Charlie Evans comes to my house 3 times a week to do physical therapy with me following my knee replacement surgery. She is knowledgable, skillful, even sensual in her approach. She has the ability to push me beyond my comfort zone.

Charlie is a black woman in her fifties who, for years, has worked at the Watts Clinic every morning with a severly underserved population..

She told me how lucky I am to have had a talented surgeon. She didn’t need to tell me, I already knew it. I am privileged. “The people I work with in Watts cannot afford such excellent surgery”, Charlie says. She told me she works with people who have far from adequate health care, who know very little about preventive health care or how to take care of themselves so as to avoid catastrophic situations like obesity and diabetes.

So here I am, living the discrepancy between haves and have nots when it comes to health care; talking and working with a woman, Charlie, who daily bridges the divide. She moves my knee, exhorts me to push through the pain, watches my rapid progress, the results of my top notch surgery and thinks about the people she has just left in Watts whose situation makes it less likely that they will see these kinds of results.

And yesterday I watched President Obama explaining and defending his health care reform effort and I pray he will get everything he is seeking. This have/have not divide MUST be done away with. I was so happy to hear on the news that the majority of Americans are willing to pay higher taxes so that everyone can get health insurance. So I ask those of you who follow my blog to do what you can to support the president in this effort. Write, call, email, fax your elected official asking them to get with the program. It is unconscionable that in a country like ours so many cannot get adequate health care.

See you next time.

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  1. Hope you can hear Aled Jones Good Morning Sunday on BBC radio 2. Just a bit of tech setup for the player.

    Keep working. ‘Bye.

  2. Mes sincères condoléances à vous LADY JANE et à DAME ELIZABETH TAYLOR et que MICHAEL JACKSON repose en paix,et que les médias qui l’ont harcelé toute sa vie le repectent maintenant qu’il n’est plus de ce monde.

  3. Fascinating. As a Brit living abroad (in Germany) as a flight attendant who flies frequently to the US, Japan and Sweden I can agree with the authors.
    For example, in the UK and US I am wary about travelling on public transport. Whereas in Sweden and Japan I feel so safe, especially in Japan (google ‘public sleeping in Japan’ – the word escapes me for ‘having trust in a stranger who will protect me while sleeping’. But there is one, it’s true.) However, these two countries have the highest suicide rate. In the countries I travel where life seems very laid back and are very warm and hospitable (e.g Brazil, the US) where there is a huge difference in rich and poor, there is a very high crime rate, for example, even our crew bus was hijacked on the motorway in Brazil!!
    I will buy the book. Thanks for the tip.

  4. I have called my represtantives and expressed my suppoirt for Obama’s health care plan. I do believe we need free, universal healthcare. Healthcare is a right–not a privilege. I think this country should frankly be ashamed that Cuba–with fewer resources than we have–has better healthcare. People over money.

  5. My mom had knee replacement surgery last year, fortunately she is covered by Medicare and it paid for her therapy.

    Alas, I have learned all too well that Georgia can be like a third world nation when it comes to health care, I work and am insured, but my relationship is not recognized in GA, thus my terminally ill partner has no healthcare coverage and we have no safety net.

  6. I am 4 1/2 months out from my knee replacement. I continually work on my rehab. I did my own rehab as I’m a rehab nurse and my doctor okayed it. It’s a long road to full recovery. Depressing at times, fustrating at times but eventually it does get better. Give it a full year.
    Happy Health to you. You have always been someone I have admired!

  7. The best thing Obama can do is outlaw insurance companies from denying coverage due to pre-existing conditions. I am so proud of the work is trying to do.

  8. We Canadians are so fortunate to have a great public health care system. And Keifer Sutherland’s grandfather is the person responsible for it!

  9. I am a community worker who is working in Australia in a community service program that talks about Positive Ageing- My wish list would be that Ms Fonda could come into out little hamlet’s classroom- it would be such an inspiration- as she is a person that radiates a lot of joy and goodwill and inspiration.

  10. Power of exercise and positive thinking. Jane, I am a 61 year spinning, water aerobics, and Silver Sneaker instructor. I had a knee replacement on September 8th 2009. I did my own physical therapy on a spinning bike. I started teaching November 12, 2009. I feel I was in great shape before my surgery and fortunately I could came back. I believe strongly in exercise and teach 8 classes a week. My wife is also an instructor and we work together to try to encourage and motivate all age groups especially the 50 and above. We would love to partner with you to help promote fitness. Silver Sneakers is a great program and may need someone like you to promote it to even greater awareness.

    You definitely are a great role model.

    • Hi there, Les!

      Good to see you’re still so active after all these years, especially after Knee-Replacement surgery (guess it finally caught up with you, eh? ;-> ). Haven’t chatted with you and Ev in many years.

      You’re “old” friend,
      Mike (Mickey) in So. CA

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