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I'm in a New York State of Health.... - Blather. Rants. Repeat.
A Møøse once bit my sister ...
I'm in a New York State of Health....
Not much to report about my own; knee's better but not all-better, and I'll be making my way to Dr. Butts fairly soon for my quintennial checkup of the plumbing.  Rather, these tales are about the good and not-so-good health news elsewhere in town.

Betty is out of the horsepital.  Her niece brought her home soon after we both got out of work tonight. I saw her in Shelly's passenger seat and asked how she was. She answered, "Miserable." I replied, "But at least you'll be miserable in your own home now."

We visited for a bit.  She had a lot of damage to her G-I tract that now requires a lot of re-learning on her part- some changes will be permanent, others should get better with time. Hardest for her is just getting out of bed; once she starts moving around, she feels better.

The other striking thing was just how much the docs and nurses tried doping her up during her seven-day stay.  Right after the surgery, she was on a morphine drip; she made them stop it. They gave her heavy-duty painkiller pills; she refused them.  The old broad will do just fine with over-the-counters, thank you.  As we left, I said to Eleanor, "And they wonder why we have an opioid epidemic in this country." The medical profession seems just too inclined to pharm its way out of any problem, without sufficient attention to the long-term effects of it.  Like Betty, both of us- on the rare occasions we've been prescribed "the good drugs"- have left the bottles largely, if not totally, untouched.  The risks of addiction are just too great.  We're blessed with a neighbor who knows that and lives that, even though the pain she's still in is likely more than I will ever endure.


After that experience, it was nice to read about a brighter local story about health care.  I mentioned here in late December that I attended the funeral of a longago client; I'd finished off a Chapter 11 for his company in my second full year of practice, stayed connected to him and the company through our move back here, but eventually there came a point where they just didn't need my services for anything, and in my specialty that's a good thing.  I'd heard that Bill had left the business and, eventually, his mind left the building- so his final peaceful passing came with good memories and reacquaintance with all three of his kids- the one son fairly famous, but one daughter now running the company.

And, I learned today, running it quite well: after buying the longstanding company in the same location for the entire 20th century, Bill was the one who changed its focus. While it had a good reputation as a manufacturer of hospital beds, he led two charges: to specialize in pediatric applications, particularly for neonatal units; and to take far more of the business to overseas markets.  As their now head international salesman explained, Bill

"bought the company and the same family has been directing the business model ever since, and that’s when a specific and directed pursuit of the international market came into focus. We started with the Canadian market, and Mexico, and then we made a jump to the Saudi Arabian market. The Middle East is our largest international market. They appreciate high-quality, well-made US products, and they can afford our equipment.”

While any business can and possibly should develop an international sales component, there are specific challenges. Getting paid ranks high on Currier’s list. “You’ve got to make sure you know who you’re selling to,” he says. “And if you’re going to give them terms, make sure that you’re really comfortable that they’re going to pay you within those terms.” And then there are always the global issues to consider. “Right now the dollar is strong against many currencies, making it more expensive to purchase a US-manufactured product. Also, in some of the markets we sell to, oil is a large component of their natural resources. The combination of low oil prices and a strong dollar make for special challenges. But we feel the quality and durability of our product helps us weather these temporary cycles.”

There were times in the late 1980s when a perfect storm of bad circumstances could've ended that legacy.  I'm prouder than ever to have helped keep it alive then so that, long after Ray left the building, it is even more prosperous now.

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