Via John P. Richards, President – Pittsburgh Area Retiree Chapter of the APWU
OUR CHAPTER WISHES YOU A BELATED HOLIDAY GREETING
There has been a lot of speculation about the reason for the failure of the Chapter to send our usual holiday newsletter, which can be seen on the reverse. That page is typically set at our annual holiday party, which was rescheduled for December 5. After months of planning, the party was set to go.
Coincidentally, in the lead up to the party, I experienced a nagging problem, read pain, in my left ankle. Several visits to the Presbyterian Hospital emergency room where doctors there gave no relief, and in fact the pain increased. Later I leaned that they had misdiagnosed the problem, and in the course of treatment prescribed prescriptions that exacerbated the problem.
On the date of the party, which typically is a little busy with last minute details, I found to my dismay that I could not walk due to tremendous pain. So while my wife Charlotte, also a member, took over managing the last minute party details, I was taken by ambulance to Presbyterian Hospital. (More about the party later.) From there I wound up at my PCP, who had me admitted to Washington Hospital.
Thus began a journey through finding the correct diagnosis, which was cellulitis and Mrsa infections in the left ankle. The situation was rather serious requiring a month of intensive intervention which by that time also posed serious breathing problems. I was treated with a device that completely covered my face to deal with the breathing problem while the ankle was opened and drained, I was in that hospital for about a month until recovered enough to be transferred to the McKeesport long term acute care Hospital for further treatment. I was finally transferred from there to a skilled nursing home/rehab center in Washington. Altogether, my total time in hospitals was about two and a half months. When I was finally discharged my physical condition was such that I now require visiting nurses and physical and occupational rehab. According to their opinions, it will be a long haul to achieve a condition similar to that before this all began.
During this period I received many cards and calls from those members who were aware of the situation. I can’t thank you enough for your kindness. It really brightens your day when the mail is delivered.