We went through a lot together during the exactly thirty days Lela was here. She accompanied me to all of my pre-surgery appointments, making copious notes in a battered blue looseleaf notebook. She awoke with me at four in the morning on March 20, eight days after my fifty-fifth birthday, to get ready for the ride to the hospital for my neurosurgery to open up a dangerously blocked carotid artery.
She was there in the pre-op room before surgery at eight in the morning, and she waited anxiously for seven hours in the waiting room for families with loved ones in surgery for news of the success of the operation. She visited me in ICU and brought me my clothes so I could facilitate my escape from the hospital after I felt they were keeping me longer than needed. And she made sure that my house was as clean as a whistle when I returned home on the eve of Friday, March 21.
In the ensuing weeks, Lela assiduously cut through all the red tape to get me home health care services and get the ball rolling on other social service needs of mine: food stamp reinstatement, Medicaid as a secondary form of medical insurance, Lifeline telephone service, and so much more.
I can never adequately thank her for the last four weeks.