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Counting your blessings

By Mike Ruffin I had a stroke. I know this for several reasons. First, as I type this on January 28, I am just one day removed from sitting in a room in the stroke unit of Navicent Heath (which will always be the Medical Center of Central Georgia to me). Second, that’s what the MRI and other tests reveal. Third, it will take ten times longer than it should for me to type this column. The good news from my perspective is that my mental faculties seem to be more or less intact. That means that I should be able to continue to write this column. I know this pleases some of you. The further good news is that the medical professionals are confident that, with the help of physical therapy, I should be able to recover most of my lost functionalities (I could have just said ‘function,’ but I wanted to demonstrate that I can still use a word like ‘functionality,’ thereby proving the intactness of my mental faculties). The main function I need to recover is the use of my right hand. It’s hard to use what you can’t feel. Also, when I tell my brain to do something with my right hand, it responds as if it were a stubborn four-year-old child’”no is its favorite word. I am counting my blessings and naming them one by one. I am blessed to live in a time when tests can be done, medicines can be prescribed, and therapies can be applied to identify and treat strokes. I am blessed to live near a major medical center and teaching hospital. I am blessed to have health insurance. I am blessed to have a solid support system made up of people who care about me and stand with me. I am blessed to know that the Lord is with me no matter what happens. I am blessed that our Sleep Number Bed replacement remote arrived the same day I got home from the hospital. That one probably needs explaining. Our remote had stopped working a few days before my expected trip to the hospital, so we had to order a new one. Meanwhile, our bed kept getting flatter and flatter. Now, as you may be aware, hospital beds such as the one I had just spent three nights on aren’t comfortable. So having our replacement remote awaiting us when we returned home was a blessing. The blessing was tempered by my inability to get the remote to work. But then a nice lady we reached in customer service walked us through the process, so the blessing was restored. Yes, I am counting my blessings. They are numerous. But I can’t help thinking about people who aren’t similarly blessed. I especially can’t help thinking about people who don’t have good access to quality medical care and to health insurance. Since I often try to address current issues in this space and would prefer that even a column as personal as this one not be all about me, let me say that access to quality health care is a human right and that every American should have access to affordable health insurance. Blessings are more fun to count when everybody has them.

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