The Long Road to Now

Posted on February 7, 2013. Filed under: Blogroll, General, Uncategorized | Tags: , , , , |

In late March of 2012, I had visited the Veterans Administration Hospital Clinic in Decatur, Georgia where my doctor after hearing my complaint about a lower back problem ordered a battery of tests and other exams at the main hospital. After X-Ray’s, MRI’s and additional X-Ray’s there was no doubt I had a mess of a problem in the lower back. My back end got mangled after a nasty and rather frightening fall aboard a US Navy Guided Missile Destroyer in 1980; that was estimated at about 22 feet. I as a young seaman had walked across the forecastle and had stepped into some liquid, which to my dismay as I later found out was diesel fuel. Some enginemen, while refueling the emergency diesel generator had spilled it but had not cleaned it up; and I stepped in it and as I entered the scuttle which is a small hatch on the top of a larger hatch ended up taking the express route to the bottom.

My butt, smacked to last two steps of the ladder at the very bottom before I slammed feet first into the deck and then bouncing into the anchor windless room of the Charles F. Adams class Guided Missile Destroyer, USS Richard E. Byrd (DDG-23) where I found myself face first on the steel deck pondering just what the hell had happened. A fellow shipmate found me, and helped me to sickbay where the ship’s medic gave me the once over and some aspirin and sent me back to work. So much for that treatment and I would over the years continue to endure the painful reminder of my crash landing on a steel deck that amazingly did not break any bones.

I decided after an additional visit to put in for limited disability compensation, as it was frankly becoming more and more difficult to deal with the pain. I have ended up seeing a pain doctor at the Veterans Hospital in Decatur where I am getting injections to help alleviate the pain. You have not had fun until, you get needles stuck in your spine though once the doctor who is doing the injecting gets done it will at least keep things back there down to a dull roar for the next three months. I put in for the disability in April of 2012, and finally got to see an independent examiner who in February of 2013 took more X-Ray’s, had me try to bend and flex every which way.

Bending and flexing is no longer much of an option nor is heavy lifting the order of the day either. If I have dropped something it is go to the knee’s and hopefully reach it if possible or if at home use the handy-dandy picker upper grabber which unfortunately I can’t carry around one at work so in short it can be a real pain in the back side if I drop something. Being limited now to what I can do, I have not been able to do what I love to do and that is gardening and general yard work. It is hire the local yard work folk and pay them to do it. My trusty John Deere, I have not run in nearly two years now because of the back problems as the pain from man-handling the mower which is self-propelled became too much.

As a Veteran, I am not alone with issues; as other veterans seeking to get disability payments to help with life’s general issues have to go through a long wait and see process. I was told to expect another six month wait for any decision, and there is no guarantee that I will be able to receive the payments. I will have to still endure the pain and get by as best as I can.

I am thankful I am not taking hardcore pain killers, the ones I am taking deal mainly with the nerve and joint pain that is associated with the back issues. Remember the impact that I wrote of? That same impact affected the hips too, and the right side is showing that too now that I am aging. Those that are young and get away with what they think are bruises at first; will be like me when they hit their 50’s. What was I thinking when I did something stupid like that.

    What is next for me? Well I am experiencing both numbness and locking finger joints in both hands, so there is a doctor appoint for a surgeon to examine my hands and arms. I have already had X-Rays too, so problems with my right hand that are growing I have been practicing writing with my left hand. I truly feel like I am back in kindergarten again; trying to write something legible. The results are awful to say the least. Of course as Veteran’s like me age, we face other issues too. Having a heart murmur discovered during a yearly health exam in November of 2012; I had to wait for an exam appoint in February of 2013 to see a specialist. Unlike those who may have insurance that is well off, Veteran’s like me who are now depending on the VA for help have to wait in line.

    As we go forward into the New Year, the government has to of course cut costs. Those that are in Congress are now bitching about those cuts, are the ones with pet projects in their districts. A lot of them seem to forget that Veterans are seeing less support, while the shiny and a lot of times wasteful projects that are being constructed or improved upon seem to be sucking a lot of money away from other issues that need to be addressed. I will hope to see that the wasteful projects are cancelled and the funds being wastefully spent be redirected to the Veterans Administration to help the millions of veterans that need the help. Frankly new and shiny does not always work too well and if the crap costs a Billion Dollars a copy and you want 500 of the stupid things that don’t really work too well at all, then we can send some real estate agents to the Hill and sell them boneheads some beach front property in Nevada. That is of course after we sell off California and break it off at the San Andreas Fault, and the buyer would be China of course since they likely own ninety percent of it already.

    I will keep you posted on my future adventures with the disability issues. The one thing I do want to point out is that surgery is my last option; since the area of the spine in question is the L3 and L4 with a large and nasty cist sitting in there between them. I would have to get full disability just for that option to even be considered. Not a fun thought at the moment.

Have a nice day folks and when you see a Vet, say thanks.

Stephen E Sauls

Chamblee, Georgia USA.


Advertisements
Read Full Post | Make a Comment ( None so far )

  • Visitors to My Blog

  • Clink on the link below to send me e-mail

  • Blogsurfer

  • Click below to subscribe by e-mail

  • Daily Twitter Updates

  • December 2017
    M T W T F S S
    « Feb    
     123
    45678910
    11121314151617
    18192021222324
    25262728293031
  • RSS Subscribe To My Feed Here

    • The ISIS Attempt at Terror February 3, 2015
      ISIS, which has been terrorizing the Middle East region and doing its best to cause great discomfort to the West by beheading its prisoners; took it a step further this first week of February 2015 to burn to death a Jordanian Air Force Pilot Muath al-Kasasba alive and filmed it so it could be shown […]
      Stephen Sauls
  • Archives

Liked it here?
Why not try sites on the blogroll...