Tuesday, January 27, 2009

More Short Updates


The winter storm is worse than I thought and is forecast to continue until after mid-day tomorrow.

The storm has knocked the power at my mother’s condo and Mom is trapped in her lift chair. The battery emergency to lower the chair isn't working. She telephoned my sister for help, but Debbie is snowed in and can't get out. I have suggested that she telephone 911 immediately because her heat is electric and it will become very cold in her condo quite soon.

I’ve heard from others: one old buddy had to literally crawl across the ice on his porch to get into his house; Tasha kept sliding coming up the hill below my house and had to make a 2 mile detour to get here this morning.

So it goes with winter storms!

There is quite a bit that I want to write today, but I really lack the energy. So, I’ll limit this post to a few updates.

Regarding my leg

  • It’s not any better. I confirmed this morning (while trying to enter the bathtub to shower) that I can’t lift my right leg more than a couple of inches off the floor with out encountering searing pain.


  •  I worked out the problem of transportation arrangements for my VA appointments by having both rescheduled to March. (Both were for recertification of services and the certifications have been extended through the end of March).


  • I am napping quite a bit, possibly because of the medication for my leg. That’s probably good for the healing.


Regarding the Recession:

The VA telephoned me this morning and informed me that their authorization for home care is reduced immediately from 12 hours a week to nine hours a week due to “budget constraints.” The folks who employ Tasha telephoned me a bit later and confirmed Tasha’s new schedule. They said that all of their VA clients have been had their services cut back by VA.


Regarding the weather:

 We are supposedly in the midst of a “major winter storm” that will last through tomorrow. At present there is a couple inches on snow on the ground, which does not make for a happy Alex!

This photo is from January 21st. Less snow than today, but Alex zipped across what snow there was.


  1. That's annoying reducing your hours of care available. I presume the orginal number of hours was awarded to you as being "essential"

  2. Darwen Reporter: You’re right. The four hours was the minimum the evaluation said I need. That was 18 months ago and my health has declined since then.

  3. Nick, I am sorry to hear that the VA has cut back your home heatlh care. I feel that they should give everything to anyone that is a vetran, but they are the first to loose benefits.

    I pray that your leg heals and that you will be free of pain soon. I am glad that you have a ride to the VA hospital. I would challenge any congressman/woman to live on what retired/disabled folks live on. That's why they are the fat cats and take care of themselves first with a full benefit of perks. Will theirs be cut? Of course not!

    I am happy to see Alex is enjoying the little bit of time outside. We are suppose to get some ice on our roads which BTW, in Texas will create total havoc!

    We survived our move, but I am up to my ears in boxes, so I better close and start unpacking more boxes.

    Blessings friend.

  4. I hate it when fatcats are still getting big bonuses and are mad when we want to know how they're spending OUR money. Then a deserving vet, such as you, is denied meager services that just barely keep you going. Good luck with your leg and everything.

  5. It amazes me how "need" is defined. Is there anything that isn't impacted by the dollar??? I "get" that, even though I will never understand it, from my career as a Social Worker and my late husband's challenges with the VA system.

    I'm sorry to hear that your services are further limited, but you will, of course, figure it out. Do you have a choice?

    Do you wonder what would happen to the fat cats if they had to rely on these systems as the rest of us do?

  6. BTW, I'm keeping you in my prayers on the leg and all the rest, too. :)

  7. It makes me so mad when services are cut to the people that need them most! Is there nothing you can do/no-one you can appeal to about the cuts?

    I'm sending you oodles of Reiki for your leg Nick, I hope you see some improvement soon. xx

  8. All the best with your leg, Nick! Sending healing vibes from The Netherlands!

  9. Finding Pam: Thank you. I find it bizarre that just when I need the homecare service more than ever, it is cut back by 25%. Of course, I have no data on the other VA clients and what reduction in services means to them. I suspect that others are in more need than I.

    Poor Alex! He’s beside me right now, sitting on the desk, alternatively gazing out the window at the snow and munching kitty cat treats.

    I’m glad to here that your move is over. I hope you’re better at emptying boxes than I. There are still books boxed here from my move 8 years ago!

    Squirl: Thank you. I suppose, in our economic/politics system the fat cats will always do very well—at the expense of the rest of us, of course.

    Lynilu : Thank you. I practiced social work for 12 years after obtaining my M.S.S.W. The majority of that time was as a protective services supervisor. I don’t believe that I would have survived being an income maintenance worker: my definition of “need” is much more liberal than the government’s definition.

    Yes, I’ll figure out something. I’m fairly good a problem solving—or I used to be before breathing and mobility problems slowed me down so much.

  10. Akelamalu : Thank you. Of course, I am checking into the possibility of appealing the action. However, I know too well how the game is played. The “needs assessment” I went through on the telephone before the VA person told me that the services were to be cut (effective tomorrow) was simply a justification of a decision already made.

    Tink: Thank you. I once briefly—too briefly—visited The Netherlands when I was an U.S. army officer almost 40 years ago. I would so like to make another visit!

  11. sorry that the Va is being such a pain the the you know where.

  12. Mike Golch: Thank you. I suppose, considering the economic conditions, I am lucky that my services were only cut by 25%.

  13. Lots going on there, Reverend Nick. We're completely snowed in here. I know you can handle the stuff with the VA. I've seen you deal with much worse things. I hope your mom is OK and that your leg gets OK soon.

  14. I am praying for your Mother and your family and that you will all be safe and warm. Blessings.

  15. Thinking of you and your mom during this cold, snowy weather and these harsh health-care reductions.

    Much healing, much peace, and much warmth to you.

  16. My goodness, Nick, I hope your mom is okay and that she did phone the emergency services.

    I think it's shocking that the govt have cut back on a social service the way they have. In a recession that's when people need a service more than ever. The VA is providing a necessary service to people such as yourself and you shouldn't have to suffer because of politians' and corporate greed, which is what has brought about this recession in the first place.

    I am so angry on your behalf and wish I was closer to do something about it (what, I don't know at this stage, but I'd think of something).

    Take care, Nick, and tell Alex not to grumble. At least he has a warm home.

  17. Hopefully that cut back is only temporary.

  18. Praying for you and your mum.

  19. We had a freezing rain last night, and everything is glazed this morning. (We *do* still have power, which is pretty unusual around here. Usually a stiff breeze is enough to knock it out for a few hours.)

    I hope you leg heals soon. That sounds like an awful inconvenience.

  20. Gosh, I hope both weather and your leg improve very soon.

    George says woof to Alex, and he'd like to go play in the snow with him!

  21. It just boggles my mind that those who really NEED help and an income...they don't do diddly squat for us...but those that need their 3 cars, limo service, and someone to spread their caviar on the crackers get more money!!!

    Stay warm and hope you leg gets better. Thanks for stopping by this morning Nick.

  22. and i thought i had it bad! go easy, it sounds like you need to rest up and sleep some more ... i'm sure alex will help you with that!

  23. Wow Nick-----please update us re: your mom. Did she call 911? What's going on with that? That's so dangerous.

    I hope your leg feels better and everyone is ok.

    My prayers and thoughts are with you and your loved ones.

  24. Nick it is so hard when we are not well but still worrying about out parents. Hope you Mom is okay.