Great Grampa Rich, a birthday girl and the wonder of HME


On Saturday, I had the pleasure of attending a birthday party for Amara Joy, who turned 1. If you know me, you'll know this is akin to a visit to the eye doctor (I am a big eye chicken).

The guest list consisted of close friends and family. While I am technically not family, I grew up with the birthday girl's mom, so it was nice to catch up with everyone. Amara has the distinction of having not 1, but 2, great grandfathers and while I knew Big Ed, age 89, would be there (it's his house), I was suprised and pleased to see that Grampa (Rowdy) Rich (age somewhere just north of 90) was there too.

I was surprised, because he has been in failing health for the past few years and last year, moved into the veteran's hospital which is located a couple of hours away from Portland, where he could be closer to his children (rather than his grandchildren) and where he could get better (read, professional) care. Grampa Rich had an oxygen tank (finally! He'd resisted for ages) and was in a wheelchair. Luckily, the party was outside, as the house is not otherwise accessible, but, despite the heat (85 degrees and about 90% humidity), he had a great time.

And yes, technically, I guess, this HME was provided through the VA, rather than Acme DME, but the equipment—and the sentiment—is the same. WIthout it, without access to it, Grampa Rich could not have seen his only great grandaughter turn 1, or get to visit with people he doesn't get to see any more.

This is what our HME providers tell us keeps them going when everything else seems against them.

Theresa Flaherty