Many years ago my wife and I got a letter from Zimbabwe: Dear Mr. and Mrs., I’m your son’s health partner. He’s fine now, but he had malaria, was in the hospital for several weeks, and almost died. Our son had gone to Zimbabwe as a development aide worker. During his team’s training, my son asked me to teach a health unit for them. I was a nurse and had been a paramedic. I essentially suggested they keep it zipped, know where their food and water came from and had them select a health partner in the team. The idea was that if anything should happen, health-wise, they would have someone who would stick with them as they got the treatment and recovery they needed in this unfamiliar place. I’m so glad I did. I’m reminded as many of have children leaving home now for college, do they have a health partner? Who will stick with them if they get sick? Navigating health care when you feel like crap is tough at best. Identifying a health partner before it’s really needed is the key. I don’t think of it much myself. My wife is my health partner. My sister and my kids will step in if need be. I’m blessed. Who is your health partner? Who are your children’s health partners?
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