Category Archives: Veterans Issues

Topics/Issues confronting Disabled Veterans, and their families. Information/News for all Veterans. Historical entries re: various wars, service related issues, and general military history.

The New Oxycontin – Is It Non-Addictive?

Hey everyone! WOW! I have not blogged quite a while now. I have had a whole lotta stuff going on. I am getting on great these days, in case anyone was wondering.

I did a bit of an experiment with my pain medication. Everyone who reads this blog knows I take pain medication. You all just do not know the type I take. ONE of my pain medications is Oxycontin. Recently the manufacturer of this medication remade the formula for the pill, so as to prevent people from crushing them up, and doing lord knows what with it. This new formula makes the outside mix in so much with the inside of the pill that it is basically unusable for use other than what the doctor prescribed. The manufacturer is also touting this knew formula as being more, or less non addictive. We all heard this same statement when this drug originally came out, and we know what happened with it. It became “Hillbilly Heroin”.

Being the curious person I am, I decided to test this medication to see if it indeed has qualities making it so it is not hard to come off of. I abruptly quit taking it, and stayed off of it for a number of days. I had absolutely NO withdrawals from this medication. I hurt like hell, but I had no withdrawals. It looks like, at least for me, the manufacturer got it right this time.

If you know anyone taking this medication, please be sure to pass this tidbit on to them.

On to other news, we have some tropical systems gearing up in the Carribean, so I have to get off here and make sure I am ready, just in case.

God Bless, and Stay Safe!

oldsoldier

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Filed under Crohns Disease, Health, Life as a Disabled Veteran, Personal, Uncategorized, Veterans Issues, Weather

Could Thalidomide Be The Answer For My Crohns Disease?

As I was doing research on treatments for Crohns Disease, I ran across some interesting research where Clinicians are using Thalidomide to treat Crohns Disease patients unresponsive to other treatments. In several studies, even the patients who dropped out of the clinical trials because of side effects, ranging from drowsiness, neuropathy, and constipation, had positive results from the use of this drug, on their disease. The positive effects on Crohns disease were prevalent even in lower doses, with some patients attaining total remission

Thalidomide was banned in the mid part of last century due to severe birth defects, so it would have to be carefully monitored as to who would be able to use it, if approved, and accepted by the Medical Community, for widespread use; nonetheless, for people like me who have had a bad reaction to everything except steroids, to treat my Crohns disease, this may be an alternative I may be able to take. I will be asking my GI doctor. This drug is an earlier version of the new main line Crohns disease treatments, Anti Tumor Necrosis Factor (anti TNF) drugs. I will definitely investigate this.

My GI doctors want me off the steroids, and I fully understand why, but we have not found an alternative yet. We thought we had an alternative, but when I got the prescription, and checked it against my records, I saw where it caused me a significant GI bleed. I was throwing up dry blood from it several years ago, so I cannot use it. Maybe low dose Thalidomide will work, or maybe not. I will keep looking though. Lucky for me, my GI Clinic is affiliated with the University of Florida, and Shands Gainesville, so I get access to treatments before others, if I choose to participate, in clinical trials.

Thanks for stopping by. I still need a car if ANYONE can help me out with a clunker. I would be happy to make payments. I just do not have a down payment. I am planning to move closer to the hospital, but will need a car so I am not stuck, in a new town, with no way to go. I guess we can say getting a car is on my “Bucket List“. I really, really, really need one, and hate to ask, but at this point I am about ready to beg.

Take Care,

mark

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Filed under Blogging, Crohns Disease, Health, Life as a Disabled Veteran, Personal, Veterans Issues

Flipping Through The News – Influenza, Terrorism in Africa, American Military, Economy, Gun Control, Super Bowl 47, Health Tip – Happy Martin Luther King Day!

Hey everyone! I apologise for not writing for a while, and especially for not responding to your blogs. As is par for the course, I have been dealing with health issues, and the personal BS needlessly lurking around me, has not exactly made this a walk in the park. Much has been going on, in the world too, so I am going to kind of flip around the news dial, give a few views, and end this with a health tip, for the day, instead of blabbing about my personal problems. 😀

Looking around the hospital emergency department last week, when I had to be whisked in, for some problems, and looking around the Veterans Hospital when I was there, for some eye appointments last week, I must inform you, if you do not already know, the hospitals are full. Some hospitals are at maximum capacity. Of course this backs up the Emergency Departments, making for long waits. I waited 15 hours for a five-minute exam by a doctor. Turns out I had gotten dehydrated from crohns related stuff. Nonetheless, I have it on good authority the flu has mutated a little bit from what the vaccine was. Most people who got the flu shot are able to shake it, but others are getting really sick. There is a comparison to the H1N1 outbreak back in 2009, just not as severe, for now. For some reason the press has not picked up on the mutation aspect, yet. Needless to say, if you need to see the doctor, try to stay out of the Emergency Department. They are overflowing, and this makes for an excellent breeding ground for influenza. Be careful!

The terrorists are on the move in Northern Africa, Al Qaeda to boot. Apparently they seized hostages, and a natural gas plant, in Algeria. The Algerian government stormed them, some of the hostages got away, and we are waiting for the rest of the details. I applaud the Algerian government for not delaying their attack against these thugs too long. Swift action is a must when dealing with these types. All they understand is brute force, and the swifter they receive it, the swifter the message gets across their actions are futile, that the world will continue to battle against them, and we will find them no matter where they hide. I am very concerned over the location of this incident. North Africa has a power vacuum with the governments of Tunisia, Libya, and Egypt having been overthrown during the so-called Arab Spring. I am mostly worried about Libya becoming a safe haven for terrorists, and the caches of arms left from the Quadaffi regime being used to hurt, and kill innocent people. In essence, I fear Libya may become another pre 9/11/01 Afghanistan. If the United States is forced to occupy Libya, or any other nation, we must reactivate 2 more divisions, of the Army, at a minimum. We may even need to reactivate the draft. We have stretched our professional army to the breaking point. The pain needs to be spread around the entire nation. These wars would not be lasting as long as they have been if more families had to deal with their loved ones being shipped to hostile areas of the globe. The fight we are engaged is a necessary war. If it were not, I would say so; however, we need to use our Armed Forces in a way we are not stretching them to the breaking point. Trust me, the Department of Veterans Affairs, although intending the best, is not geared to help our returning Veterans in a way that will assist them in starting to heal in a way that is dignified, compassionate, and complete. We need more soldiers, plain, and simple. If we are to see the war on terror to a proper conclusion, we will be occupying more nations, in the future. Our professional forces are going on 20 plus tours, per soldier. That is too big of a strain. Please tell your representatives, in DC, to appropriate the funds to activate more divisions, of the Army, so that our men, and women are not being called on to do the impossible. These soldiers, God willing, will have to come back into society, at some point. We want that transition to be as smooth as possible, and one way to see to this is to have more units available for rotation into the war areas without breaking the back of our military. Regardless of what the Pentagon is saying, I know this is smart, and correct strategy. Ask any returning veteran who served front line duty.

Next up, the economy. The answers are not going to be easy, the solutions will be difficult to agree on; however, Republicans, and Democrats need to stop posturing, saying they will/ will not do this, or that, and work out a middle way. The American people want both sides to come together, and for the solution(s) to come from both sides. The key is to bring the left’s solutions, and the right’s solutions more to the center. The middle is where the answers are at. Stop posturing, and start working for the American people. Failure is not an option.

Gun control is unfortunately back on the radar, of the nation, due to the tragedy at Sandy Hook Elementary. I can only imagine how the parents of these most innocent victims feel. My heart breaks for them, and my prayers, for their comfort, are being offered on a regular basis. I am not immune to the suffering of this, and similar tragedies. Everyone wants a solution, or solutions, to keep this from happening again. I do too. However, I want us to be really careful we do not rush into anything. Our 2nd amendment rights are there for a reason. Our forefathers had to use the gun to get rid of a tyrannical government, and they wanted us to be able to do the same, should it become necessary. I do not see how we could overcome a tank with an assault rifle, but look at the Syrian rebels, and one can see if freedom is wanted enough, small measures, by determined hands, can effect solutions. The bottom line on gun control, for me, is we need to stay off slippery slopes, and really think this through before enacting draconian measures. The first thing needing the be done is gun owners need to lock their guns up when they are not using them. Being a responsible gun owner can do much to keep them out of the wrong hands. Thorough background checks, which I thought were being done, are a no brainer, and a must before anyone is allowed to purchase a gun. These are just a couple of common sense solutions that will yield results. We want results to come out of our endeavours to prevent another Sandy Hook tragedy; therefore, we must demand solutions that are workable, keep guns out of the hands of crazy people/felons, all the while protecting a key right under our Constitution: the right to keep, and bear arms. Once again, God Bless those mourning the losses of the victims of Sandy Hook, and other gun violence.

The Super Bowl should be interesting this year. Baltimore verses San Francisco, with two brothers head coach of the opposite teams. I totally missed the championship games yesterday because my antenna is not working right, so until I can review some tape, and hear what the sports masters have to say, I cannot call the game yet; however, I would like to see the Ravens win. Middle Linebacker Ray Lewis has overcome many obstacles in his life, and this is his last year playing the game. It would be a good thing to see his team win the Super Bowl.

That is all I have for now. Happy Martin Luther King Day, please take time to remember the sacrifices of the Civil Rights era. Our society is a better one for it. Surely, I would not want to go back to segregation, and Jim Crow. I thank all, living, and dead who participated, on all levels to effect this much better society.

Good luck to President Obama, on his second term.

——–HEALTH TIP—— Can’t sleep? Take a wash cloth, wet it with cool water, wring it out, and place it over your abdomen. This has something to do with blood flow, and the bodies electrical pulses, pulling them to this area, creating a relaxing effect that leads to sleep. I tried this, and had a great night’s sleep. For me that is huge because I am an insomniac! —HEALTH TIP—–

Cheers.

mark

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Filed under Afghanistan, Black History, Blogging, Crime, Crohns Disease, Democrat, Economy, Football, Health, Life as a Disabled Veteran, National Football League, Political, Republican, Sports, Uncategorized, Veterans Issues, War

Jaguars, Fiscal Cliff, and I Need A Car

This is a bad time to be a fan of the Jacksonville Jaguars. This season has been, by far, one of the worst since the league expanded and added the Jaguars back in 1995. With only two wins under their belt, and one game left in the season, there is nothing to be excited about.

Injuries have been the main stay this season. Quarterback Blaine Gabbert, Running Back Maurice Jones – Drew, players on the Offensive line, and on the Defensive side of the ball have combined for a next man up, and “can we find a war body to field” scenarios. Having thought we had settled our Quarterback problems, Gabbert got hurt at a key point in his progression, and Chad Henne, although performing heroically, looks to be replaced, or at least made to compete for a job against Tim Teebow. Teebow, by the way, has been warming the bench in New York not because they refuse to play him, he just aint that good. Jaguars owner Shad Khan seems like he will trade-off all of our good draft picks to acquire him next season to have fair weather fans buy tickets for a stadium that has not been blacked out for some time now. I will not buy a ticket to see the Teebow circus. We need a team, not Teebow, and his one man show. The biggest mistake we could make would be to trade away the stock we have in next years draft to acquire him. Certainly, continuing to round out our roster, should be the priority.

Onto other matters. If Congress, and the President do not come together, and agree on something, America will be going over the fiscal cliff come January. Personally, I think they will once again kick the can down the road. I hope they do not. I hope they can stop arguing over their differences, and work out a deal on the points they agree. These are dark times in United States history. I hope the Republicans, and Democrats see the light.

Anyone out there with a generous heart, I really need some help. I need a vehicle to make it to my doctors appointments. I go at least once a month, and the trip is 120 miles round trip. Even if I move there, to that city, I will still need a vehicle. I am having a heck of a time even buying food because I do not have a car to get to the grocery store. I have been living out of the Family Dollar. I see these cars, KIAs, for no money down, and 99 a month. I could afford that, plus the insurance, but they will not approve my credit to get one. I am hoping something comes up for me soon. Trust me, if I could work, and get off disability, I would not be in this position; however, I can’t, and I am really struggling not having a car.

I hope everyone has a great Christmas!

cheers,

mark

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Filed under Blogging, Crohns Disease, Economy, Florida, Football, Jacksonville, Jacksonville Florida, Jacksonville Jaguars, Life as a Disabled Veteran, Local, National Football League, Personal, Political, Sports, Veterans Issues

Why I am Voting For President Obama

I know this is a bit late for me to go on record endorsing a candidate for President, but I had many things to contemplate, before I made my final decision. The endorsement of Obama/Biden, by Secretary of State, Former Chairman of The Joint Chiefs, General Colin Powell, as well as the following reasons, have been the determining factors, in my vote for Obama/Biden, and my full endorsement, of the ticket.

One of the things I had to be very sure of was that I would not vote for someone because I do not like the religion, of the other. I had a very bad experience with the Mormon faith, and my only blood related son was stolen from me by my Mormon ex-wife. I wanted to ensure my vote was not a vote based on irrationality, but a vote well thought out. I got over the Mormon religion question by asking myself, if this were my Mormon son running for President, would I want people to not vote for him solely because he is a Mormon? The answer is obviously no. Moreover, in this nation, we have a thing called a constitution guaranteeing the rights of individuals, to freedom of religion. I swore a life long oath to support, and defend the Constitution, of The United States. I cannot, and will not base my vote on a person’s choice of religion, or lack thereof.

My decision to vote for, and support Barack Obama, for President, has been well thought out. I have shaken off the voices, of the fear mongers, who shrieked in 2008, if we voted for Obama, we would lose our nation. First of all, I do not know who “we” are, cause I am not one of “we”, I am an American. Additionally, the last time I checked, the Constitution is still in effect, and Americans enjoy freedom people around the world would gladly die for, to bequeath to their children. Barack Obama, and Joe Biden were elected in 2008, and the world has not ended, nor has the United States of America, nor have the rights, and freedoms all Americans cherish.

The Affordable Care Act means a great deal to me to. Not because I am without insurance. I am well covered, insurance wise, due to my service to my country. It means so much to me because of what it represents. It represents a chance for millions of Americans who are too poor, or who have pre-existing conditions to get, and keep health insurance, thereby securing access to doctors, hospitals, medications, and other healthcare needs. My sister, her name is Joyce, died at the age of 38 because of a lack of health insurance. She wanted to, and did work; however, no one would give her health insurance because she had crohns disease, just like I do. She could not afford the premiums, for even basic health insurance. Yes, she could go to the Emergency Room, and she did go to the Emergency Room, but that is not the place to manage a chronic disease that is very severe. In spite of making good money, and working in the healthcare industry, she was unable to get the medications needed to manage her severe crohns disease. She  could not afford to see a Primary Care doctor, on a regular basis either. For sure she could not afford to see a specialist. She died as a result of intra-abdominal hemoraging, of blood, en route to the hospital, in an ambulance. She bled to death because she did not have access to regular healthcare. I know this because I have internal bleeding with my crohns, and it almost killed me, but because I saw a doctor regularly, it was caught in time. I have been undergoing regular treatments for the past five years. A simple blood test, at a routine appointment, could have caught this early on; however, she could not do this because she had no health insurance. The Republicans are saying they will repeal the Affordable Care Act (ACA), and give us something better. They tell the truth when they say they will repeal the Affordable Care Act (ACA), yet the lie when they say they will replace it with something better. The Republicans will do nothing, for the health, and welfare, of the working poor, the sick, and people with pre-existing conditions, to attain quality affordable healthcare. How many more people will have to die? One is too many. The Republicans say Obama weakened Medicare by taking money from it to start funding the ACA. That is another lie. I know firsthand Medicare is working better now than it ever has. I have had Medicare since I became disabled, in 1998. When the Part D Prescription Plan was made law, it left many financially insecure (poor) disabled, and seniors unable to pay the upfront costs, for their medications. July of this year I had a severe infection, was in a private hospital, and had to be given a prescription for Vancomycin. The doctor was worried because historically Medicare Part D leaves the patient with a $400.00 gap to cover with Vancomycin. When I filled my prescription, at a private pharmacy, I was only charged a co-pay of 3 of 4 bucks, not the $400.00 people had to pay before the ACA, and the elimination of waste from Medicare. President Obama, and the ACA have made Medicare work better, by eliminating waste. The Republicans are swearing up, and down Medicare was raided, and ruined. The only thing that happened were those who make more on retirement, or disability, and/or have access, to assets, making them richer, are being required, to pay, their fair share. That is only fair. They can afford it. If their prescription drug costs get beyond a certain amount, they are not required to pay the same large percentage. These benefeciaries get a break when their mecication costs reach the catostrophic range, which for a person who is rich, is a drop in the perverbial bucket. I cannot believe Mitt Romney, and Paul Ryan are using this lie, and making it a wedge issue. What troubles me more is some people will believe it.

We are out of Iraq, and are working on getting out of Afghanistan. Osama Bin Laden is dead. Instead of being the foreign policy failure the Republicans said he would be, Barack Obama has conversely handled foreign affairs quite well. I thought he would have had a learning curve, but apparently he is a quick study, and has handled things as good as, if not better than the previous administration. Mitt Romney, on the other hand, is out of touch with who our current enemies are, and may drag us into military adventures, in far flung places. Romney said Russia is one of our main enemies. We may not be able to trust them very much, but they are not a major enemy anymore. The Cold War is over. I fought in it, as did millions of others from 1946, to the 1990s. By the way, we won. Can someone please tell this to Governor Romney, and Representative Ryan? Furthermore, with the way Romney acted when he went overseas recently, inflaming allies, and creating problems everwhere he went, I am scared of the prospect of him handling our foreign affairs.

Last points. Looking back into history we have not had an economic collapse, of this magnitude, since the Great Depression. While it is not as bad as that was, it could have been had quick action not been taken, to shore up the banks, the auto industry, as well as other areas of the economy. Were mistakes made? Yes, but at least something was being done. Franklin Delano Roosevelt (FDR) tried many things, some worked, some did not. He said it was like a Football Game, and if one play did not work, we had to try another. Eventually we came out of the Great Depression, and we are eventually pulling out of the Great Recession, even as I write this blog entry. Will we have more bumps in the road? Yes, especially with the havoc Super Storm Sandy has thrown at the Northeast, but we will recover. This is not the time to change teams. I sincerely believe we will  all be better off if we re-elect Barack Obama.

I watched a documentary about FDR today. As our nation, and our people suffered tremendously, during the Great Depression, the Republicans were advocating for the end of Social Security, the WPA, and all of the other programs that helped pull our nation out of those horrible times, and have left a safety net, for future generations, so things do not get to the point of a Great Depression again. Just think about it. If the Republicans had their way back in the 1930s, America would have no safety net. No social programs to help those who fall on hard times, or who are not the rich, not the well-born, nor the able. America would be a worse place, if we did not have the safety nets enacted under FDR, and other Presidents, and Congresses.

As for our current Congress, especially the House of Representatives, they have obstructed the people’s business solely for the purpose of defeating Obama, in the General Election. They have  all been crying about how bad the economy is, yet none of the Republicans, in the House of Representatives, have compromised, for the good of the American people, to make things better. The House has voted, to repeal the Affordable Care Act, 30 plus times, knowing the bill will fail in the Senate, yet the Republicans in the House have not reached across the aisle to effect legislation, for the good, of those Americans still struggling. President Obama cannot sign legislation into law unless it is passed, in the Legislative Branch. For legislation to pass, compromise must take place. This  failure to put partisan bickering aside, is bordering on treason, and is definitely hypocritical, when they blame it all on President Obama.

There it is.  Lies, borderline treason, and hypocrisy. These are some of the reasons I am not voting for Mitt Romney, and will be voting for Barack Obama.

Vote as you please, but please vote. Many have sacrificed their lives, to give you the right to vote. Please exercise your right, whether you agree with me, or not.

mark

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Filed under Crohns Disease, Democrat, Economy, Health, November 2012 Election, Political, Republican, Uncategorized, Veterans Issues, War

Quality Medical Care Delivered At St. Vincent’s Medical Center – Jacksonville, Florida

St. Vincent’s Medical Center, Jacksonville, Florida

With some of the negative feedback/reviews of hospitals, and doctors I have posted, I find it only fair, to report, when  positive events happen, at these facilities.

Recently I was urgently admitted to Saint Vincents Hospital, Jacksonville, Florida. From the moment I arrived at the facility, to the day I was discharged I was treated in a very compassionate manner, by highly qualified health care workers.

In the emergency room the nurses, and physicians were attentive to my needs, and listened closely to what I told them had been going on prior to the episode, what was going on at that time, and what I thought it felt like, based on my lengthy history struggling against Crohns Disease. I told them it felt like I had pancreatitis, and I had the same pains I have when I have a bowel obstruction. They were thorough with their questions, and responded to my pain in a very fast manner, not making me go through tests before getting me some relief. I am grateful they did so because I was in extreme grievous pain.

When I was admitted they told me the CT confirmed pancreatitis, and they needed to do an additional lab test on me to exclude something. After a couple of days I was able to give them what they wanted to perform the lab test, and within a day, and a half had the results. They discovered I had an infection that had released spores into my colon causing my colon to become inflamed. I had colitis from this infectious spore problem, and that is what was making me feel as if I had a bowel obstruction.

My Hospitalist was Doctor Sanchez, and she was the best Hospitalist I have ever had. She was very patient with me, and responsive to the problems I was having, including the severe pain caused by the Pancreatitis, and infectious Colitis. Moreover, she fully explained everything  that was wrong with me, and did not push me to leave the hospital early. The Physician Assistant, Dawn, who covers rounds for Dr. Abassi was  very thorough, with the questions she asked, and the exams she gave. Dr. Abbassi, of Digestive Disease Consultants, Jacksonville, Florida, (904) 388 – 9696, watched over my case closely, and understood when I declined a probe of my pancreas because it still hurt too bad. Dr. Abassi, and Dr. Sanchez supervised a brilliant diagnosis, and miraculous treatment. To sum up the medical care I received, “They saved my life!”. 

The entire Nursing, and Associate Care Provider staff was respectful, considerate, compassionate, competent, responsive in a timely manner, and all the other great qualities a person wants from these professionals who have constant contact, and interaction with patients while they are in the hospital.  I am very grateful for all they did for me. From getting my pain shots to me quickly, keeping up with my voluminous medications, getting my routine medications to me on schedule, and watching out for changes in my health, the nurses did an outstanding job. Christa, Jessica, Jose, Gracie, and Denise are some of the nurses who took great care of me. The ACPs did a great job keeping up with my vitals, changing my bed sheets, giving me new hospital gowns, keeping my ice water filled, bringing me juices, talking to me in a compassionate way that helped keep my spirits up, telling the nurses when things were not right, assisting me into the shower,  and bunches of other stuff. The Nurses, and ACPs did an exceptional job delivering top-notch, compassionate care, to me, at a time I could not advocate for myself. I am grateful for all they did for me.

Had they not checked me for that specific infection it would have killed me. People are dying around the world from it.  Even my Gastroenterologist’s Mother in Law passed away from it. The weird part of it all is I did not fit into any of the predisposing scenarios, nor did I have any of the risk factors for it, yet somehow I got it. I thank the Good Lord he inspired someone to test me for it.  After being on antibiotics for just 2 days I started feeling better, and after the full course, I must say I have not felt this well in a very long time, years even. I still have problems from all the surgeries, and the wasting from the Crohns disease, but the problems from the infectious Colitis were weighing heavy on me, unbeknownst to me, and after receiving the treatment for it, I feel so much better!

Here is a significant indicator things have improved. I have been seeing a Hematologist for 5 years due to long-term blood loss, from inflammation, due to Crohns disease. Over these five years, no matter how much iron was infused into my veins, nor how frequent, my Iron Saturation has stubbornly refused to go into the normal range. Single digit iron saturation values, and a few low double-digit values were the best that could be realised for me, in spite of a very hands on, and highly qualified Hematologist Team, led by Dr. Mary Aplin, and over the past few years, carried out by Ruth Davis, ARNP, at the Department of Veterans Affairs, Lake City, Florida. Guess what happened? Sixteen days after I got out of the hospital, I went to the VA, and had my blood pulled. When the results came back from the lab, not only did I not need an iron treatment, my Iron Saturation Value was 22, in the NORMAL range! Obviously this other problem with the Colitis was causing problems with my blood, over, and above the problems I was having cased by the blood loss from recurring bouts of Crohns Disease.

I thank Almighty God for placing the people at Saint Vincents Hospital, Jacksonville, Florida, in my life, as well as giving them the knowledge, and the skills, to care for the sick. They are His tools for helping people. They use the knowledge God gave them, and He does the healing.  The Hand of God is in all of it.  I am very grateful.

Thanks for stopping by!

mark

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Filed under Crohns Disease, Florida, Health, Jacksonville, Life as a Disabled Veteran, Local, Personal, Spiritual, Veterans Issues

My Disappointing Doctor’s Appointment – How An MD With Terminal Cancer Helped My Perspective

Today I went to the Department of Veterans Affairs Outpatient Clinic,  for my semi-annual physical exam. I had a different doctor because the new primary care doctor assigned me last year quit December 2011 because she did not like the VA system. Pity she quit, she is a brilliant physician, very thorough, and has an excellent bed side manner (she communicates well). I got a bit spoiled after just a few appointments with her, because, as I have said, she is one of the top 5 physicians I have ever seen, in the 25 year history of my disease. For those who must know her name, it is Dr. Marcia O. Miller.

Today I saw a physician who has been given the thankless task of seeing all of her patients due for semi-annual physicals. I looked up his credentials before going in, and he is well trained in several areas of medicine; furthermore he is a Doctor of Osteopathic Medicine (DO), which is a rarity in the VA system. I have had wonderful results with D.O.s in the past, and had my hopes high, for a good visit, with a physician trained a bit differently than the average Medical Doctor (MD). D.O.s take an entirely different approach to medicine. If you ever get a chance, go see one. You will not be disappointed.

I guess I put my hopes a bit too high because the D.O. was really slammed trying to catch up the case load. Certain patients must be seen, at a minimum, every 6 months, by law, so he has an overwhelming task ahead of him. I knew this, and should have been prepared for it; nonetheless, I was not prepared for what I got. All I got was an 8 minute visit with this doctor. I am the type, it takes me a few minutes to warm up to someone, and 8 minutes was not enough time to cover a 25 year history, not even the high lights. He listened to my lungs, and heart, refilled all my routine meds, and I was out the door. Not exactly what I had envisioned, but after several serenity prayers, and a long drive home, I understood.

I was still grappling with it all, and the totality of my problems when I ran across an article about a doctor, 29yrs old, newlywed, who was diagnosed with incurable cancer. Her stories put everything into perspective, and made me thankful for the health I have, compromised as it is. I will let her story speak for itself. Here is the link. I hope you gain something from reading it. It is very worthwhile reading, and not too long.

LINK: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/health/article-2154683/How-having-terminal-cancer-better-doctor.html?ITO=1490

If you want, cruise back by, and let me know what you think about her struggles.

Take Care of Yourself, and Tell Someone You Love Them,

mark

 

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Filed under Health, Life as a Disabled Veteran, Spiritual, Veterans Issues