CHIBA, JAPAN - NOVEMBER 01: The world's first ...
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Yesterday was my birthday, but I wasn’t in the mood to celebrate.  The deeper I get into the fifth decade of my life, the more reflective I become.

My cousin, Pearl (“Paulie”) Ford Colon left us on August 8th and to say that I’m devastated is an understatement.  She was not only my cousin, but one of my dearest friends. 

Paulie and I were considered the “good” daughters in our extended family.  The daughters who never gave their parents grief; that played by the rules even when others didn’t; who finished college  got the “good” job and was the family support (both financially and emotionally) in the midst of a crisis.  We both walked the perennial tight-rope in corporate America while maintaining our family culture and traditions.  Paulie was my greatest cheerleader and “in-house” comedian.   How I lived for her e-mails that made me howl!

We were scheduled to meet in New York this week so that she could finally meet my children.  We both held the undesired distinction of being childless until the adoption of my sons last year.  Paulie was previously married and had miscarriages.  If only I had been in practice during the time of her pregnancies. 

Paulie briefly mentioned that she was having foot surgery but I never gave it a second thought.  In retrospect, I wish I had.  She ultimately had two foot surgeries within a two-week period although the first surgery allegedly had not healed. 

The smell of smoke alerted her neighbors who called NYPD on that fateful night.  Upon forced entry, a frying pan burning on the stove was discovered along with her lifeless body.    The cause of death was a blood clot to the lungs and I have a million unanswered questions for her podiatrist.  Did he obtain medical clearance from her family physician?  Did he prescribed anticoagulants (blood thinners) upon her discharge and did he have to do the second surgery so soon?

The “business” of healthcare has claimed yet another victim.   When is it going to stop?

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