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Appendicitis Strikes

Since the last newsletter we've been a little distracted. At the start of the weekend, Aidan, our 13-year-old, started feeling sick. To make a long story short, after some sleepless nights and a trip to Richland Hospital Urgent Care while we tried to assess the situation, we eventually ended up at the UW Children's Hospital in Madison because he had appendicitis.

I doubt that it will come as a surprise to many of you, but as low-income farmers, our family qualifies for state-run health insurance or Medicaid. I had lots of time, sitting beside Aidan in his hospital bed after the pain medications set in and he could finally sleep, contemplating how lucky we are to have it. Without it, we would never be able to afford health insurance, and then I don't know what we would have done.

We are lucky to be healthy people and rarely have to go to the doctor. So most of the time - I take it for granted - but there's nothing like an acutely sick child to make me realize how much more scary and stressful the situation would be if we didn't have that insurance. I'm sure some begrudge us and feel it is not fair that they are paying for us to go to the dentist, optometrist, and doctor. And sometimes I feel guilty. After all we have a farm, cell phones, and even take the kids to a movie a couple of times a year. Bill and I try to work harder and smarter to get to the other side where we can pay our own way and help others. But we aren't there yet. We are thankful that in the midst of Aidan's illness we didn't have to contemplate losing the farm to get the care he needed. I hope the current federal and state administrations don't make changes that jeopardize it for us and others who need it in the future.

The good news is Aidan came home late yesterday afternoon and is doing great. However, the interruption of the week means we didn't have much time for harvesting. While Bill went to the hospital with us, he came home after Aidan's diagnosis and, with Liam's help, was able to keep up with basic maintenance of the farm - animal chores and irrigating the fields - before he came back to Madison.

Fortunately, we found out that the organic farmers at Fazenda Boa Terra had extra lettuce and spinach so we ordered some of that to put in your boxes. It was one of those times when things that are usually most important to us took a back seat while our energy went toward caring for a critical matter. But after a lot of worry, driving, and a few sleepless nights, we are getting back to normal and even though your boxes have fewer items than usual, they will be delivered as usual.

While we were able to get some peppers transplanted before all the excitement, the rest along with the cucumbers had to wait. Our watering system is getting its first big test of the year since it hasn't rained for over a week. Bill is tweaking it to be more convenient to use and more efficient. Nicole and Cecelia, two of our faithful workshare members, helped me get our next batch of broccoli, cabbage, and lettuce planted in flats Sunday between trips to the different hospitals.

It has been a crazy couple of days. Here's to an uneventful, healthy week (for us all) to come!


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