How lovely to get my copy of NEW MOBILITY and see Michelle Kephart on the cover (“Nurses on Wheels,” April 2019). The article on nursing is excellent. I was privileged to meet Michelle at the Women’s Camp in the Colorado mountains in 2011 or 2012. She is as extraordinarily kind as she is beautiful. I’m glad to have the cover photo of her as memory is so … changeable.
Struggles of Socialized Medicine
I suffered a spinal cord injury while living in Belgium, which has a single payer system like Bernie Sanders is proposing (“Is ‘Medicare for All’ Medicare for Us?,” April 2019). I want everyone to know that such a system would be the absolute worst scenario for people with spinal cord injuries. While in the Belgian hospital for two months, they did a number of things wrong, including giving me a hospital-borne lung infection. As soon as I was over the lung infection, the company I worked for found me a private spinal cord rehab hospital in Switzerland. I was moved there, and they had to correct all the mistakes made in Belgium. Because of the Belgian mistakes, it took another full seven months for me to get well enough to be released and manage on my own.
Socialized medicine may be great for annual physicals and people who have the flu, but for anything a little less common, there is no incentive for government to invest in the resources needed to treat less common injuries or diseases. Please do not vote for anyone who says they want to move to Medicare for All. It will be a disaster for those of us with spinal cord injuries and for many others with less common injuries or diseases.
Editor’s note: Everyone in Switzerland is required to have private health care insurance, with those who work subsidizing the young, old and unemployed. Although Switzerland is ranked number one in Europe, Belgium’s government-run system is number five, trailing Netherlands, Norway and Denmark, according to a May 2019 article in Flanders Today. The United States trails behind both Switzerland and Belgium, placing 27th in the world, according to a study published by The Lancet in its Oct. 6, 2018 issue.
Dr. Phil Inexcusable
One should not have to do an in-depth analysis to determine what was meant by a comment (“Why I Was Wrong About Dr. Phil’s Caregiver Episode,” Blog, Mar. 27, Newmobility.com). Insightfulness should not be a requirement to understand the meaning of a statement [about the role of caregiving in a relationship]. A doctor should also know to be very careful when giving absolutes! There are very few things in this world that can be 100%, 100% of the time. He would have to have data on EVERY single couple because even one success negates his statement. It was an unintelligent, and unprofessional, thing to say with the potential to cause way more harm than good.
Impossible Seems Possible
Your article made my day (“Exploring the Galápagos Islands,” April 2019). I’ve always wanted to go there and just figured it would be impossible in a chair. I’m going to start looking into it right away.
The Sting is Worth It
Wow, you are all amazing individuals who have gone through the stages of denial and acceptance and have adapted to what life has given you (“Living Through the Sting of Disability,” April 2019). A door is open to all who have the inner power to take back their lives. Once you embrace your new life, as if you had been reborn, you will find meaning to your life and realize that you can set new goals and accomplish anything you put your mind to. I was 21 when I became a T7 paraplegic. I was pregnant at the time and I am happy to say I’ve had an amazing 29 years. Regardless of my disability, I wouldn’t change the life I’ve had with my children.