On February 27th, Rita cut off the tip of her thumb and mangled her index finger, dislocating it and shattered the bone, basically only hanging on by the tendon and skin from the unharmed side on her left hand on a miter saw while cutting wood at home to fix her gate. She had surgery on Feb 28th to stabilize her index finger and thumb with pins. Her next surgery was scheduled, but two days prior, her insurance informed her they would not cover the surgery. On March 12th she went to the emergency room to get her bandaging unstuck from her wounds. This was incredibly painful. The material had fused to her exposed bone. She continued to be forced to do this on her own every couple days, causing her wounds to bleed again and again. She had to go to her Primary Care doctor to get a referral, and then wait for the original surgeon to share her info with the new surgeon. She finally met her new surgeon on March 18th, and found out he'd be leaving town for a month and a half. Luckily, the scheduler skipped her lunch break to make sure Rita got an appointment before the surgeon left town.
Rita didn't undergo surgery again until March 23rd. This time, they tried to repair the nerves in her first finger, but the tendon is probably forever irreparable. They took pins out and stuck a screw in to stabilize the joint. She was told this finger will probably have no movement possible except at the base of the finger, and would probably be numb indefinitely. This was devastating news, as Rita loves to play piano and flute, and is always working with her hands in some way. She was told that 60% of people with this type of injury choose to amputate the finger within the year. They put a pin in her thumb, which was broken in 14 places and skinned. The rest of the fingers in her hand were broken from the impact, as well. The recovery from this surgery she just underwent will take a minimum of 8 weeks to recover before she will be able to work again. Her next appointment will be back to square one with a new surgeon. We can only hope they don't lose her information in the mean time. Rita has carefully been documenting her injuries by taking pictures every time she has to rewrap the wounds.
And this is the hardest part of all, Rita needs help. Do you know how much Rita hates getting help from anyone? How long she has been taking care of herself and Nova on her own? She is the one who helps others. She would never accept gas money, or let anyone buy her meals. She is there for whoever needs her. Always. And we're in the middle of a pandemic. Perfect timing. To forgo any unnecessary risks of contamination to herself or others, she requested that family and friends who are willing and able, to donate money to help pay for groceries and bills while she heals and recovers from this trauma.
Those of us in town are probably tempted to bring her meals or buy her groceries. She requested that they NOT do this. If you stop by, chances are she will feed you a meal and wash all your dishes, which creates more work for her. She isn't telling me to say this, so don't tell her, but make sure you say no when she offers you any food right now! If you show up to hang outside with Nova or her, make sure your stomach is full before you get there. I know her cooking is amazing, but remember, she has a mangled hand that needs to heal. How do we get Rita to sit still? That is the question. That is going to also be the most trying part of this for Rita, who hates to be still. If you have any ideas, let us know!
Rita would like to especially thank Edgar, who took time off work to do laundry, make meals, hang with Nova, and be a moral support. Of course, Nova, for doing everything she could like learning how to make eggs, ants on a log, and rolling with everything thrown at her and being the best daughter a mom could ask for. Gabriella and Kam, for checking in every day, and all their love and support and for giving us the idea for putting up this website. Of course family Papa Dwight, Keith, Sayler, David, Hannah, Janice, and all the awesome Bastanis, friends who took Nova during the surgeries and gave Rita piece of mind Melissa, Nicole, Promise, Katie, and Wyatt, Roomies Jonathon, Sam, and Valerie for all their help during this time. Cousin Maureen, for helping get this site put up because Trez is helpless when it comes to technology! And all of you, for showing up for her in every way you can. She loves you all!
Here's how you can help. We set up a gofundme for Rita, linked to this site. See the "ways to help" section to link to the gofundme. Of course, they take a little off the top. You can send Rita financial help directly using venmo to email@example.com. However you choose to contribute, any amount helps!
You'll also see links to donate to the Caring Bridge site to keep Rita's site running. This goes to the non-profit that hosts the site, not to Rita directly. We appreciate the work they do in making this possible.