Heidi's best friend is Rachele. Prior to the accident, they were virtually inseparable. Rachele would travel north for visits to Heidi's grandmother as part of the family. The studied together, cooked together, drew together, spent any available spare time together. Since Heidi has had her accident, Rachele has spent most weekends, her vacations, and often time after school sitting with Heidi. She draws, watches TV, plays games, and reads with Heidi to pass the time. Mainly, she sits with Heidi, keeping her company. Rachele has learned how to ice the rags and change them every 30 minutes to comfort Heidi. She has learned how to cook the meals that Heidi could eat. Rachele would sleep over in Heidi's old bed so she could stay late and get up early. When Stacie needed a break from the doctors and the battles with Medi-cal and the insurance systems, Rachele would fill-in and be an even more constant companion to Heidi so Stacie could travel north to visit her mother. Rachele has provided relief and the possibility of escape for everyone in the family, except Heidi who must endure the pain. Rachele graduated high school this last June and has been accepted to UC Davis this fall. She is going to study biology. Maybe she will learn more about CRPS and its process.
Heidi's support system
The last two years of Stacie's life have been spent trying to obtain a diagnosis and an understanding of what was happening to her youngest daughter. As soon as she noted the anomalies in Heidi's leg and with the doctors' failures to recognize or acknowledge the peculiarities that were occurring with Heidi's "healing", Stacie began documenting the process with a journal, medical records, and photographs. Stacie had no idea of what was happening, but she knew instinctively that it was not right. She had to stay within the perimeters of the system, which often were obstructive and unhelpful. At times, she had to deal with doctors whose ignorance and/or egos interfered with their work. Most doctors worked with very good intentions, a few, well . . . One straight out admitted that this was beyond his expertise and that more was needed. He has helped Stacie immensely over the two years, fighting for her, being frustrated and crying with her, getting excited with her and, ultimately, feeling the relieved joy with her when a valid diagnosis finally became a reality. And, there were the two doctors who recognized immediately that Heidi had CRPS. Others felt sad and frustrated. Stacie escapes into her backyard garden that flourishes under her green thumb. Her hope flourishes there as well.
All the while, David, Heidi's father has maintained his design business from home. Earning the necessary money to sustain the continuous requirements such as rags and ice not covered by Medi-cal and the non-covered prescriptions or co-pays that now exceed well more than $1000 per month. He also spends parts of the afternoons sitting with Heidi to allow Stacie time away while Rachel is in school or at some other function that helps keep her life going. Finally, David tries to support and encourage Heidi's brother and sister in the face of loosing the "family" support. David has an incredible sense of humor. To him nothing is sacred, yet, he gets his main support from walking on the beach, reading his Bible and going to his Bible Study group.
David and Holly, Heidi's brother and sister, have been working at keeping their lives on track despite the "loss" of a family support system. They help with household chores and endeavor to provide support as the family and/or Heidi need it. They both are acutely aware that Heidi's illness is serious and the foremost focus of the family at this time. They also sit with Heidi and run errands to keep the household going. David is continuing school studying filmmaking. Holly is studying horses and horsemanship and is even learning the requisite art of mucking out stables.
16 Let us then approach Godís throne of grace with confidence, so that we may receive mercy and find grace to help us in our time of need.