money is nothing!


my kind of design

Originally uploaded by jayfherron

The sun came up today…it reminded me of the old monk (I think he was a Hari Krishna guy-an Oriental looking chap in gowns) I met one night long ago-he made remarks about my owning five acres saying “you own nothing!” and I kept arguing I had a deed for the five acres…he kept insisting that I had nothing-that I owned nothing.

A while later-that night-after the debate of ‘ownership’ I stepped into the darkness to relieve myself from the beers that collected in my kidneys-and I was looking up into the stars…the amazing sky so full of them. A voice came up from behind saying “now those you own”!

The wisdom in what he was saying took many years to come to fully understand. His point was no matter where you stand in any place in the world-in freedom,or in prison…the sky is there-never changes-it is there just like clock work. No one can take that away from you. Land? You can loose it-foreclosures or back taxes or even by growing weed on it. Yes the old wise monk was correct-we own nothing.

Yesterday I received a call-I am still stunned…I will be stunned for several more days-if not forever.

I received a call telling me that a re-evaluation I attended as required by the Veterans Administration that the doctor that met with me for ONE HOUR was able to determine that my Post Traumatic Stress Disorder has improved…remarkably!

I will soon see an end to disability checks!

I never asked for this!! The money!! Well…in a manner of speaking, yes! But…in the long run of it all-no! What money?? For what??

My therapist at the Gainesville Florida VA hospital told me that I should appeal for VA disability for PTSD. Her opinion was that I am classic PTSD.

I took her advice-believing what she said about an award would be empowering and validating. It has been nothing but a form of torture…to be honest.

Now…a few years ago-I got a letter from the VA hospital telling me that an MRI I had done of my head (because of light blindness in my left eye) had shown positive for an aneurism. I was scheduled for a consultation…there the doctor made it sound like I broke in the MRI unit and somehow snapped this picture and punctured a hole in it with a pin. End of consult….still curious about the aneurism,wondering about the flashing light in my eye.

A couple of years now have gone by since,but-I showed up to a regular scheduled weekly appointment with myMST-PTSD therapist. I was told to go home by the clinic director…three weeks in a row-those three weeks followed by three months of silence! I swear-I thought the woman had killed herself from hearing the grief of so many others. Instead-she a veteran a favor-and because it backfired on her-we clients paid the price! Mental health patients!

A year and a half ago I fell in my living room with my body screaming in pain. I thought it would soon stop-but did not to the point I dialed 911. I was in misery from a pain that has persisted in my body now for 9 or 10 years-this day it was more than I could take. 911 carried me to the ER at the VA. My son followed the rescue unit-his comment as the ER staff put me out on the curb was “Dad…they treated you like a convict” (he should know-as a deputy he sometimes transports convicts to the ER).

Later that same night the pain was once again too intense-and I dialed my son and he dialed 911. The EMT team saw it was me and said “Mister…you don’t want us to take you back to the VA-they won’t take you further past the waiting room,and you will wait there all night”!! So-they took me to a real hospital. In their ER they saw the pain-and treated that first off. Then they took me for some body scans (are they called CT’s?) and I was told that I have a large cyst on one of my kidneys.

That paperwork got sent to the VA. One and one half years ago. There has NEVER been any consultation about my kidney-not once! I remain ill from this-I was offered a shot that would put me in a zone for three months-to ease the pain and nausea. It is best to die! Masking the pain-with pharmacy drugs?. No answer for the problem. I am still sick and suffer pain.

This January I arrive at my scheduled appointment with my new MST therapist at the VA. With me was Lynn J. and Annie O.,a team of photo-journalist who are recording parts of my life as an MST survivor who struggles with PTSD. The reception was cool and cordual but the following appointment I was told not to return! It was the last time I have set foot in the VA.

I pay 100 dollars each month for ‘Medicare’! I receive Social Security because of a stroke that disabled my ability to drive trucks long distance (my only real skill-and my choice of life) and have tried unsuccessfully to use it in this area. I need a referal…that must come from my pyhsician, mine being the VA. They don’t refer patients-I was told. The advice given was to have myself transported to a hospital ER (hospital of my choice) and they have to see me-and have to accept my Medicare. The hundred bucks are useless.

That is unacceptable-just as much as everything else I’ve said about the ‘medical care’ at the VA.

I NEVER asked for money! It was suggested to me by my VA therapist…”go do this-it will validate you” is the closest I can come to the way it was said!

I go to the DVA officer in Levy County (FL) and tell the man about having been raped! He responds by saying it was hard to believe homosexuals needed a reason to rape each other…he was in disbelief that attackers weren’t black. He was trying to make jokes about my being a victim-there were none of them that were funny.

I decide to flee the aid of the DVA and  hire my own attorney….months after I receive a letter from the Veterans Administration saying “your attorney is not in our list of approved attorneys” thus your case is void! I still have that letter-a US citizen being told he cannot provide his own legal representation?

I NEVER asked for this-I was told to pursue a disability claim from the VA for PTSD….I was told (and this after about two years of determination) that I was classic PTSD and that a disability claim would not improve my life-but would serve as validation!

Validation?

I don’t get it?

A few weeks ago I got some forms from Social Security-they seem to think I also have improved from my stroke and wondered why I havent shown up on the records as far as my medical care is concerned?? Well…it has to be because the VA has literally blocked me from ALL directions.

I might lose that source of survival too…and just as much as the VA disability – Social Security is not a large amount of money…but it is all I have. I cannot return to driving trucks ever again. But THANKS to the VA a man with a blind left eye (who is afraid of night driving-the flashing light in my left eye spooks me) that might be my next step-but I wouldn’t make it out the driveway. I’m not able to pass a DOT physical-so…not to worry!

Why do I thank the VA?…because there has been ZERO medical care for me from there! Nothing!! I look back-and almost as far as I can see….nothing!

Well-I did have the ‘fake’ MRI….and still wonder about the aneurism?

So…back to Janurary and the re-evaluation and the doctor who interviewed me. He did not like me from the beginning…I requested the lights be toned down (light blindness) and the questioning was one step-generic,and permitted no room for a deep response-mostly just ‘yes’ or ‘no’ answers! My attorney called me yesterday (the new one-approved by the VA) and told me the news…they said your PTSD has improved and you are about to be denied further disability.

ONE HOUR! My life of shit for 40 years was judged by a man who resented that I insisted the lights be dimmed…I am LIGHT BLIND!!

I cannot figure it out….except I cannot shake the memory of that old monk-you never own something they can take away from you!

Ahh,the sun came up today…that belongs to me!

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