Duck Tape

15 Mar

In 2002, I was injured in the army.  I have progressive degenerative disk disease.  Basically, there is a crush disk in my neck that presses on a central nerve.  So I suffer from constant pain that gets worse over time (and I refuse to take narcotics because addiction), while also, sometimes parts of my body, such as my hands, my legs, my neck, just stop working for a moment.  So sometimes I just fall.  Sometimes coffee mugs just slip out of my hands, which forces me to have to hold drinks with two hands like a toddler.  And sometimes I have to sit with my head resting against something in order to keep my neck propped up.

So I get a disability from the VA for this injury, a whopping $273 a month.  I can’t work.  I do lots of volunteer work that actually uses my gifts and skills and education, but nobody seems to want to pay me for any of that.  So the only people who will hire me is for work that I can’t physically perform.  I can’t stand for very long periods of time.  And I also can’t sit for long periods of time.  By long periods of time, I mean 10 – 20 minutes.

So I’m forced to stay on disability because nobody will hire me for stuff I can do and I can’t physically stand the work I could be hired for.

This past month I finally got the VA, after 17 years, to send me to a specialist.  I actually had to not pay my rent because the VA made me pay for getting seen regarding an injury that was service connected.  Because fuck me.

And then the neurosurgeon, after seeing me, and reviewing my MRI and past history (and likely reviewing that I’m poor and have poor person’s insurance), decided that yes, my condition will continue to get worse.  The pain will get worse, and my body will continue to stop functioning, until I eventually become paralyzed.  And he told me that he’s not going to do anything to help me.  He said that there’s nothing that can be done.

So I used my rent money on medical care that resulted in nothing.  And maybe I’ll end up homeless now.

So I’m pretty devastated over hearing the professional opinion that there’s no hope.  Someone suggested I get a second opinion.  But I can’t afford a second opinion.  Let’s face it, if I had money, the first opinion would have been different.

On another note, my son turns 18 on Sunday.  He’s graduating from high school in June.  He lives out of state.  I don’t have the money to see him graduate, and it’s breaking my heart.  I don’t have the money because I wasted money on trying to not be in pain and to have a body that doesn’t fail me.

Since leaving the army 17 years ago, I’ve dealt with alcoholism, bi-polar disorder, and homelessness.  I’ve worked so hard to recover.   And despite all that hard work, I feel I’ve achieved so little, and now what little I’ve achieved as a foundation is now crumbling beneath me, and I’m barely keeping it together with duck tape.

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2 Responses to “Duck Tape”

  1. Robert E. Wronski, Jr. March 15, 2019 at 10:05 pm #

    Reblogged this on Robert E. Wronski, Jr..

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  1. Duck Tape | Robert E. Wronski, Jr. - March 15, 2019

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