Tag Archives: healthcare

If they wanted good health care they should have dodged the draft and gone to Canada

When I wrote this I was probably still carrying some bitterness about what happened to me when I tried to get diagnosed through the VA in Odessa/Big Spring and instead became one of the types of experiences that got a lot of terrible publicity for the Veterans Administration.

But the horror stories are still widespread, though no longer so pervasive. Living here and being over at the hospitals so frequently, I still listen to more of it than is right and proper for those legally mandated to provide health care for veterans.

So by golly, I’m reblogging this one.   To read the entire text….. 351 words that didn’t get on the reblog, you can click at the bottom where it says, “View original text 351 words.

 

So Far From Heaven

All over the US VA Hospitals/Medical Centers are under investigation for incompetence, waste, negligence, malfeasance and misfeasance, brutality and being a cruel farce.  Turns out the San Antonio VA Medical Center is under investigation for precisely the same [failure to treat patients in a timely manner] reasons I entered a private hospital in Kerrville, Texas in January after several weeks of non-treatment and non-diagnosis at the VA Odessa and Big Spring VA Medical facilities during November and December, 2013 All over the US VA Hospitals/Medical Centers are under investigation for incompetence, waste, negligence, malfeasance and misfeasance, brutality and being a cruel farce. Turns out the San Antonio VA Medical Center is under investigation for precisely the same [failure to treat patients in a timely manner] reasons I entered a private hospital in Kerrville, Texas in January after several weeks of non-treatment and non-diagnosis at the VA Odessa and Big Spring VA Medical facilities during November and December, 2013 Current VA Hospital investigation news videos:

https://video.search.yahoo.com/search/video;_ylt=A0LEVw85nG5TSFYAZTdXNyoA;_ylu=X3oDMTB0a3VnZmkwBHNlYwNzYwRjb2xvA2JmMQR2dGlkA1NNRTQ4NV8x?p=VA+hospital+investigation

Hi readers.  Thanks for coming by for a read.

I’ve said before I don’t believe the US government owes veterans good health care for the remainder of our lives as an ethical matter.  Merely a legal one.

We don’t particularly deserve it any more than Native Americans deserve cradle to grave health, dental and eye care because they happen to be descendants of aboriginals.  Merely…

View original post 351 more words

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Being alive puts things into a whole different light

Hi readers.  Thanks for coming by for a read.

Those of you who’ve read here a while probably remember when I did my dramatic exit scene from Texas.  Middle of the damned coldest winter in memory, hopped in that RV trying to beat death to Kansas.  Two cats freezing and scared, me pushing things to a razor edge because I was determined to die somewhere the felines would have a home when I kicked.

Made it as far as one of those north Texas towns above Dallas, checked into a motel to croak.  And Jeanne’s sons dropped what they were doing and came down to drive me the rest of the way.

I had every reason to believe one of a couple of unhappy body parts was going on strike and planned to kill me.  The VA in Texas tried hard to avoid giving me the bad news by not examining me, but I sneaked past them into a private emergency room.  Old Gale hauled me to town when I was in bad enough shape to agree to it.  Took care of the cats while the Kerrville hospital made faces at one another every time they got the results of another test.

So I had every reason to believe my goozle was an ugly cancerous disaster, funny como se llamas on my lungs, but that those couldn’t get to me fast enough to kill me.  My ticker was going to do that honor.

So when I arrived in Oz and checked into the Olathe Medical Center through the Emergency Room I figured there was a middling chance I wouldn’t be coming back out with the amount of alive I had when I checked in.

But the cats were taken care of.  Every time a sawbones wanted to look at something else going ugly or stinking on my old jalopy of a body, I said okay.  And afterward he, or she would come around looking somber, suggesting we have a better look and by the way, I hate to tell you this, etc.

But I’ve digressed.  My point I want to make to you is that nobody anywhere along the program was saying, “On the off chance you don’t croak this is going to cost one hell of a lot of money.  Let’s discuss whether you could pay it in your wildest, most optimistic dreams.”

Hell, I’m a Social Security pensioneer.  Whatever medical care I get is through the VA, or Medicare paying the bills that have any reasonable hope of getting paid.  There’s copays, and I had a vague awareness of the fact it exists, but hell, I was having conversations with the grim reaper.  I wasn’t worrying about bill collectors.

And seemingly neither was anyone else.  Sons of bitches thought I as dying, every swinging Richard of them.  Maybe if they thought there was any hope I wouldn’t someone would have sat down with me and said, “Uh, you know, if you die you’re going to be okay.  But if you don’t, we’ve got people over in accounting who are going to try to make the REST of your life challenging.  Maybe you thought you had it bad before you came in here, but dying’s just a way to escape the accounts receivable people down the hall.  People do it all the time.”

Okay.  This defibrillator and the VA paying for physical therapy did a lot, and I believe, my home remedy herbal cancer killer took care of the goozle and lungs.  For a while it still appeared the damned ticker could still croak me, but it gradually slid down on the job.  Every physical therapy session I came away feeling better physically, and suspecting the financial world had some dark clouds looming on the horizon.  Lucky the national debt already admitted nobody gives a damn about paying debts anyway.

Well friends and neighbors, barring any unforeskinned circumcisions I won’t be seeing anymore doctors for a year.  They’ve got this ticker surveillance device hooked to me, reports to them all the time, and I’m down there three times a week on walking machines and sitting down peddler things, putting all this crap behind me.

And the bean counters are scratching their heads, dunning me and fretting over the phone about how I’m going to pay those copays that didn’t make any difference so long as I was exiting the vehicle.  Every month they get their $10 checks, and the big ones rack up a charge to neutralize that in the form of a penalty because it wasn’t enough.

And threatening to turn it over to the Roccos.

Sheeze!  I was needing a new adventure.  Aside from some help from a few good friends, I haven’t had any personal debt since Y2K.  If I didn’t have money I didn’t spend it, no matter what.  Sometimes they turned off the electricity, and it stayed turned off until I got enough money to turn it back on.

I suppose this could be called the cost of living.  I can send them $10 per month, they can call that $10 and raise, until nature can find some other way of wiping me off the Monopoly board.

But damn it’s good being alive.

Old Jules

 

 

Abdicating by autopilot

These are the outdoor cats tended by jeanne's family a few blocks away.  Note the cat with the pliers and spray lubricant waits patiently while those lower three hang around being useless eaters.  The top cat [above] knows all this but doesn't care so long as the work gets done by the worker cat.  It's all factored in, and the lower three cats are relatives.

These are the outdoor cats tended by jeanne’s family a few blocks away. Note the cat with the pliers and spray lubricant waits patiently while those lower three hang around being useless eaters. The top cat [above] knows all this but doesn’t care so long as the work gets done by the worker cat. It’s all factored in, and the lower three cats are relatives.

Hi readers.  Thanks for coming by for a read this morning.

Puzzling critter, the human mind.  A year ago I hadn’t been examined by a physician for almost two decades and I took full responsibility for my health, was certain I would continue to do so without the involvement of physicians.

If I manage to remain alive long enough to write another long book I might begin with the premise a person just never can tell.  Or something profound along the lines of ‘never say never’.

I began trylng to understand how I got from there to here last night.  I’m thinking it had a lot to do with the cats.  At the time I had my [what’s now by hindsight clearly a serious] heart attack November 7, 2013, I was in the middle of nowhere on Gale’s property in Texas.  If I’d dived out of this lifetime and the cats were trapped inside the RV they might have joined me the hard way in a few days by dehydration.

Everything else, the week in the Kerrville Hospital, the trip to Andrews and stay with Eddie Brewer while attempting to begin VA medical care, the return to Gale’s and final dash to Kansas all followed in tiny increments of the mind.  Micro-abdications made in ignorance with a growing determination to know what the hell was wrong with me.

All without ever making a clear and decisive, well-thought-out decision to abandon the conscious philosophical position I’ve held twenty years and never doubted during that time.

So here I sit with a stack of monthly co-pay payments to make out of a skinny pool of finances, taking a lot of medications, carrying a defibrillator in my shoulder, and not profoundly improved in my physical capabilities over November and December, 2013.

Please don’t willfully misunderstand me and think I’m implying my choices were ‘wrong’.  I don’t know whether they were wrong, or right, or whether concepts of wrong and right even fit into the equation.  What I’m saying is that my life enjoyed a major change in direction without the guy in the pilot seat ever having given the matter any thought.

If not wrong or right, probably irresponsible at the least.

A year ago the chances of my living long enough to burn through the money, minus interest, I paid into Social Security over half-century was zilch.  I’ve never figured out what the interest would amount to, nor factored in the FICA paid in by employers.

But I confess in all honesty that I’m probably approaching the great divide because of Medicare paying off for my hospital bills and testing during 2014.  Not to mention all the costs the VA is absorbing in other testing and examinations.  This, by virtue of my being a hero and having protected the freedoms of all you vacant eyed US citizens.  Back when men were men and constantly faced the dangers of sexually transmitted diseases in foreign lands.

So without ever having made a conscious choice to do so, I’ve been reduced to the status of health beggar, become the burden on society I’d have sworn I’d never be.

Precisely how such a thing could come to pass certainly ought to be the subject of a treatise.

But it’s mostly because of the damned cats.

Old Jules