On Monday, Nov 7th at 9::30 am I was involved in a serious automobile accident. The short version is I swerved and a concrete wall and my car had a disagreement, and the wall won. I am very lucky to be alive and no one else was hurt. One broken leg was not good enough, I had to break two. My left leg was shattered in multiple places, both tibia and fibula with a compound fracture, and compression fractures of both ankles, the right leg only has three fractures of the tibia. It was an amazing feat of medical skill that put my legs back together with an entire hardware store of metal. My situation was complicated by medical problems, and I spent the first few days of my hospitalization in the cardiac unit. After six days I was released to a skilled nursing facility, where I currently reside until I can get the rehab I need and modifications made to my house so I can go home. It took until today until I have been able to post anything.
This accident has been the most challenging experience in my life, facing the possibility of losing a leg, as well as a long recovery with an uncertain outcome. Although I have had issues with my mobility and health before, I have never experienced this level of incapacity and being dependent on others for the simplest thing like going to the bathroom.
One of the many lessons I have learned from this experience, is seeing the health care system from a whole new perspective. As a midwife, my experience was working with people in the most joyous time in their lives. As an accident victim, the health care workers I now encounter are working with people often in the most difficult times in their lives. From the firemen and paramedics that cut me out of my car to the nursing home staff, they have very difficult jobs caring for who are suffering or unable to care for themselves. All of my health care providers so far has been dedicated, professional, and in some instances truly gifted. But like anyone in a complicated medical situation there have had problems, mistakes that should not have happened, and it my case, made a bad situation worse. This experience showed me it is not the health care system that is broken, it worked amazingly well in my situation, but that fact the medicine is not dictated by patient care by the medical insurance industrial complex. Because most places are staffed by the minimal allowed guidelines, I have been “told” that there is not understaffing, however everywhere I have seen so far the amount of work needed to properly care for patients far exceeded staffing. It has been inspiring to see how dedicated this people are, under such difficult circumstances. Here comes my political rant, people need jobs, health care workers are overworked, a simple solution to put people to work and reduce suffering, but somewhere along the line the bottom line, profits before people. There is not enough nurses and the cost of education is prohibitive to many. Once I got to the nursing home, what struck me the most was not how bad my care was, the place I am in is better than some, worse than others, but how badly the elders and the very sick are treated in this country even with medical insurance, and if you have no insurance, you are really in trouble. After the last week I can tell you that I now firmly believe every CEO of every hospital and nursing home in the country should be required by law to spend three days in their own facilities, with casts on both legs and be unable to go to the bathroom without assistance. Add in a fog of medication and a complex system to follow and understand, and then we may see finally see some changes in the health care system.
I am lucky most of my medical will be covered by Medicare, as what my car insurance paid ran out the first day. However in order to get home and to complete my rehab, there are more expenses then what my family can help with and I have been unable to work or go to school since the accident. My family and friends set up account at any Oregon Community Credit Union, to make cash or check donations the Daphne Singingtree Rehab fund, and for now we can use my son Terran’s PayPal account accept donations. I am hoping that if I can get quite a few people to each donate a little it will add up enough to get me home.In addition to cash we could use some building materials, some labor. I don’t communicate via Facebook well, my email is firstname.lastname@example.org, home address is 2740 Shirley Street Eugene, OR 97404 I am currently River Park Nursing Center 425 Alexander Loop 97401 room 225. I am in therapy most of the day but am open to visitors in the late afternoon or evening, call first. My ability to community online is limited, so be patient.
I am very blessed to have survived this, and focusing on being as positive as possible. But more than the money I need people’s prayers and support. A prayer circle was held for me in the tipi during my surgery and I believe that made a difference in saving my legs. Thank you.