This is going to get a little political, maybe controversial. I don’t usually share my political opinion. The hubs and I discuss politics behind closed doors but I don’t put it on social media, I don’t get into it with friends or really anyone. Every one is entitled to their beliefs but I have to put it out there that I am deeply saddened by the decisions our president made on healthcare and so for the sake of Sporty’s future, I feel compelled to put it out there. This post is way outside of my comfort level with this sort of topic.
This photo popped onto my timehop a couple of days ago. It got me thinking. The man holding Sporty as a newborn is my grandfather, Poppa Jack.
He’s a man I have the most respect for, he was my most favorite person in the world. He was a die hard Republican. He fought for our country. He was a dermatologist who never bought the car of his dreams because he didn’t want his patients thinking he was charging them too much. I used to visit him on spring breaks when I was in college instead of flying home to California, I loved that special one on one time I got with him, even when he made me leave movies 15 minutes before they ended. He always believed in me. He was a man, whom when I called him up in tears, over Sporty’s clubfoot diagnosis, got on the internet at 95 and researched treatment options for Sporty. He called his orthopedic friends and told me she’d be fine and to use Ponseti. He was generous to his family. He was also critical and hard on those he loved. Young Jedi is named after him. He was a man, who even as he was letting go of life, lit up when he saw Sporty and when he met Young Jedi. He hated Democrats, in fact if we felt like a good fight we brought up one of the many Democrats that he loathed, usually the ones from our home state of California were at the top of his list.
He’s holding his first-great granddaughter in this picture. This is the first time they met, when she was about 4 months old, and he adored her, she had just finished casting for her feet and just moved into her brace. I was most afraid of telling him about Sporty’s feet, somehow I felt he would be the most critical, I also didn’t want him to worry. He always worried about his family. To my delight, he was one of the most supportive people about her condition.
In this picture is also a young, healthy girl, with a bright future who happens to have a pre-existing condition. All because at sometime around week 16 of her development, a chromosome decided to mutate and give her crooked feet. Or maybe it was the excess amniotic fluid that my body developed that caused her clubfeet. But I took my prenatal vitamins, I ate healthy, I tried to eat organic but she still had clubfeet. I did everything the books said, yet still, my baby was born with a birth defect, one that will live with her forever.
She’s a vibrant, carefree, healthy and happy 8 1/2 year old with a pre-existing condition. And she now has a big red “X” on her medical history. Her clubfeet will be forever. That’s the hard reality of our journey but something that I have grown to accept over the past year. She has a pre-existing condition that will be with her for life.
I’m pretty sure if Poppa Jack were alive today, he’d be appalled by the healthcare decisions of the nation, the one he fought for, the one he loved. And as much as he hated Democrats, he loved his great-granddaughter more and he’d want what is right for his family and for all who need healthcare.
So we’re angry and I’m even more worried than I was before because as much as her future with clubfeet is unknown, so may her ability to receive adequate healthcare at an affordable cost.