RIP Big Ed


Big Ed died this week. 

I just saw him a few weeks ago, well, the back of his head anyway, when I dropped in for a movie date with his granddaughter (Sal, again, my apologies for renting "21 Jump Street").


I may have mentioned in a previous blog that Big Ed was a bit hard of hearing.

For the last year his health has declined: heart, kidneys, mobility. Last week, his family and doctors decided it was time to make him comfortable and let nature take its course. Thanks to a dedicated family, and a little, but not too much, home medical equipment he was able to remain at home just about to the end.

So when I see news reports of various politicians decrying so-called "death panels" it irritates me. Eventually, life comes to an end, but not everybody gets that. 

I don't think all HME providers get that either, which surprises me. I actually had one say to me recently, during a convo about the Affordable Care Act, "Do you want the government deciding your health care?" Um, isn't that what Medicare already does?

Big Ed was 88. He retired in 2011 and hung up his bowling shoes that same year. He made pierogies every year at Christmastime. He wasn't my grandfather but I grew up next door to his grandchildren and have known him since I was about four. My brother and I thought he was awesome.

To those of you who provide home medical equipment, to the ill or to seniors, remember, every time you get an audit, everytime Medicare whacks reimbursement, Big Ed and folks like him are the reason why you keep doing your job.

Theresa Flaherty