Thursday, January 8, 2009

Life Is Not Fair But...

Some people seem more prone to problems than others. Sometimes it just does not seem fair. But then I guess that life does not have to be fair.

One of my granddaughters was born with a heart defect. Actually two heart problems. She underwent open heart surgery shortly after her first birthday for those problems. We, along with her parents, essentially lived at the hospital for six days after the operation while she was in intensive care. It was amazing that they could put so many tubes in and out of such a tiny body. She had a nurse assigned to only her full time. The nurse was continually adjusting medications. It seemed like the bad side effects of one drug had to be counteracted by a second drug. The second drug's bad side effects had to be counteracted with a third drug, and so on.

Now, she is 9 and recently was diagnosed with scoliosis. It is fairly severe, particularly for a 9 year old. The maximum curvature is 40 degrees. At 45 degrees, they do surgery. It looks like she will have to wear a brace for the next 5 years or so. But the next step is an MRI first, to rule out some even worse problems and more invasive corrective action. The poor little girl is scared to death of the MRI, but is feeling a little better now that she knows that her grandmother and favorite uncle have both had MRIs.

It just doesn't seem fair that after having to go through open heart surgery and continuing cardiac care for the rest of her life, to now be faced with spinal problems as well. The curvature cannot be corrected, or at least not very much. The brace only keeps it from getting worse.

Fortunately, her parents have excellent health care. The open heart surgery was completely covered and so will be the scoliosis. Her mother checked with the insurance company today. The $6000 MRI is completely covered. No co-pay.

But what do people do who don't have health care or are under insured? It is a national disgrace that I even have to ask that question.


  1. I'm very sorry to hear that your grand daughter has had such problems in her short little life. I'm sure it's very difficult for you and the rest of the family as well...

    And no... it's not fair either. I used to work in the hospital on the pediatrics floor... I had one patient I used to primarily take care of, and yet I knew he would die before age 3... I would take care of him... and then go home and kiss and love all over my own kids... seeing how life isn't fair really makes you realize when life has been good to you as well...


  2. My prayers are with your granddaughter

  3. ..........a million cyberhugs.......(((Hugs)))......I'm so sorry about all of this..

    And Michael Moore did a film about people who do have medical coverage but the co-payment hurt them so much financially.

    It is better to live in Canada; France ..England.. even Cuba ... he shows in his film.. NO CO-PAYMENTS..

    everyone is covered..........taxes are higher in Canada but I think more HUMANE society.

    ((hugs)) to your grand daughter.. in LIFE it is one thing or another.. it seems that everyone has something sad.. but thank goodness she has a terrific grandfather like you and all her others that love her (her mom, dad, grandmother etc)

  4. Jerry, I'm so sorry to hear of that. Life truly is not fair. And it's unfortunate that your granddaughter had to learn it so young.

    I took ballet lessons from age 5 on through college. One the girl's in my classes when I was little took it to combat a minor case, if you will, of scoliosis. It relieved some of the pain and was one of the few activies she could participate in.

  5. Wow. This is a heartbreak. I know what it is like to worry about a little one as my nephew has a heart condition and had heart surgery at the ripe age of 9. It was very scary but for now he is doing great. Other surgeries are in the future. His condition also has other sorts of issues, one of which is epilepsy so I know the worry and anxiety of what you must be feeling. Your family is very fortunate to have such amazing health coverage. I too worry about people who do not have this. I will pray for your granddaughter's health. I wish you all the very best.