Tuesday, August 28, 2007

Susan Hu Needs Our Support Right Now!

Howie Intro: Susan Hu has been been one of my most loyal and helpful comrades in the blogosphere. Please read and do what you can:
From time to time, those of us who are urgently and diligently working to "take our country back" are drawn to one of our own who needs our assistance. Susan Hu has been blogging on Kos, Booman Tribune and more recently on No Quarter for some years now, but her health issues call us to action today.
Susan can't walk more than a few steps with a cane or walker. She can't bend over. She can't sweep, make her bed, or reach the bottom shelves or drawer of her refrigerator. The slightest odd movement makes her scream in pain. She can barely lift her feet, and often
can't go out because the two small steps down/up her back door are too scary, and she can't go into the laundry room because of its small steps. Taking a shower is frightening. She can no longer drive more
than two miles without intense knee and back pain. Riding in a car is also very painful. Sitting in the drive-through at the pharmacy is agonizing. The intense burning pain in her thighs and knees gets
worse when she lies down, and she can't sleep more than an hour or two each day.

The local doctors told her it was her back (she does have significant lumbar damage). She complained to doctors for years about hip pain, but they always said it was bursitis. They sent her to a neurosurgery
unit, which kept examining her but couldn't determine the problem. Last spring, they advised she go to a rehabilitation medicine physician to get more flexible and stronger, and get an exercise

The rehab doctor watched her walk and within five minutes told her it was her hips, not her back, he suspected. The xrays he ordered showed
that both hips are "shot" -- there is no cartilage and the bone has disintegrated and presses against her femur bone, creating bone-on-bone pain. That doctor is now her hero for looking at her with "fresh eyes." The rehabilitation doctor recommended against any
pre-surgery exercise program because her condition is too delicate.
(The orthopedic surgeon concurred.) She does lift weights to keep her arms strong.

It took two months to see the orthopedic surgeon who told her that her situation is complex, and that she needs significant repair of both her back and her hips. He puzzled about which to tackle first. He decided on replacing both of her hips with implants. Then he'll
tackle her lumbar region. While she is in the hospital, she will receive radiation because, he told her that he could see a lot of bone spurs, which means her body tends to grow bone spurs. The radiation will keep the cells, post-surgery, from creating new bone spurs near
the implants. He said normal stay is 3 days but she'll be in the hospital for 7 days so that the rehabilitation doctor and physical therapists can work with her. She will then go to an after-care facility.

Her bilateral hip replacement surgery is in three weeks but she just found out that she has significant dental caries and a couple infected teeth. She must be infection-free seven days before surgery because implants are at high risk for infection. Because she had no idea she needed so much work done, and had to wait for a dentist appointment, she didn't have time to sign up for dental insurance. She is going to a dental school to have the work done, but it still will cost over
$2,000, and she has travel and living expenses. Her daughter lives nearby but in a three-story walk-up, so Susan has to stay in a motel. She has a bit of savings, but it'll be gone long before the dental work is completed.
Susan recently shared the following with me:
One thing I forgot to mention is that I've been declared disabled and can't work since 2005 because of my back and other injuries but only recently got any health insurance and was paying for all care for two years before that. The new health insurance I'll get in September will cover my surgery, but the premiums cost over $300 per month, with no dental coverage.

Susan Hu's predicament is one of many caused by our nation's failure to provide health care for its citizens. Because she is one of "our own" netroots family, I am asking you to contribute what you can today to support Susan Hu and help her come back to the front lines of the blogosphere and realize her dreams of renewed health and strength. If we can raise $4,000 to keep her afloat until she comes back, we will be doing a lot for this member of OUR community. We can do this for Susan Hu. Go here now, go to "Send Money" and enter Susan's email address: susanunpc@gmail.com.

Thank you, Howie in Seattle.
Howie P.S.: Cross-posted on Daily Kos right now. Please rec!

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