Monday, April 29, 2013
Before I dig into this issue, I just want to share this post I found, because it is in formulating a comment to it that today's topic actually came to mind. Most of you have probably seen it, but it's excellent, and a good, comprehensive piece to bring with you to any doctor's appointment. So don't let the title throw you, and here's the url:
Something I didn't note below is this: Monsanto LOST a lawsuit over this issue. They LOST. Let me say this one more time. THE MOST POWERFUL CHEMICAL (followed by countless etc.'s including Blackwater, the Bush/Cheney Iraq and Afghanistan war profiteering corporation which had to change its name to Xe amid rape and murder allegations --> convictions) ...America's biggest, baddest corporation LOST hundreds of millions of dollars to the people of tiny little Anniston, Alabama over the very same issue WE have with the VA! THAT is called SETTING A PRECEDENT! In legal terms, that is HUMUNGO --which I realize isn't a word, but it should be!
Seriously, Monsanto's loss means the FACTS are SO INDISPUTABLE and the PHYSICAL DAMAGES TO HUMANS SO BEYOND QUESTION that absolutely ZERO chance exists that those chemicals are not toxic to human beings who come into contact with them, because trust me, if anyone can afford the best lawyers on the planet, it is Monsanto, and they fought this hard, bitterly and for years.
Yet still they lost.
So any doctor who tries to tell you that your auto-immune disease, arthritis, heart/circulatory disease or your child's unusual birth defect is just a product of your lifestyle, you tell that doctor, "Only if you consider choosing to SERVE MY COUNTRY to be a lifestyle choice."
We WERE poisoned, it is indisputable fact, Monsanto has already lost its case against the "small folk" of Anniston, Alabama, and only one thing is keeping the VA from compensating and caring for active duty and military vets who were also poisoned, who were exposed to far MORE than the good people of Anniston (because we also had the experimental crap the military cooked up and tested all over the base as well as that slight matter of ionized uranium to add to the "McClellan Cocktail" Uncle Sam mixed up and served us).
Yum yum. "Pardon me, dear, but you're looking a little green around your new orange gills, or is that just because you're glowing in the dark?"
Seriously, no one wants to be The One who opens up this can of worms at the VA because it's going to cost Uncle Sam brownie points with his contractor buddies who would far rather he continue spending barrels of cash on their no bid contracts and off shore excursions with their Military Industrial Complex BFF's. Quite literally, no one wants to be Debbie Downer and be the person who pulls the plug on the 24/7/365 big brass turned big wig pool party just because a bunch of (mostly) former enlisted people are inconveniently sick and dying. "Isn't that what we pay them practically minimum wage to do? ...now where's my $5K/night call gi...I mean escort? We have some negotiating to do."
And that is what this is really all about. No one "up top" wants the good times to end. They have become so corrupt that our pain and that of our children means less than nothing to them. They will do anything to keep their own lavish lifestyles protected. Some even figure they've earned it! Well, we have earned our health care and compensation too, and our children, innocent of even the decision to volunteer to join the military in the first place, certainly deserve medical care more than these fat cats deserve to keep their tee times with Halliburton and KB&R!
The genetic damage passed on to our children has already been well documented in Anniston vs Monsanto, and unlike Monsanto, which is getting off exceedingly easy with a few hundred million dollars, the VA is looking at full compensation and care for generations of people affected by the McClellan Cocktail. So they are racing around like rabbits trying to maintain the media and medical literature blackout on this thing.
It quite literally reminds me of the time a huge storm came out of nowhere in the midst of a huge military family and friends Memorial Day camp-out at Kentucky Lake, which I'd attended while stationed at Fort Knox. With winds gusting at least to 60-70 mph ahead of the storm it was decided one gigantic tent in a relatively safe spot was the best place for everyone to shelter. The roads out of the area were just logging trails with trees close on either side and many had come on motorcycles, so leaving was not an option.
As the full force of the storm hit, the wind and debris was ripping this gigantic tent to shreds, and once the sides started to lift people where scooting around like crazy inside the thing trying to keep first one spot then another tacked down from inside so the wind wouldn't launch us Wizard of Oz style into the air. As soon as one spot would get tacked back down another spot would start blowing and some brave butt would plant itself there, not knowing what was going to hit next from outside, and on and on it went for what seemed like hours. As it turned out we had just survived a tornado, well actually a water spout from across the man-made lake, but only barely. If that wind had gone on even five more minutes I don't think we'd have made it.
That's where the VA is right now with us. The wind is whistling around them and getting louder and louder and they're scrambling to keep everything tacked down--business as usual. Eventually they're not going to be able to keep the cover-up going. WE are the wind, and we can't let up; we just have to last those few more minutes than they can scramble--then WE WIN! It's going to be a war of wills and they are counting on us being too sick and too tired to fight, but we volunteered to serve this nation and more importantly to look out for each other. That does NOT end when we take off the uniform. That doesn't end EVER!
So for today some suggestions for dealing with your doctor.
One of the MAIN issues you're going to run into with your doctors (as far as how they are taught to evaluate people) is that you have "too many complaints". They are going to assume it's "just depression" because the government (VA) has done such a great smear (misinformation) job on the McClellan issue in the media, including "reputable" or "mainstream" internet sources. They've already got fake vets posting on many of the more popular boards talking about how they've lived around Anniston "forever" and no one's sick, etc. Of course that is total crap. People are told not to chew gum outside or have private gardens because of the chemicals in the soil. They are told to use air conditioners rather than having their windows open even on cool nights because the dust around the area is still so toxic. Swimming anywhere in the area is out of the question and entire areas have been paved over because they could not be reclaimed. Many of the chemicals live inside plants, which, when they decay, turn to dust, and the process of spreading the chemicals continues in a cycle. It's endless. The rates of miscarriage, still birth and major deformity are far higher than the national average. All this is covered in the link at the top of the post, which in turn has links to the studies involved, which may or may not get your doctors' attention. Good luck.
Then there's pain.
Gone are the good old days when a person could get pain medication without having damage done to her/his body. Now pain is an INDUSTRY, and if you want someone to write you a prescription for pain, you will damned well suffer for it (as if you're not already suffering enough...).
Medical "Professionals" do this to NO other group of patients. We do not make diabetics have treatments done to their pancreas before they get insulin, or make heart patients have open heart surgery before they get Digoxin. We don't force people to undergo ECT (shock therapy) before providing any of the obscenely vast array of highly profitable and ridiculously redundant psycho-active medications on the market, some of which purport to "cure" pain, but DO NOT. That is a LIE...an out and out LIE, and a dangerous one at that! Doctors don't even fully understand the exact mechanism of action of most antidepressants, and to say any of them cure pain is just plain irresponsible. The only reason those ads get away with saying it on TV is that no one can prove that it's not true either, plus a LOT of money changes hands. The Pharmaceutical Industry spends more money on lobbying than on all other aspects of their business combined, including executive salaries and research and development, and much of that lobby money goes to the FDA! ...and I'm digressing.
Doctors are busy (seeing as many patients as possible in order to make as much money as possible) and most exist in a rut and are inherently lazy...more interested in their golf game than your health. Dr. House, jerk that he is, does not exist except in a very few teaching hospitals, which is the kind of hospital you want ...no, need to go to if you have any real hope of getting real help for what ails you. This applies to anyone with complex health issues, but most especially for women and absolutely for McClellan vets!
If it's easier for docs to label you as depressed, a malingerer or malcontent, or "a woman of a certain age having a rough time adjusting to her change of life" (remember, McClellan was the W.A.C. training facility for much of the time the poisoning was going on) they will fall back on those diagnoses rather than looking any deeper into the issue, even if you spoon feed the McClellan/Monsanto facts to them complete with references! How do I know this? I am part of that corrupt medical system, I am ashamed to say, and I know that 99% of doctors given facts and printed literature and links will not ever bother to read the information, much less look up the links before hitting all together different kind of links.
They will complete your appointment, dictate their pre-conceived notions about you into the chart (especially if a previous doctor has given you the "depression" label--that one pretty much insures you will never have a valid health concern taken seriously again as long as you live). This new "confirmation" of "depression" will follow you around to every doctor you see from that point forward, thus tainting every OTHER doctor's opinion about you, and all the information you provided will go in the circular file. This is why you DEMAND that the information you have collected be included in your chart along with a brief letter explaining it in context to your health (it is your legal right and prevents him from tossing it away). Then do not let the appointment end until you make him/her read the information and discuss it WITH you DURING your appointment. And don't be bullied or rushed. You are paying that doctor for a service. GET WHAT YOU ARE PAYING FOR! If he/she is over-booking appointments, that's not your problem. You deserve decent care. A doctor cannot walk out on a patient "in need." That is law.
So, say the worst happens and you have failed to get through to your doctor. Then do this:
When faced with a lunk-head doctor who will not listen to reason, make a written request to that doctor's clinic, attn: Medical Director, and request that his/her findings NOT be included as part of your medical record. That is also your right. You may or may not receive a follow-up phone call, but they can't take any kind of action against you for a reasonable request or difference of opinion. Explain that you felt you were not taken seriously and go into detail. Maintain a respectful and professional tone, but be firm in stating that you did not see eye to eye and that you disagree strongly enough that you do not want that faulty visit to influence your future medical care. Then find a different doctor, as noted later below, preferably from a different "system" if your insurance allows. When possible always choose PPO insurance/Medicare if you have that, because you have far more control and choice over variety of doctors, specialists and hospitals. HMO's stick you in ONE system and you pay a huge penalty if you leave that system, and they also really rush their doctors and HATE to use specialists and provide diagnostics, all of which cost them money! It's a BAD route to take unless you're 18 and healthy as a horse and want to take the cheapest way out that is still at least literally considered insurance. PPO is the way to go! (That's the best way to remember it).
What else can you do when faced/stuck with an obstinate doctor? 1. DEMAND TESTS! I recommend at the very least a Urinalysis, BUN, Creatinine, CA 125 (checks for cancer) CBC/diff, Colonoscopy if over 40 for McClellan vets, full body skin exam for cancer, mammogram, Pap if you still have a cervix, baseline MRI and one from neck to "tailbone", bone density scan, cardiac stress test, ECG, blood pressure on all four extremities, tilt test, balance and grip tests, complete eye exam (including glaucoma) and I'm sure I've forgotten something because I'm tired. If you are a female vet, have your children checked for Spina Bifida Occulta, especially if they have a dark mole and/or patch of hair at the small of their back or mention back pain at an early age or ever say they have leg pain or numbness.
Most of you will very likely show osteo (bone) arthritis or other bone abnormalities by the time you're feeling symptoms. Fibromyalgia, MS, CFIDS and Lupus (often hard to tell apart and often overlapping, are common with McClellan vets, along with other autoimmune diseases like diabetes). *Note--just because your sedimentation rate isn't off doesn't mean you don't have Lupus. A LOT of doctors get that wrong.*
Even though none of us is "well" after leaving that place, we are all so used to never feeling as well as we did the day we set foot an that contaminated soil--we have coped with it for long we have a adopted a different sense of what normal is. Humans are remarkably adaptable, but if you really THINK about it, I'll bet you felt better the day you got there than the day you left, even though Basic is supposed to make you feel strong. Am I right? We were not only poisoned and then left to our own devices to die, utterly abandoned by the government that damaged us and our offspring. We were robbed of EVER reaching the true prime of our lives. That makes me indescribably angry. But to move on, on most testing, our bodies will show advanced degeneration for our ages, even if we look young for our age on the outside.
Personally, I kept going like the Energizer Bunny until an anesthesia error brought me low, and from that point on it was like my body's last insult. I couldn't "fake it 'til I felt it" anymore. I was just done. It was that fast.
One day I was Superwoman, doing three miles or so and a Tao Bo routine between 12 hour shifts at the hospital at least 5 times a week along with being a divorced mom and making it all work just fine and then BAM! I was just....done. Couldn't even walk around the block without nearly passing out. Work was out of the question because my brain forgot how to make the right words half the time. Thankfully I've made some new pathways and can communicate fairly well many days, but I'm still not "me".
Someone once said, "It's like the Army wanted to make a Super Soldier, shot us up with something, and then when it timed out we just suddenly felt everything we never felt in all the time prior. I say that only half joking, actually. How many of you recall getting far more injections/immunizations than were listed on your little booklet? Anyone else get in major trouble, as in drop and give me 40, for simply mentioning it out loud to a friend when not even in formation or anything? Anyone else get super sick afterward? I mean hell, if they can poison us and not tell us, what's to keep them from experimenting on us outright? They did it with the Anthrax Vaccine on the way over to Iraq for thousands of squids and Marines, probably soldiers and airmen too."
I laughed. I'm not laughing so much now...
Back to business: Be persistent. If your small town doctor isn't willing to listen to you, go to a major city University Hospital or a large, well respected facility to have what is physically wrong with you DOCUMENTED, and make sure you get a copy of all films and reports to keep with you. THIS IS YOUR INFORMATION and they can not deny it to you. I cannot over emphasize how important this is, because the other thing you do not want to do is get involved in any of that computerization of your medical records where you are allegedly made more safe because your medical history is made available in an instant.
Wear an allergy bracelet or medic-alert necklace or get a DNR tat if you don't want heroic measures done, but ***DO NOT get your PRIVATE information computerized. If the system gets hacked, and who better to do THAT than Uncle Sam, your whole case against the VA could disappear in an instant.*** Besides, there's just no way to guarantee your privacy or protect yourself from dip-wad doctors once something's in a computer! Sorry trees, but medical information belongs in files.
Write down all your physical symptoms and their date of onset because chances are the military has "lost" your medical records along with any and all records of any sick calls that may have been related to skin rashes or suspiciously severe second degree (blistering) sunburns that happened exceedingly quickly during or within a short time after leaving Fort McClellan. These are the first signs of M&M (Monsanto & McClellan) poisoning. (I got a blistering sunburn in under fifteen minutes at around 0800 on a Saturday morning and only recently learned that extreme sunburns are a very common early stage reaction to Monsanto's little gift to us at Fort McClellan).
Also try to remember repeated sick calls for headaches, nausea, dizziness, skin rashes and absolutely for miscarriages too, and any and all other health issues suffered while in service. (I have read something recently about hysterectomies possibly becoming presumptive for PCB exposure, even for McClellan vets, so women, if you had an early in life hysterectomy, DO get in touch with DAV, Disabled American Veterans, and see if they can help you get some benefits for that).
Even if health issues seem nonsensical to you, they could mean something BIG regarding chemical/bio weapon exposure. My medical records were "somehow misplaced during filing" and I have heard that happened to many other McClellan vets too. My guess is it happened to ALL of us who had significant health issues that pointed to Monsanto like a brilliant neon orange arrow!
Best wishes everyone, and KEEP MAKING NOISE! We want to huff and puff until we blow that tent and the greedy old bastards at the VA sky high--nonviolently of course. They have to be healthy to help us. : )