Friday, September 14, 2007

Dumpling Toxicity

Somedays it's hard not to say what you think. It seems more and more people I see are disabled for one reason or another. When I ask them why they are disabled, I am often puzzled. You can't work, but you can drive and do other things but the government is paying for it? Usually, the diagnosis is fibromyalgia or low back pain but the ones that really get me are those that are disabled because of obesity. They will not say "I am disabed because I'm obese", rather they say that it is because of their knees, hips, back pain etc. They then get stickers that lets them park closer to the restraunts.

Then I see patients who are dying of cancer or on chemo who can't get disability. It just doesn't make sense.


Chrysalis Angel said...

I hear that. I remember how I would have to walk some distance from the parking to radiology oncology and I would feel so tired and winded, but I couldn't use the other spaces.

SeaSpray said...

Good Morning Throckmorton!

Interesting post!

"It seems more and more people I see are disabled for one reason or another." Why do you think that is? Obesity epidemic in this country that we always hear about?

Surely there are disabled people with copd/emphysema etc. from smoking.

I have seen what you are talking about and wondered myself. Sometimes these people get caught.

I have a friend who I worked with at the hospital for oh I don't know, maybe 15 or 16 years. She then went to work for a local surgeon and then on disability.

She has ALWAYS had a very strong work ethic.

She has a chronic asthma, at work always with the inhaler and always a positive attitude. She always figured what better place to work if she had an asthma attack. :)

She ended up getting diagnosed with lungs the age of a 100 year old woman (she's 5oish, not sure actually I think a bit older not much) So she did get disability.
Her drug of choice is SHOPPING and she is in there with the best of them. Her daughter decorates the Macy's windows in NYC and to quote my friend she goes into the city with her backpack and shops in the bowels of the store. I shopped with her at the local mall and she shot up a broken escalator toward a sale like she didn't have a care in the world. Me? With my hx of 2 meniscal repairs opted to meet her in another store. (I am fine but I also am guarded-usually and don't put unnecessary stress on my knees. Ha except for this past summer when I decided to put on a pair of 3 inch espadrilles on because they were cute-not a wise decision, but I am fine now. But I digress)

My friend is always dressed well, does her makeup beautifully, hair and jewelery - always looks good. She has said people look at her sometimes and she can tell that they wonder why she is on disability.

She is a trooper. She NEVER complains and jokes that she won't live into her old age and she wants to enjoy every moment she has. (I HATE when she says that-the power in words thing) I have seen her come into the ED in a serious way and then admitted. The machine and medicine didn't work and if she didn't make it to the hospital she would have died. Her attitude fools people. And after those big shopping days she doesn't get dressed the next day and is in bed for the next couple until she feels better. So there is a trade off for her.

I am happy to say that she is working for her pcp now and still on disability. She does minimal hours a couple of days a week and fills in when they call her. (I think she is very blessed to be working for her doc as not all docs are willing to hire their pts and I know she always does her best but have no doubt she gives it extra effort. I think he is really sweet to have hired her too and I know he is a good man that cares about her as an employee and her doc)

What better place to work? He knows everything about her med hx and he is right around the corner from the hospital.

She met him 20 years ago when we started working at the hospital, has always adored him and is just thrilled to be working for him and of course with her strong work ethic does a good job.

I recently teased her and said that she had a crush on him and she blurted out (prednisone makes her talk fast), "That's o.k., so does_ _ _ _ _!" Her husband! I laughed because I know that is true! Their whole family has gone to this doc for 21 yrs now.

Actually, the doc is very private about his home life (says a few things) but they have this excellent and fun working relationship and I believe they are truly friends. Also, her husband is a teacher and a builder and he has done work for the doc too.

So, perhaps sometimes there are people that ARE disabled that have "good" days and we just aren't seeing the bad days?

AND then there are the dishonest ones.

You know how you hear about people abusing the MDCD/welfare system when they don't need it? (Some do though)Well, the criteria for qualifying for that money, etc. is that they have to be at poverty level to get those checks and benefits. I never understood why they would be willing to live at such a low level to get the free money -they are sacrificing so much that they could be enjoying. Sometimes, I think it is generational and all that they know, particularly in the inner cities. (Off topic a bit.)

Son needs the computer for homework and I am off to the races or something like that. :)

I may come back to address the "Dumpling Toxicity".

SeaSpray said...

Angel-I am so sorry that you had to go through all that awful stuff. No doubt you are another lady with a positive attitude and a blessing to the medical personnel you meet. :)

SeaSpray said...

I agree with you regarding the inequity of it all when it comes to deciding who qualifies for disability. It seems some people fall through the cracks who should not.

I know someone who was always hard working and volunteered his time in the local FD too. When he was 27 he had his 1st seizure.

Long story short in his 30's he lost his job and his license along with his marriage because epilepsy had progressed so much. They diagnosed it as complex mal (not sure of spelling)and between that and the heavy meds it has taken its toll. He went to find out about getting disability and was denied. he lived so meagerly. A nun who is active in the community befriended him and got his case reevaluated. Guess what? No brainer! He qualified! Oh and they later determined that the epilepsy was caused by a head injury that happened maybe at birth or elsewhere. He was slammed in the head by a swinging ladder while helping to put out a fire with the FD, but never thought anything of it at the time.

Maybe some of these people do qualify but were erroneously denied because someone didn't care or know better.

But, I hear you-there is fraud out there too.

One thing I have learned for certain since I have been off from work is that you have to be vigilant with insurance companies because they DO make mistakes and there are all kinds of reasons for that. (The independent urologist has discussed this on his blog)I think with ins companies it is the nature of their business in conjunction with the human factor.

Toxic dumpling! That's funny and ...O-O-O-U-C-H!

Now are you saying toxic because fat holds a lot of toxins? Or toxic because as you pointed out because of the other physical issues?

I read a while back that where on the coroner's report it states that the person died of a MI,DM,CVA,CA, etc., etc., etc. that often the culprit behind it is obesity.That is not verbatim but my take on the article. Of course thin people get that stuff too.

I know people that have had the intestinal bypass done and so they lose huge amounts of weight and they all say they don't have joint pain,htn or diabetes anymore.

I was really stubborn about going to the ortho doc for an eval the 1st time I injured my meniscus. I thought of it as a knee injury that would get better. I lived on I-buprofen for a YEAR! I worked with docs/nurses that said to get it checked. Finally I could hardly walk or do my job and so I did.

So...I do know what it is like to walk in pain and I remember looking at those parking spots and thinking even if I did qualify for a sticker...I would never want to use it. A pride thing I guess.

BTW-that ortho doc took me into SDS (got home and was so sick thanks to the anesthesia)and the next day I woke up practically singing the sound of music. I didn't have to but went to work on crutches the next day to attend an important meeting and the next day threw the crutches away and felt so good and did so much over the next two days that I strained the knee but ended up o.k.
(I injured myself because I tripped on a toy (thank you Christopher)fell down one step landing on the hard tile, then sliding across the floor and hitting my head into the closet door! Ouch! If I had witnessed that...I would have laughed and then I would have gotten compassionate. What a site THAT must've been!)

They might not make the connection to their condition and obesity or they are in denial or don't care. Or...maybe (not usually) something wrong with their system.

I just erased 3 lengthy paragraphs as I don't want to hijack your blog anymore than I already have. ;)

SnowLite said...

I thought about "Dumpling Toxicity" while food shopping today. :)

SeaSpray said...

Hi Throckmorton!-One last thing - my friend on disability has the lungs of a 117 yr old woman not a 100 yr old woman.

Makes me want to inhale a deep breath of air just thinking about her difficulty breathing. I usually do!

SeaSpray said...

My apologies for the repetition in telling you about my asthmatic friend as I already did in response to your Humble Pie post. Different story though.

SeaSpray said...

THROCKMORTON-N-N-N...???? Come out..come out....where ever you a-r-r-r-e...?

Sorry-couldn't know... it's the name. ;)

I'm guessing your stuck in the quagmire of the medical-legal battlefield,saving the civilians, protecting the troops, while avoiding mines and identifying saboteurs.

I can see you have a full plate! ;)