This Editor's Note's for You
I really need to take a moment to give credit where credit is due.
- By David Kopf
- Mar 01, 2015
No matter what your profession, we often lose track of how important the work we do often is. Even a doctor or a scientist can get caught up in the humdrum routine of workaday life. As a result remarkable work can get lost in the day-to-day miasma of paperwork, emails, texts, meetings and phone calls.
That’s why I want take a moment and write this column as an homage to the home medical equipment providers, care givers, manufacturers and other professionals that make up this industry. I want to remind you that the work that you do is truly life affirming, and often life lengthening.
I want to tell you a story about my mother: My father passed eight years ago from lung and liver cancer; he was 89-years-old and coming up on his 90th birthday at the time. It was a heart-wrenching loss for our family, and especially my mom. She and dad had enjoyed a long marriage that truly was a long-running love affair. They had met after he exited the U.S. Navy at the close of the Second World War, they started a family, and raised three children, with yours truly bringing up the rear.
Me being the baby of the family, I accompanied them on a retirement move from Northern Ohio to Southern California, went off to college, became a magazine editor, married, started a family and did so all within a few miles of mom and dad. So, when dad passed away, his loss left a pronounced absence in all of our lives, but my mother — someone with an inspiringly positive attitude — kept living and enjoying her children and grandchildren, and life as a whole. She had turned a page on the next chapter in her life story, knowing she’d someday see dad again.
Mom moved out of my parents’ condo and into an assisted living apartment two miles from my home, and started having the time of her life making new friends and hanging out with my family, as well as some of my local cousins. In fact, mom was so busy, that her social calendar was sometimes overbooked — that’s pretty good for an octogenarian.
Durable medical equipment helped make all that possible. In addition to her shower chair and grab bars in her shower and bathroom, a simple walker acted as a transformative tool that let her continue living life to the fullest (and I do mean the fullest). With it, she went on family outings with us to church, restaurants, local attractions, museums and even some overnight stays at historic beach cottages that were built when she was a girl. With that walker, she joined her friends on bus visits to local sites such as the nearby harbor, beaches and canyon lands.
Thanks to that walker — some simple aluminum tubes, bearings, wheels and fasteners — mom was able to enjoy and explore her world and visit with her family, friends and the people she loved, which was exactly the sort of thing that she lived for.
And there are a million moms and families across the country that are enjoying similar life experiences thanks to the equipment this industry provides. That’s a remarkable thing in which you should take immense pride.
Sadly, mom passed away due to a sudden medical issue while we were putting this issue together (and that’s why you might receive it a little later than usual). I am still in grief and mourning, and trying to come to terms with her loss, but I want to express my deep gratitude to this industry for making it possible for mom, my family and I to enjoy eight more years of happy living and making great memories. Thank you, I’ll savor every one of them.
This article originally appeared in the March 2015 issue of HME Business.
David Kopf is the Publisher and Executive Editor of HME Business and DME Pharmacy magazines. Follow him on Twitter at @postacutenews.