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Wednesday, April 7, 2010


Sent this to "my" State Congresscritters:

My name is , ,and I'm disabled. I'm not "technically" disabled, due to the Byzantine system we have in this country, but I am disabled, nonetheless.
20 years ago, I had an accident…hit a tree at 90 mph. Both the tree and I survived.
I severed the "neck" of my right femur, made my left ankle into gravel, and messed up my knees…especially the right one. After I got out of the Hospital, I spent a long time in bed…then a long time in a wheelchair…and a long time learning to walk, again.
Sooner than anyone's expectations, I was back at work, and back at school.

The pain was always there, but it was tolerable. I was a cook…I like the term "Chef"…for all those years. I was very good at it…a "Ninja in the Kitchen"….but the hard floors, the long hours without a break, had their effect…
Five years ago, when I would go to work, I found myself having a harder and harder time finishing my shift…the pain was so great… After I finally got off, I could hardly drive home. Then, in the mornings, I'd find that I could not walk.

So I quit, and went to my Doctor, who said, "You need a new hip".

In these last 20 years, I have fallen a lot. I've broken both thumbs, both wrists, both elbows….damaged my back and neck (due, I think, to not being able to "lift with my knees").
Also, after my wreck and all the surgery and recovery was done, my insurance dropped me like a hot potato. I have never been able to get insurance, since that day.
So, all these "peripheral injuries" are undocumented…I just wrapped them up, drank some tequila, grit my teeth, and moved on.
When my Doc said "get a hip", I applied for Disability.
I have been through that whole process one and a half times….I'm in the second go-'round, on the first appeal to the first denial.
For some reason, they keep denying me.
Seems to be a criterion in the relevant law regarding "jobs present in the National Economy"…..notwithstanding the presence of such jobs anywhere near me.
I live in Mason, Texas. I cannot move, as I have been out of work for nearly 5 years.
This doesn't matter to the Judge, or to the Functionaries…
It seems like a convenient excuse for denying me.
I don't qualify for Medicaid, as my wife makes around $1000 per month…and the income threshold for adult Medicaid is $230 per month….in my opinion, ridiculously low.
A doctor friend of mine suggested that I "establish residence" in San Antonio, or somewhere ;where there are big County Hospitals. But I am fatally honest….I won't lie.
I am in a kind of Purgatory…I can usually walk, with great pain…I can do stuff, but I pay for it with pain.
I do the necessary repairs on this ancient house, but then I have to lie around for 1-5 days, depending on the strenuousness of the chore.
The few jobs out here are not conducive to this.
I have stated, repeatedly, that I am NOT after a check. I want to go back to work, start a business, something!
But to do so, I must be repaired.
They tell me I have Avascular necrosis in my hip…the bone is dead.
I need a hip replacement…I also need what's called an ankle-fusion.
The Orthopedic guy says I'll soon need a right knee replacement.
The Hospital quoted me, 2 years ago, $40,000+, just for the hip.
I'm at my wits end.
My family suffers, needlessly, for it.
What am I supposed to do?
The system is broken…and I didn't do the breaking.
I have never asked for "welfare" before all this started.
The system was built by folks who hold their Ideology above their Hearts…and it is Shameful.
With the recent hullaballoo over Health care Reform, there's been a lot of Hyperbole and Hollering…but the fact remains…I have fallen through cracks, that were opened, then made wider, by folks who care more about the health of Corporations than the Health of Poor People.
You, Sir, supposedly represent me.
I am a Human Being, a 5th generation Texan.
Fix it!

Thank You.
You can call me any time.(325)

Actually got a response…booted it up to "my" National Congressman…who's Minion called me.
She was very nice, very understanding…but there apparently ain't a damned thing they, or anyone else, can do.
The underlying contempt for all things Government was palpable, but I didn't get into my feelings about that…lol.
Seems that since I'm white, 40 and Educated, I have fallen through a sizeable Crack.
I am informed that the last five years of wrangling with a heartless system was for nothing.
She said it's "not what Social Security/Disability is for…it's for people who will never work again…"
Not, she says, for repairing younger folks so that they are able to go back to work.(!!)
So…from all this I glean that there is no help forthcoming, from state, federal or local government.
I'm screwed until I'm 65…or become so damaged that I can never work again.
Incentive to jump off the roof?
Yes, if I trusted the Machine with a hole in the head…which I do not.
I am, as I've feared, Doomed to deteriororate ,in increasing pain , till I finally can no longer move, at all.

I did get a rise out of her, though…
I related the results of my research into costs, regarding the Hip Replacement.
Fredericksburg Hospital "quoted" me a ballpark figure of $40,000…for the fake hip and it's installation. This figure does not include anesthesia, anesthesiologist, post operative stuff, a bed in the Hospital for a night or two,or any platinum-clad, diamond studded Tylenol or other extras that may be needed. Nothing about Physical Therapy, to get me back on my feet. Just the surgery.
I found a place that would do the whole damned thing…all the stuff mentioned above, plus recovery in a bungalow on the beach with a private nurse…for $18,000.
It's called Cuba.
It's the only country in the whole world that I ,as an American, am specifically forbidden from visiting.
If 20 grand falls out of the sky, I'll be on the first fucking boat, I told her…and y'all can throw me in jail afterwards.
If such things come to pass, be certain, dear readers, that the entire adventure will be available on YouTube.
Call it Citizen Journalism.
Or consider it a Stick in the Eye of the Beast.


Anonymous said...

If you did somehow manage to get onto Medicaid, they'd seize your bank accounts once you started working again, garnish your wife's salary and either garnish yours or throw you in prison for fraud.

As a government bureaucrat, I've seen it happen.

amfortas the hippie said...

My point was, I'm too fucking honest for such fraud...and that there seems to be no option.
Cuba looks like the only one, and even that is illegal. But at least it's not fraud.
the whole goddamn system is rotten and stupid, and Obama's recent thing doesn't look like it's gonna change all that much. At best, a start.At worst, making things worse.
I see fossils, every day, who have 2 new hips, new shoulders, new knees.
Must be a shortage of spare parts.