Old Age hits all of us, some of us are afflicted with injuries from our youth, others of us from injuries inflicted or accidents that happened in the military. I am one of the later, old military injuries and disabilities plaque me daily and nightly 24/7. Yet I don’t complain much, I say nothing about my pain or my injuries, because quiet frankly no one cares or listens anyway.
Currently, I have survived the following list of problems in my life that, no one else really knows about. I started after birth by having 99 seizures in my first 9 months of my life. My mother would run me to the sink and run my head under running cold water to stop them, back then. She was advised itw as the best way to do it by my peditrician at the time in the 1950s. Believe it of not, I had a tiny flap inmy brain that caused these and at nine months old, I fell from a high chair onto my head an dthe seizures stopped. Lucky me right!
I was born with hyper-activity and attention deficiet disorder also. I constantly moved, couldn’t sit still, and never paid attention till I reached my teens practically. I grew out of it all, slowly ya might say, so I never fit in with other kids my own age in school or at home.
As I grew up, I suffered broken wrists, fractured, and a broken collar bone. Yet I survived it all and healed.
I was pretty healthy asa teenager inhigh school, but again my high school days were short lived I was distracted, unable to fit in and hyper-active and not paying attention. I never finished High School, I wasa drop out. I went on a year later to get my GED on my own. By 18 I had been working a few years in factory jobs, it was the early 1970’s and the economy tanked factories shuit down, and companies shut down and moved overseas to save money.
I tried going job to job and it didn’t work for me really I couldn’t keep a job. So I decided one day to join the U.S. Army. Again, I didn’t make it long in the Army at the time due to my hyper-activity and attention, deficiet disorder, and was released on a Trainiee Discharge under Honorable conditions. I have seved about 5 months at the time. I came home and tried to start again.
I then was still unemployed and living in TheYMCA on Unemployment, when I joined the Connecticut Army National GUard in my home town, where I served for the next four years,as a Machine Gunner Scout. I still couild not find a job it wa sthe 1970s, by December 1978, I had to make a decision how to stay alive. So I wandered into a recruiter’s office and joined the U.S. Navy. From December of 1978 to July of 1989 I was U.S. Sailor and a Boiler Technichan. In NOvember of 1979 I married and over time I had two daughters. The first was born in January of 1982. shortly afte her birth, I was on duty aboard a Destroyer, and I ran to do my job, hit a ladder full of lube oil someone had drops coating a metal rung and rode 24 metal steps down it. Result, six herniated discs in my spine three in my neck, three in my lower spine. I would stay in the Navy for the next seven years fighting them, over it and refusing to let them operate.
My battle in staying in the Navy would come to an end in July of 1989, when a Navy surgeon said to me either you let us operate or we have no choice but to discharge you. I refused an dthey finally put me out against my wishes. Any life i had built in the Navy, including my marriage went down the tubes with the discharge, I had no job or way to stay afloat for me and my family. I struggled looking for work no one would hire an ex-boiler technichan injuried for any job. Medical Discharge under Honorable Circumstances, and declared disabled made life tough.
My wife would divorce me in between 1990 and 1992. My home was gone, my immediate family gone and in 1990, I returned home to my home state and watched my stepfather die of cancer. I watched my mother died of cancer one yera and one day after him in 1991. It would be 1993 by the time i began to recover again in anyway.
I lived the poor man’s life, andnever asked for help, I worked peeling potatos and cleaning resturants to eat and get free meals. Unemployments and odd jobs I did.
In 1993 I started my recovery by finding my second wife, and then, getting with The Veteran’s Administration who supplimented me and paid for me to attend Communioty College and get a Associate’s Degree in Hotel Management. My recovery had begun but was far from over for sure. Medical Problems came up PTSD, Back and Neck so in the end even my doing College and earning a 3.7 GPA and Awards was not enough for my survival. I did up my disability Rating with The VA and in the end added Social security Disability years later.
I overcame in my own ways, odd jobs, is all and survived. I helped my second wife out and in the end we joined forces financially, for us both, to survive. We were together seven years by the time we finally married in the year 2000. It is now 2021, so add it up folks, 1993 to 2021, and you get what, 28 years now, for her and I. Not bad, ya ask me.
For years now I have written blogs, stories, poems and even little books. None have sold of course, I am not agrerat writer. But, no real work can I do, due to my conditions of course. I have ended up wearing back braces at times, walking with canes, seeing PTSD Doctors, and I even have survived Lung Cancer, they found in 2013. I went through a long operation, they took a lobe and one third of my right lung out. So, Yes, I am a survivor!
These days, I am now, taking care of my wife, she has her medical problems and needs my help. I care for her, she currently has stage four breast cancer and does immuniotheraphy after she survived chemo theraphy and an operation to remove her lymph nodes under one arm.
In March of 2021, she fell around 3 am in the morning, and hit her head, it caused a brain bleed and I called an ambulance. She would go thru, An Emregency Room. an ICU, a Hopsital room and then be shipped to a Rehab Facility 55 miles away. Then, after three trips to an ED in a Hospital down there she was shipped to a Rehab Facilty down the road from our home to rehab, she has limited use of her right leg and her cognitive functions have not come back fully. She has been home now, since May 5th,2021 and I am her primary care provider.
I spent a fortune in equipment costs to get her home that was needed, for chair lifts, ramps, wheelchair, walker, rolator and more. But she is here and I care for her. I feed her, I give her her pills, I watch her when she walks or goes to the bathroom and attempt to keep her going, in HealthCare coverage, under her Medicare coverage. But, we are both old now, I have my problems which I have not paid any attention to of course, to care for her. How long can I do, it all is a question I have to face, and she does too.
I am not a quailified Nurse or Nurse’s Aid or Doctor, so I do my best to keep her going. I take her to her doctor Appointments for her Cancer and Immunio Theraphy as best I can. I try to help her exercise to get her leg back and her cognitive abilities too, is it working, well so far, she is still here, but for how long time shall tell, as she forgets more, and can walk less, and I get burned out, tired and am in pain myself helping her. It’s a situation few people would want or be able to live through with all that is happening and few understand it at all. I try to encourage and support, but burn out, frustration, sometime creep in and cause difficulties. The fact we are both still here and surviving this well in my book is a miracle and just plain old luck.
We have no real help and only Medicare for her. So, I am sure time will come when all runs out and then what is my question? What do we do when her medicare stops paying, who do we turn to, how do we get help? We are in a catch 22 situation, because over time, years, you build assests up, like the house and cars,and stocks and savings and checking.
Then when you reach out for Medicaid, your told you can’t get it for her we have too many assests, and they won’t quailfy her for it. They want us to spend all we have and come down to no more then 16 hundred bucks between us. That’s crazy, so it is a catch 22 situation here. So what do we do, next?
I need to call an Attorney who handles Ederly Care and ederly Patients and find out how to protect what we have, and still get her help. Thats next for me to try to do, I can only hope, there is someway, to save all we saved and earned and did over the past 28 years together. So, who do I get help through to save what we have and help pay for her cost and care, where is help?