Wednesday, January 18, 2017

A Grandfatherly Letter

Dear Friends:

I'm headed, in a few hours, to the hospital for rotator cuff surgery - seems I tore the muscle in two places.  

I blame it on the physical exertion of bottle feeding two growing twin grandsons, in which case it is a would earned with distinction, and worn with pride.  
But it might be a banjo induced wound.  In which case it becomes clear that playing banjo is indeed as much of a blood sport as football.  

So this is a note to the Banjo Playing community: Don't ignore those tingling sensations in extremities, the odd muscle pains and shoulder popping sounds, etc.  They could mask some big ticket medical type stuff!

Not sure when I will next be able to sit at the computer, or when my wife Mary will let me walk the stairs to my basement office.  So I might be out of touch for a while.  I might get lucky and be able to use the iPhone email function with one hand.  

And Who knows.  Maybe the operation will give me some sort of bionic capability that will impact my banjo playing capability in dramatic ways.  Hopefully for the better. . .

Thanks for your continuing help, and your friendship - even if only via electronic channels.  They still count.
One of the last things I wanted to do today was to write Speaker Paul Ryan to firmly urge that he stand down from repealing the ACA - as the grandfather of two premature twins, one of whom has a raft of physical challenges including Poland's syndrome.  That's a rare birth defect characterized by underdevelopment or absence of the chest muscle on one side of the body that has an impact on the lungs, musculature, mobility and other things.  

I hope you’ll consider making your views known to Paul Ryan, and/or your elected representatives, too.  To me, this makes it very personal.

To contact your reps: atives/find/ s/contact/

To contact Paul Ryan:  

V/R,  Lew

Dear Mr. Speaker, 

I am writing you today as a registered voter in Virginia and the grandfather of two fine young boys, Noah and Aidan, who just celebrated their first birthday.  That was a momentous birthday.  It was not clear we would actually get to celebrate Noah’s first year. 

My one-year-old grandson Noah has a rare condition called Poland Syndrome, which is primarily characterized by the absence of the right pectoral muscle in addition to abnormalities affecting the right side of the body. As a result of his condition, he is currently on supplemental oxygen and sees a number of specialists (orthopedist, chest specialist, hand specialist, pulmonologist and GI).

He will require medical care throughout his life to monitor his condition. His father, my son Ethan, and their mother Kaytee have worked extremely hard and paid for the best insurance available through private plans or company plans.

However, if the ACA is repealed, insurance companies will be able to deny my grandson the much-needed medical care he requires. 

The GOP says that our country should value family, life and hard work. Furthermore, the GOP’s website says “Public policy should be created to strengthen and support, not hurt, American families”.

I am attempting to envision a quality of life for my grandson, and I am fully well aware of the extent to which my son and his wife will require the assistance the ACA has offered them to date. 

Americans shouldn’t be compelled by economic and financial circumstances to do without medical care that their families need.  My grandson should not have a life shaped by the absence of continuous, quality care, and my son and his wife should not have to agonize over the being able to pay for the required medical services Noah will require.

I am asking you today for my grandson and others to stop the ACA repeal.  I am asking you to preserve the ACA, especially the provisions that allow insurance companies to deny coverage based on pre existing conditions.

Sincerely, and Respectfully,

Lew Stern

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