that gets a renewal of life, two people don’t.  Twenty-five percent don’t live long enough, though the definition of  how long enough is the question that comes to mind. In the article, it sounded like Mr. Hickey didn’t have to wait very long for a heart. He had to have bypassed some people on the list or maybe that long ago there wasn’t a list. I imagine that there’s not much time between finding a “viable” heart and getting it into a matching recipient. Maybe it’s got something to do with location.

Even though, Mr Hickey was  declared brain dead, he wasn’t ready to give up and sent a message to his wife as his finger moved enough to relay that he was still there. How could a hospital have made such a diagnosis? “He was flown to University of Utah Health Sciences Center in Salt Lake City. He soon after received his first transplanted heart from a 38-year-old carpenter who died in a job-related accident.”

To go from brain-dead to being back to work took a lot of effort, and with the heart of the carpenter, he built a foundation at work that would help save his life in just eight months later. Since he had trained people at work how to perform CPR, when he had a second heart attack, his work mates bought him some time.

“Although doctors had cautioned that it might be three months before he could undergo another transplant, a suitable heart was located two weeks later, and he had his second heart transplant in Utah on Aug. 27, 1987.” http://registerguard.com/rg/news/local/35408533-75/a-change-of-heart.html.csp

It was impossible for me to not think about the young men who had donated their hearts to a 51-year-old. I think about their families and the loss of their sons so early. Maybe it carpenter’s family had to make the choice, though the 27-year-old man from Portland had checked the donor box on his driver’s license.  According to Wikipedia, the same percentage of people who die waiting, is the percentage of families who refuse to donate their dearly departed organs.

And even if a heart becomes available, who is going to pay the few hundred short of a million-dollar medical bill.

“Organ transplants can be very costly. In 2008, the first year costs for a heart transplant was $787,700, according to Transplant Living.org.”

I’m guessing that Hickey had a great medical insurance package while “a self-described federal bureaucrat with the Economic Development Administration — chief of regional planning for a 10-state area.”

I have known people who have lost their lives due to being on assisted medical insurance relief. I experienced it myself while going through cancer treatment when I ran out of school insurance and had to have the state help me out; the different ways people treated me was obvious.

At least Mr. Hickey has made the most of his bonus thirty years and has taken great care of his borrowed heart.