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Sally Thorner Headshot

The Cold Shoulder of Healthcare

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"Wait, there's something on my lap."
I was about to be discharged from the surgery center when I cautioned my nurse and friend to hold off standing me upright. Turned out that "something" was my arm.
I had had a local anesthetic prior to shoulder surgery that had rendered my entire right arm useless. The sensation was so bizarre it totally distracted me from the fact that this was my second operation in 7- months to repair a 54- year shoulder that had been terrorized by swimming, yoga, life.
After my support crew was finished laughing at/with me, I was loaded into my girlfriend's Prius for the quick trip home and to bed.
We would find more to joke about that first day thanks to the anesthesia(s) and pain meds.
A tough night leads me to the HuffPost and some morning affirmation... I am one lucky cowgirl. Not only do I have exquisite insurance coverage, but being the consummate "doctor's wife" affords me kid glove medical treatment. It also doesn't hurt having a recognizable name in a city known for its great health care. In a few months I'll be back in the pool, on the yoga mat, ready to resume my new life.
Which leads me to the big question: How about everyone else? It is such a privilege to glide through the medical system and yet it's patently unfair. Believe me, I'm grateful. From physical therapy to pre-operative testing to surgery and recovery I am handled with the utmost of care. For a bum shoulder.
Every day we are bombarded with harrowing tales of Americans being lost in the system, or just being left out altogether. People forced to chose between food and medicine. The system is broken and needs to be fixed. President Obama is vowing to fight on, but it certainly appears to be a losing battle. How can this be that the home of the brave is not the land of the free as far as healthcare's concerned? This political hot potato should not be tossed back and forth between Democrats and Republicans. We're talking about a basic human right.
So while the Insurance lobby and the rest of Washington try to hammer out a deal that will actually help some of our less fortunate neighbors, I want to urge you to tune out the noise and just think about what is right. It is time to put your money where your mouth (and vote) was in the last election. Pass a healthcare plan that we can ALL live with. We cannot continue to move backwards, to give everybody else the cold shoulder.

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