When I was a child I went to an elementary school that had few resources. In fifth grade our class was donated a large amount of books. We were very pleased to have them, but we had no bookshelves on which to place them. My teacher was very enterprising though, and she contacted the local lumberyard and requested they donate some two by fours and cinder blocks so we could make shelves. The lumberyard manger said yes with one caveat, we would have to pick up the supplies.
That year our fifth grade class had a field trip.
We left the school as a class with our strong backs and eager minds. We walked to the lumberyard. Some of us grabbed the two by fours, some of us cinder blocks and some us combined the two to make a carry yoke for two students to heft. We walked those blocks all the way back to school and up three flights of stairs. Then we assembled those shelves and placed the books upon them. We stood back and looked proudly at our work. I cannot believe there was a class anywhere else in the entire nation who cherished their bookshelves as much as we did ours.
We loved those shelves because we overcame adversity and made that which we needed. It wasn't pretty, it wasn’t perfect, but it was ours.
Recently, I wrote Pecking Order, a post recounting a webinar call on May 22nd between patients, a contracted PR firm and CMS officials. The call was supposed to be a collaborative webinar session replacing an in person patient summit due to severe restrictions on federal travel. Sadly during the call patients did not have much time to speak. That changed an hour and a half in, when I spoke out. The patients took over the call and spoke about our views on the CMS funded initiative Partnership for Patients.