Tag Archives: VA hospital

Great big old ducks

Original Hospital and Lake1
Hi readers. Thanks for coming by for a read.

Back in the late 1800s when they dug that lake to excavate clay to make bricks for that original VA hospital they had to do something about the hole it left behind. So they filled it with water. Made a nice little recreation facility for the biggest piece of a century.

But what nobody could anticipate was that a time would come when nobody would give a damn about maintaining the lake. That it would become a sedimentation pond for the droppings of hundreds of waterfowl migrating in every winter, and some who just stay year around.

And over time the lake would mostly fill with those droppings until it was so shallow a person would have to work to drown in it.

That lake mostly can’t handle the biological oxygen demand because of all the manure. And nobody is about to spend the money to blow that water into the air to keep it alive. There’s a little bubbler at one end that sometimes works, but otherwise the pond turns over, stinks, kills a lot of fish, and is a sad reminder of how much maintenance man-made creations demand over the course of time.

great big old ducks

Nobody in my life has ever appreciated my sense of humor, and the same applies here. But at least I figure it helps make these drunks, derelicts, and opinionated old men feel better about themselves by being able to think me stupid. So anytime I get the chance to work it into a conversation I say something about those ‘great big old ducks’ running around crapping on everything.

And crap they do….. the grounds are speckled with them…. looks like someone ran one of those plugging things across the lawns. Yeah, and the streets, [and they do let fly as they pass over cars…. nothing like a splash of great big old duck droppings on your windshield].

But I digress.

A man staggering by knee-walking drunk will pause, gaze at me a moment, and shake his head almost every time if I remark to him, “Reckon where all those great big old ducks come from, anyway?”

Makes him feel better about himself. I’m convince of it. Yeah, I know they’re geese. But what the hell?

We all have our own small parts to play helping veterans, I figure.

Old Jules

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Back when the world was young

Lake Jeanette Soldiers Home Leavenworth, KSOriginal Hospital and LakeHere are a couple of historic postcards showing how this place looked sometime between 1895 and 1933 when the original hospital was torn down.   Those trees are either larger, or many have died and their remains stick up here and there from the lake like swords hoping for a King Arthur.

There used to be a group of ‘Christian Indians’ located here before the decision to build a soldiers home here.   But [according to the official history] they ‘left’.   They were called the Muncies.

So when the old hospital was torn down in 1933 and they began excavating to build something else on the location they discovered a number of graves containing Muncie Indians.   I suppose they pondered a while before deciding to bury them in a mass grave in the National Cemetery a quarter-mile away from here.    It’s the only mass grave in that cemetery, so you could say those Muncies got special treatment.

I’ll be posting more about the various buildings, the cemetery, the ghost stories and the current population of old vets here.    But first I wanted to convey that there really is a bit of a saga ……. it’s just not quite what a person might expect.

Thanks for the read.

Old Jules

Do not plug in this USB connector

Seems to me that's asking for it.  I did manage to resist the temptation, but it was difficult.

Seems to me that’s asking for it. I did manage to resist the temptation, but it was difficult.

Hi Readers. Thanks for coming by for a read.

When FEDEX delivered this package I examined it with considerable awe.  Here’s a device with no instructions, nothing to indicate what it is, nor why the VA had St. Judes send it to me.

It's evidently intended to be plugged into an electric Coleman camp stove.  The camp stove wasn't included in the package.

It’s evidently intended to be plugged into an electric Coleman camp stove. The camp stove wasn’t included in the package.

However, I eventually got replies from my enquiries to the KCVA about why it was sent.  Seems the camp stove should be arriving sometime soon, and that on May 27 I should take it along with me to an appointment with a VA cardiologist specialist and all will be explained.

Until then I’m still doing all my cooking on Jeanne’s electric range.

Old Jules

Strategic Air Command HQ, Omaha, Nebraska of insignificance

KC VA Med Ctr

VA Medical Center, Kansas City, MO, 100 acres ofparking lot, 20 acres handicapped parking, 100 active hospital rooms serving a shrinking population of US Military Vets who didn’t make a career of being lifers. Draft-era vets are dying like flies, robbing the macho of facilities such as this one.

VA med ctr elevators

The ‘Valor’ elevators. Yeah, but if you think that’s a bit overkill in the nomenclature department the hallway getting there is ‘Hero Hall’. Goes to prove there’s no limit to the lengths the US Government will go to in order to keep all us gullible burned out has-beens who use the place thinking Vietnam, Korea and other Presidential Wars were places where heroism could manifest itself.

Hi readers.  Thanks for coming by for a read.

I said in my last entry I might post anew if anything different happened and by gollywolly it did.  Different as hell, in fact.  The Strategic Air Command HQ, Omaha, Nebraska of different.

You might recall my state of mind as being a bit tentative during the period just prior to my taking a break.  I had what medico-oriented people might consider sufficient reason to be concerned about ‘suspicious’ whatchallits on my goozle and lungs, considerable intermittent pain, and a ticker that clearly was behaving outside the range of idealistic tickerism.  The Strategic Air Command HQ, Omaha, Nebraska, of lousy ticker behavior this side of croaking.

In short, Texas wasn’t working out as the best place to pursue my options in the less-than-optimum mobility direction following anything coming down the pike involving hospitals.  Two cats were depending on me being around and able to do everything necessary to provide them with sustenance.

Jeanne stepped in and save my life at precisely the right moment in human history to allow that option.  Suggested at a moment when I was able to consider it, me trucking up to Olathe, KS, and checking into the horsepital here through the Emergency Room.  Her taking care of the cats while I was inside.

And agreeing to keep them afterward if I croaked during the process.   An offer I dasn’t refuse.

So I loaded up Hydrox and Tabby, groaned into the RV the day before the worst storm to hit Texas in a number of years, I’m told.  The Strategic Air Command HQ, Omaha, Nebraska, of winter storms.

Drove most of the night and reached the end of my tether in Gainsville, Texas, north of Dallas.  Checked into a motel room to croak.

Jeanne sent her two sons down to interfere with the Grim Reaper by driving me on up to Olathe, KS.  Shortly after arriving I parachuted into the ER of the Olathe Medical Center for a week or so vacation.

Turned out after they’d done a lot of poking and prodding I’d killed off allbut about 15-20% of my heart back when all this whining and complaining I’d been doing started in November.  And my goozle was a thing to behold over in the gastroenterology end of things.  That poor old tube had more ugly mess going on inside it than I’d have dared hope.  But [after swilling a tea of Burdock, Turkey Rhubarb, Sheep Sorrel and Slippery Elm for a month before the Cat-Scan] not malignant.  Nor was the suspicious lung stuff.

Quicker than you could tell it they stuck a magic electric cow-prod under the skin of my chest/shoulder and ran wires from it down into my heart.  It’s there to remind my mildly functioning heart muscle that it needs to keep trucking without any drama if it doesn’t want to get struck by lightning, kicked by a mule, as many times as it takes until it decides to behave itself.

For the past couple of weeks I’ve been sleeping in Jeanne’s recliner, wearing a restraining thing so’s I can’t raise my arm above my head, thus protecting the wire running down into my heart from getting yanked out by the roots.   Another couple of weeks and that shouldn’t be necessary.

The RV’s in Jeanne’s driveway, Tabby’s finding a new home for herself with Jeanne’s daughter, Julia, and her sons, Michael and Andrew, and Hydrox is here with me trying to become a Kansas cat.

I’m figuring I’ll be here a couple more months, at least.  I’m forming a new relationship with the Missouri Veteran Medical Center mainly because I was so impressed with what all they did in Texas to prevent me having to go to a private hospital in Kansas to find out what the hell was going on inside my body.

But hells bells, I’m grateful for all of it.  Been finding a lot of reasons why my life’s going to be a better place as a consequence of not having cancer of the goozle, lung cancer, and having a cow prod in my chest in their stead.

I’m thinking, for one thing, I’ve arrived at a place in life where Hydrox can no longer depend on my services.  When I leave here most likely he’ll be staying behind with Jeanne.

All in allI’m the Strategic Air Command Headquarters, Omaha, Nebraska, of grateful to be alive and feeling as well as I do.  Luckiest man on the planet, any way you cut it.  Don’t try this at home, though.

Old Jules