Gratitude and a 65th Birthday Wish

My surgery was a success! I had a robotic assisted, laparoscopic partial nephrectomy to remove a small renal carcinoma from my right kidney. I’m back to work today a little bit. I’m alternating between posting a report or two, taking walks, and taking naps, like any self respecting  65 year old who just had major surgery.

Yesterday was indeed my 65th birthday! I made it! I’m celebrating the gift of life and health. I’m recuperating at a relative’s home in New York City and will be heading back to my Florida home next week.

There’s a reason I’m in New York.

Early in June, after routine annual blood tests turned up an abnormality, my doctors in Florida discovered that I had a kidney tumor. My urologist referred me to a surgeon in New York for a partial nephrectomy, where only the tumor is removed.

While I met that surgeon, I chose a different route. I wanted to make my own choices.

So I read all the research I could find on renal carcinomas. One doctor’s name came up several times in the literature, Dr. William Huang, Assistant Professor of Urologic Oncology at New York University and head of the Minimally Invasive Urology Unit at NYU Medical Center. One of the papers he had written reviewing treatment outcomes for these tumors had particularly resonated with me. I was fortunate to get an appointment with him in late June. I felt that he was the guy I wanted to treat me and operate on me if that was what he would convince me was best.

I was so confident that when the surgery was scheduled for Friday the 13th of November, I knew it was good luck!

I made the right choice.The surgery was successful, I’m on the mend, and I feel great.

I was truly blessed to be in the hands of people with great skill, wisdom, and most importantly, compassion. There are fantastic human beings in this world. Seek and you shall find.

To Dr. Huang and your amazing team: Dr. Ching, the anesthesiologist, resident physicians Dr. Rude and Dr. Silver, and chief resident, Dr. Mass, I cannot thank you enough for your extraordinary expertise, professionalism, your precision, your dedication, and last but not least, your kindness, compassion, and senses of humor.

As for all the shivering and shaking that started the instant you rolled me into the OR, it wasn’t fear. I was just freezing! 😉 And suddenly very excited. The adrenaline started pumping overtime when the bright lights, frigid air, and normal commotion of the OR smacked me in the face. But apparently once you put me under, I came through with flying colors, or so I’m told.

To the surgical team, pre and post op nurses and staff, thank you!

To Dr. Huang’s office staff, for your dedication and professionalism, thank you!

To the amazingly dedicated nursing staff and aides who cared for me as I recovered in the hospital–you are the best! Thank you for doing your difficult jobs (and for putting up with my few cranky moments) with such patience, diligence, and skill.

As critical as I am of the mind-bendingly corrupt US medical industry, down in the trenches there are some wonderful people doing wonderful things. Today’s technology is miraculous. Many practitioners are totally dedicated to helping people.

I must also say thank you to Medicare and to my fellow Americans for supporting the Medicare system. Thank you! I wish we could make it stronger and available to everyone who needs care when they need it, not just when they turn 65. We are the only developed country on earth that still does not provide truly universal health care.

I wish that we could finally move to a system that cares for all citizens like the rest of the world does. Under ACA, the US government actually expands and protects the mafia syndicates that run the medical business. The US Government actually enforces and expands their outrageous skimming operation, increasing the already outrageous costs the cartels operations impose on us.

Let’s crush that cartel. It is robbing us blind, costing Americans 18% of GDP vs. 11% in the rest of the world. Because it is so expensive, it still forces many Americans to delay or forego needed care. Let’s end that practice. Let’s end the criminal skim. Let’s get costs down and results up to where they are in the rest of the world. Let’s care for everybody.

As I blow out the 65 candles on my birthday cake, that’s my wish.

The post Gratitude and a 65th Birthday Wish was originally published at The Wall Street Examiner. Follow the money!